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  Partner: Boyce Ditto Public Library
 Resource Type: Photograph
 Decade: 1900-1909
[The First Motorcycle in Mineral Wells]

[The First Motorcycle in Mineral Wells]

Date: 1908
Creator: unknown
Description: A caption, taken from "Time Was..." by A. F. Weaver, on page 116 states: "Pictured in 1908 is Frank Richards, owner of the first motorcycle bought in Mineral Wells. D. C. Harris owned the second motorcycle." Frank Richards was the manager of the Star Well during Mineral Wells' heyday as a popular health spa resort, and the boy on the motorbike with him has been identified as his son, Robert Frank Richards. D. C. Harris was the postmaster, and served as Mayor of the city at one time.
Contributing Partner: Boyce Ditto Public Library
[The Carlsbad Well Building]

[The Carlsbad Well Building]

Date: 1909?
Creator: unknown
Description: The caption of this 1909 photograph that occurs on page 63 of "TIME WAS In Mineral Wells" by A. F. Weaver, notes "...the stained glass windows had not been installed as yet and the "Ben Hur" street car tracks were still running in front of the building." (The Mineral Wells Scenic Railway--the Ben Hur Line to Lake Pinto--ceased operation in 1909, but rails were removed later, probably in conjunction with paving City Streets in 1914.) One of the earlier drinking pavilions, The Carlsbad was located at 415 NW 1st Avenue, directly across the street and west of the Crazy Water drinking pavilion. The Crazy Flats Rooming house--which replaced the Crazy Drinking Pavilion--along with the First Crazy Hotel complex--burned in 1925, and were replaced by the current Crazy Hotel, covering the entire block. The hotel opened in 1927. The Carlsbad building was taken over by the Crazy Hotel in the 1930's, and it was used as a laundry.
Contributing Partner: Boyce Ditto Public Library
[The Mineral Wells Bottling Works]

[The Mineral Wells Bottling Works]

Date: 1900?
Creator: unknown
Description: A number of the early mineral water wells bottled their product and sold it nationwide for its reputed health benefits. The name of this particular well, associated with this turn-of-the-20th-century endeavor, is not identified. It may well have been the inventor of the bottled water industry. This photograph shows what has been tentatively identified as a threshing machine, driven by a steam-powered tractor, parked outside the plant. This bottling plant also produced "Country Red" and "Cream soda" in 1906. J.L. Tipton is shown, fourth from the left. The other men remain unidentified. The photograph dates from 1912. This bottling company also bottled "Country Red" and "Cream soda" in 1912. J.L. Tipton is shown, fourth from the left. The other men remain unidentified. Later development of a crystallizing process eliminated the substantial cost of shipping water, and adversely affected the bottled water industry. The concentrated crystals greatly expanded the distribution of the beneficial minerals inherent in the water, and created an industry of its own. However, it led to legal problems occasioned by the limited supply of crystals, and attempts to satisfy a voracious market. What appears to be a scar across the photograph indicates that the original picture was probably ...
Contributing Partner: Boyce Ditto Public Library
[A Bird's Eye-view of Mineral Wells]

[A Bird's Eye-view of Mineral Wells]

Date: 1901/1902
Creator: unknown
Description: An early panoramic view of Mineral Wells is shown here. The picture is a composite of two views taken from East Mountain. Attached to the composite is a date "1901." The large building in the front middle of the picture is the Holloway & Haley livery stable. Some of the buildings are numbered on the photograph. Recognizable are: (2) The Hawthorn Well, with steeple (Right middle of the picture), (4) The original Crazy water drinking pavilion (two-story with smaller upper third floor, right middle of picture), The Lythia Well (between the Crazy Well and the Hawthorn Well), and The Hexagon House at the far right edge of picture.
Contributing Partner: Boyce Ditto Public Library
The Fair Grounds and Race Track, Mineral Wells, Texas

The Fair Grounds and Race Track, Mineral Wells, Texas

Date: 1900?
Creator: unknown
Description: Shown here is a picture of a dirt horse-race track and fair grounds,located southeast of town. It is not known if thoroughbred horses raced, but sulkies are known to have raced here. This course was the first of its kind in Mineral Wells. Another track was constructed at Elmhurst Park, in the southeast part of town, after this one was torn down.
Contributing Partner: Boyce Ditto Public Library
The Commercial Hotel

