Z is for ZZYZX Road {Blogging Through the Alphabet}

Here we are at the final week for this round of Blogging through the Alphabet. It always gets tough the closer we come to the end due to the number of weeks we’re been writing as well as the difficulty in finding topics for these late in the alphabet letters. This time I knew right off what I would write about for the letter Z.

Traveling along I-15 from Las Vegas to Los Angeles I have always wondered about the sign and exit for Zzyzx Road. Seemingly out in the middle of nowhere this exit leads to somewhere but it isn’t evident where. It is also obviously not a busy exit from either direction on the interstate. A mystery indeed.

Curtis Howe Springer

I decided a couple of years ago to Google the name and see what I could find out. I read about a man named Curtis Howe Springer who sounds like he was a bit of a swindler and snake oil salesman. He made claims of being both a doctor and a minister (both untrue) and schemed to make a living from bilking folks looking for a miracle cure.

Although he was found out by a radio station who checked his credentials before having him broadcast for them, another station scheduled him as a radio evangelist. He also traveled giving lectures before being convinced by his wife to open a health spa. Things didn’t go well though and he lost the spa for non-payment of taxes.

ZZYZX Mineral Spa

This is where we come to Zzyzx Road. His new wife (?) claimed some mining land in the Mohave Desert and built another health spa. He is said to have called it Zzyzx to make it the last entry in the U.S. for place names.

This time he apparently faked hot springs by using boilers for the water in the spa’s pools. I’m not certain all that went on but by the early 1970s, the federal government had taken the land back when they discovered he had no real claim to it (they had begun legal proceedings in the 1960s).

Desert Studies Center

We decided to take a drive out to see what was left at the sight and found it is now the sight of the California State University Desert Studies Center. They have quite a good history of the area on their website if you’d like to learn more.

Until Next Time

So there we have it. The final entry into this round of Blogging Through the Alphabet. My co-hosts and I are busy coming up with themes for our next installment. Watch for my announcement of the starting date coming soon.

For more Blogging Through the Alphabet posts for this week be sure to visit my co-hosts and our linky.

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1 thought on “Z is for ZZYZX Road {Blogging Through the Alphabet}”

  1. Kristen says:

    Really interesting! So funny about people think they can get away with stuff like this.

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