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  Partner: Boyce Ditto Public Library
 Resource Type: Photograph
 Decade: 1920-1929
[D. W. Griffith]

[D. W. Griffith]

Date: 1929
Creator: unknown
Description: D. W. Griffith is shown standing on the roof of the new Crazy Hotel, which opened in 1927 and replaced the First Crazy Hotel which had burned in 1925. Mr. Griffith, who produced silent movies including the "Keystone Kops" comedies, and the classic film "Birth of a Nation", was a guest at the Crazy Hotel while visiting Mineral Wells in 1929. A commemorative postage stamp was issued in his honor on May 27, 1975. Mr. Griffith was impressed by the "WELCOME" sign on East Mountain (the world's largest non-commercial, electrically-lighted sign at the time). He developed the "HOLLYWOOD HILLS" addition with other partners when he returned to California, and he erected what is probably the most recognizable landmark in America: The HOLLYWOOD sign in Los Angeles. Both signs have survived similar difficult times in their histories. This picture appears on page 19 of A.F. Weaver's "TIME WAS in Mineral Wells", second edition, 1974.
Contributing Partner: Boyce Ditto Public Library
Welcome Sign & Lookout Tower:   1929

Welcome Sign & Lookout Tower: 1929

Date: 1929
Creator: unknown
Description: The WELCOME sign was donated to the city of Mineral Wells in 1922 by George Holmgren, President of the Texas Rotary Club, in appreciation for the hospitality extended the Rotary Club at its State Convention in Mineral Wells that year. The caption on the photograph reads: "Reputed to be the largest Non-commercial electric sign in U.S." East Mountain was a popular place for viewing the city, especially for photographers. The lookout tower atop West Mountain (above the WELCOME sign) was destroyed by a tornado in 1930. The Welcome Sign was built by Holmgren in his San Antonio Iron Works in 1922. He gave the sign to the people of Mineral Wells with the understanding that they would maintain the sign and the many light bulbs required to light it. The Mineral Wells Jaycees later replaced the light bulbs with lower-maintenance red neon lights. A Warrant Officer Club Company from Fort Wolters moved the sign from East Mountain in 1972 to the east side of Bald Mountain, where it remains today [2008], lighted with flood lights at its base. It is reported that this sign inspired D.W. Griffith, to promote possibly the most recognizable landmark in the US, the HOLLYWOOD sign ...
Contributing Partner: Boyce Ditto Public Library
Crazy Hotel from East Mountain

Crazy Hotel from East Mountain

Date: 1928?
Creator: unknown
Description: In this view from East Mountain along NE 2nd Street toward West mountain, the West Ward School, Mineral Wells "Old" High School, and the "Little Rock School" are all visible in the upper middle of the picture on this side of the gap between West Mountain and South Mountain. The rebuilt Crazy Hotel is seen in the right middle of the photograph, and construction of the Nazareth Hospital to the northwest of the Hotel is underway at the right of and behind the hotel. Nazareth Hospital was built by the Crazy Hotel as a clinic, but was later sold to a catholic order of nurses and operated as a hospital. (In the early 1960s, two floors of the Crazy Hotel were used as a hospital while the new Palo Pinto General Hospital was being built.) Dr. A.W. Thompson's home(1896)is in the middle foreground of the picture and the Mineral Wells Sanitarium is beyond it. The Cliff House Hotel occupied this site initially, but it burned, and was replaced by the Plateau Hotel. The Plateau Hotel's name was later changed to the Exchange Hotel, and still later it was converted into the Mineral wells Sanitarium, also known as the Hospital. Next ...
Contributing Partner: Boyce Ditto Public Library
[The City Nestled Among the Hills]

[The City Nestled Among the Hills]

Date: 1927
Creator: unknown
Description: This picture was taken from East Mountain, from a site above and left (south) of the former Chautauqua (1905-1912.) Note the Crazy Water Hotel at the left edge of the picture (which opened in 1927 on the corner of North Oak and NW 3rd Streets.) Note also the Nazareth Hospital built by the Crazy Corporation, behind and right of the Crazy. The back of the "WELCOME" (1921 vintage) sign on the south end of this mountain and facing south, is at the immediate middle foreground. This sign was the world's largest non-commercial electric lighted sign when it was donated to the city in 1922 following a Rotary Club of Texas convention. The sign is reputed to be the inspiration for the more publicized "HOLLYWOOD" sign in Los Angeles, California. It is much larger than the photograph suggests. Lesser known sites in the picture are The Hawthorn Drinking Pavilion one block north (right) of Nazareth Hospital and the Crazy Theater, across Oak Avenue, at the right and front of the Crazy.
Contributing Partner: Boyce Ditto Public Library
[Excavation for the Baker]

