Dear Portal friends: Do you enjoy having history at your fingertips?
We’ve appreciated your support over the years, and need your help to keep history alive.
Here’s the deal: we’ve received a Challenge Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Now it’s time to keep our word and raise matching funds for the Cathy Nelson Hartman Portal to Texas History Endowment.
If even half the people who use the Portal this month give $5, we’d meet our $1.5 million goal immediately!
donations are tax-deductible and support Texas history: yesterday, today, and tomorrow.
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Boyce Ditto Public Library
- [1935 An Income Tax Return for Boyce Ditto]
An individual U.S. income tax return for Boyce Ditto for 1935. (Boyce Ditto's Last Will and Testament contained a bequest of money to build the current Mineral Wells Library, which bears his name.) texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth16333/
- [The Baker Hotel Entrance]
Shown here is the main entrance to the Baker Hotel, which went directly into the hotel lobby. Note individuals on the veranda that are standing as well as sitting in deck chairs. Cars are parked on East Hubbard St. (US Hwy 180).
Some of the most famous (and some of the infamous) people have entered through this arcade. For example, Sam Goldwyn, Jean Harlow, Clark Gable, Sammy Kaye, Helen Keller, Clyde Barrow, Lyndon Johnson, Dr. Charles Mayo, Sam Rayburn, Tom Mix, Sophie Tucker, the Three Stooges, and Roy Rogers were all guests at the hotel at one time or another.
This photograph was donated by Mrs. Guy Montgomery. texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth20223/
- Crazy Crystals in Parade 1936
This photograph shows two vehicles in the Crazy Crystals Parade in 1936. One of the vehicles (a van) is decorated with Crazy Crystals Shipping Boxes. It is covered with streamers on the hood, door handle, the running board, and all the tires--including its spare. The car following it is black with white panels in the doors. It also has streamers on the hood. Apart from the printed legend on the base of the photograph, there is no further information available about this photograph. texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth39220/
- [Crazy Sign]
This picture, looking east with the Baker Hotel in the background, of the Crazy Hotel sign was colorized by Mr. A.F. Weaver. The Crazy Sign was constructed in 1933 in the center of Mineral Wells and spanned Hubbard Street (US 180) at its intersection with Oak Avenue It was quite a landmark, as it was one of only two signs allowed by the Texas Department of Transportation to cross a highway maintained by the State.
The sign was torn down on December 24, 1958. The urgency of its removal during the Holiday Season was never explained; nor was it ever quite understood by the general public. It was sold for scrap some time later. texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth25066/
- [The Road to Mineral Wells]
The 1936 opening of the brick highway from Mineral Wells to Weatherford, now known as Highway US 180. This was a Works Project Administration (WPA) highway, built during the early "Great Depression" recovery period. The photograph is looking west toward Mineral Wells, and the Baker Hotel may be seen faintly on the horizon at left center of the picture. texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth20466/