Harbin Hot Springs is a beautiful retreat center nestled in its own 1200 acre valley with pristine nature, hot springs and modern facilities. It has been a sacred land of pilgrimage since before recorded history. The hot, warm and cold pools are fed with spring water, rich in minerals that bubble up from the earth. The Native Americans of the area believed that the waters of Harbin’s springs had great healing power because they came from the underworld, the spirit realm of the Shaman’s vision.
While the springs here have been used for centuries by native populations, Harbin Hot Springs and Harbin Mountain got their names from James M. Harbin, believed to have settled on this land around 1856. By 1870, Richard Williams had built the Harbin Springs Health and Pleasure Resort on this location, featuring a hotel building built in the hillside below the springs. This hotel would burn to the ground and be replaced by two new hotels (both also burned) as the land changed hands and changed character over the next 100 years.
Whether operated as a Victorian resort, hunting lodge, boxing camp or free-form university, the hot springs have always remained at Harbin’s heart. Most of the buildings now standing were built in the early 1900s, including the remains of the Stuparich Resort that now serves as residential housing and maintenance areas.
In 1972, Harbin Hot Springs was acquired by Robert Hartley (Ishvara), and was in turn sold to Heart Consciousness Church, which now operates Harbin as a nonprofit retreat and workshop center. The property lines encompass over 5000 acres of land, and are surrounded by undeveloped private and government land.
The School of Healing Arts
The Harbin School of Healing Arts originated over 30 years ago:
In 1979 it was established as the Niyama School of Healing Arts.
In 1985, it was purchased by Harold Dull and renamed the School of Shiatsu and Massage, and later bought and operated by the Worldwide Aquatic Bodywork Association (WABA).
In 2008, it was purchased and operated by the Bodywork Career Institute, LLC
In December 2013, Harbin Hot Springs purchased the school and the Harbin School of Healing Arts began operating the School of Shiatsu and Massage.
In June 2014, we began officially operating as the Harbin School of Healing Arts, having received change of ownership and change of name approvals from the BPPE, school code 1700041, http://bppe.ca.gov/.On September 12, 2015, the Valley Fire swept through Southern Lake County and destroyed Harbin Hot Springs, the massage school and much of the communities of Cobb, Middletown and Hidden Valley Lake. Though Harbin recognizes the great value of HSHA and wishes to rebuild and reopen the school as soon as possible, the current priority is to get the Harbin pools operational, then rebuild Mainside to a level that can support guest visits with the resources necessary to enjoy Harbin as a healing retreat center once again. The exact plans for the massage school are unknown at this time. Please visit the school’s website or connect with us on Facebook to check on the school’s status over time.