[Excavation for the Baker]

Date: 1927?
Creator: unknown
Description: Excavation work and clearing of the two blocks in downtown Mineral Wells for the Baker Hotel is shown here. In the background is the Dr. Thompson home, the old First Methodist church and parsonage. The parsonage was moved to the corner of SE 3rd Street & SE 5th Avenue. The filling station in the foreground was located where Murray's Grill parking lot once was [ca. 1950]. The Piedmont Hotel was across the street (NE 1st Avenue.) where the Baker Hotel garage building is now [2009]located. The work has just begun clearing the lots. The tower on top of East Mountain is barely visible above the welcome sign that was erected there in 1925. This photograph comes from the Young collection.
Contributing Partner: Boyce Ditto Public Library
[A Street Scene, Taken About the 1930's]

[A Street Scene, Taken About the 1930's]

Date: 1927?
Creator: unknown
Description: This photograph illustrates the "New" Crazy Hotel on North Oak Avenue, which opened in 1927 after the earlier hotel burned March 15, 1925. Many automobiles typical of the period can be seen on the street. Note the following businesses: Tom Moore, Barber Shop, Cafe, Young's Studio, Bath House, Crazy Drug.
Contributing Partner: Boyce Ditto Public Library
[A Panoramic View of Mineral Wells, 1925]

[A Panoramic View of Mineral Wells, 1925]

Date: May 4, 1925
Creator: unknown
Description: A picture taken in 1925, two months after the Crazy burned. Please note no Crazy Hotel in this picture, but the Crazy Well building in the street did not perish in the flames. Also,please note, across the city on West Mountain, the two buildings owned by the Cavalry, where their horses were kept. The old High School, the "Little Rock School", and the West Ward School are visible in the upper left of the picture at the south end of West Mountain.
Contributing Partner: Boyce Ditto Public Library
[The Burning of the Crazy Flats]

[The Burning of the Crazy Flats]

Date: March 15, 1925
Creator: unknown
Description: The "Crazy Flats" drinking pavilion, with rooms for rent, replaced a two-story Crazy Water drinking pavilion in 1909. The first Crazy Hotel was built in 1912, and an annex was added to it in 1914. A fire in the Drug Store of the "Crazy Flats" (SE corner of the Crazy Flats building) on March 15, 1925, destroyed the entire Crazy block. The "New", completely rebuilt, Crazy Hotel was enlarged to cover the entire block. It opened in 1927, and replaced all of the burned buildings. The new building was promoted as fireproof, since it was built with solid cement walls and ceilings. The former "new Crazy Hotel" is now a Retirement Home, after a colorful past that included; a daily radio show originating in its Lobby and broadcast nationally over TQN (the Texas Quality Network), the Great Depression of the 'thirties, World War II, the Korean "Police Action", and The Viet Nam War. (Compliance with current Building Codes applying to residential rental property, is creating some problems for the present owners of the 80+ year-old structure.)
Contributing Partner: Boyce Ditto Public Library
[The Crazy Hotel after the Fire of 1925]

[The Crazy Hotel after the Fire of 1925]

Date: March 15, 1925
Creator: unknown
Description: A handwritten note on the back of the photograph identifies the picture as "Crazy Hotel southside after fire of March 15, 1925." Shown is the skeleton of the first Crazy Hotel, after a fire destroyed the entire Crazy "complex." The original hotel complex consisted of the two adjoined hotel sections with a common lobby, the Crazy Flats (a drinking pavilion with rooms for rent), a Bath House, and a drugstore (in which the fire started). The second Crazy Hotel opened two years later, in 1927. It covers the entire city block formerly occupied by the complex which it replaced. The famous second Crazy Hotel of the booming 1930's and 1940's is now [2008] a retirement hotel, that was forcibly closed down in 2010.
Contributing Partner: Boyce Ditto Public Library
[The Burning of the First Crazy Hotel]

[The Burning of the First Crazy Hotel]

Date: 1925
Creator: unknown
Description: The first Crazy Hotel burned in 1925. This photograph shows the fire as it is burning out, and only a few pieces of the structure still stand. The sign seen in the left part of the photo says "Crazy Drug Co." which was the pharmacy inside the hotel. The hotel was rebuilt and claims to be fire proof.
Contributing Partner: Boyce Ditto Public Library
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