The Commercial Hotel

Date: 1900?
Creator: unknown
Description: The Commercial Hotel, one of the early hotels in Mineral Wells, was located on South Oak Avenue, where the Mineral Wells Fire Department is now [2014] located. The Cutter Guide of 1893 states that the hotel was recently completed. It is listed as being "[T]wo blocks from the depot [and] 1 block [away] from the post-office [sic]." This picture may be found on page 101 of A.F. Weaver's book "TIME WAS In Mineral Wells."
Contributing Partner: Boyce Ditto Public Library
[A LakeWood Park Scenic Railway, Dinky Car "Esther"]

[A LakeWood Park Scenic Railway, Dinky Car "Esther"]

Date: 1905/1909
Creator: unknown
Description: This photograph shows the "Dinkey Car", Esther, that operated on The Mineral Wells Lakewood Park Scenic Railway to Lake Pinto from 1905 to 1907, at which time the lines were removed. The background indicates the picture was taken near Lake Pinto. This "Dinky Car" was one of two named "Esther" and "Susie" after local banker Cicero Smith's daughters. Banker Smith and Ed Dismuke, owner of The Famous Water Company, built the Scenic Railway. These little cars, powered by gasoline engines, ran every 15 minutes from Mineral Wells, around West Mountain, to Lake Pinto. A larger version, called the "Ben Hur", was added in 1907. Round trip cost 15 cents, and the cars ran on their own steel rails from 1905 to 1909. The Scenic Railway operation to Lake Pinto differed significantly from the trolley and tracks of the Mineral Wells Electric System. The trolley company served the City and ran some two miles southwest to Elmhurst Park and Lake between 1906 and 1907.
Contributing Partner: Boyce Ditto Public Library
Cliff Home

Cliff Home

Date: 1900?
Creator: unknown
Description: The Cliff Home, an early Mineral Wells hotel, stood on NE 2nd Street (formerly Coke Street) just east of the head of NE 1st Avenue (formerly Mesquite Street), and the site of the 1912 "Old Post Office" (now the Women's Club.) The hotel burned down, and the Plateau Hotel was built in its place. That hotel, in time, became The Exchange Hotel. It was later converted to the Mineral Wells Sanitarium (or hospital) before it was finally torn down. The significance of the small "E" between "CLIFF" and "HOME" on the sign painted on the roof is unclear. The back of the photograph bears the name "Henry Sikes" (a banker in Graford, and probably the donor of the picture) written in ink, and a business stamp, "S.B. Hall, General Photographer." This picture is found on page 100 of A.F. Weaver's book "TIME WAS In Mineral Wells".
Contributing Partner: Boyce Ditto Public Library
Mineral Wells (1900)

Mineral Wells (1900)

Date: 1900?
Creator: unknown
Description: This article and photograph from the Weaver Collection appeared in the Mineral Wells Index in the late 1960's--or possibly the early 1970's. The newspaper attributes the photograph to the "Courtesy of Tom Green," and the research to "Bill Cameron." The article states: "This is the way Mineral Wells looked at the turn of the [twentieth] Century. The Scott Livery Stable, foreground, is occupies the area the Whatley Motor Company does today. Across the street at left was the two-story Holmes Hotel. The barn in the corner, in the center of picture, was the T.J. Green Transfer Company. Mat Birdwell, who purchased horses for the government, had his headquarters in the Green barn. Other spots include the Frost Lumber Yard, next to the Green barn; [the] old Baptist Church steeples, top left; [the] Presbyterian Church, top right, that burned 60 years ago."
Contributing Partner: Boyce Ditto Public Library
A Convention, West Texas Chamber of Commerce

A Convention, West Texas Chamber of Commerce

Date: May 1905
Creator: unknown
Description: This photograph shows a view of Mineral Wells from East Mountain. It is inscribed "Convention West Texas Chamber of Commerce." A companion picture is dated "May 4-5-6, 1925". The train depot is in the left middle background. The church in the middle foreground is the First Methodist Church, and immediately behind and above it is the Lamar Bath House and Hotel. The home to the left (east) of the Methodist Church was the home of Pharmacist C. Y. Yeager.
Contributing Partner: Boyce Ditto Public Library
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