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  Partner: Boyce Ditto Public Library
Crazy Hotel: Formal Opening Menu
This photograph shows a SOUVENIR MENU on the occasion of the formal opening of the Crazy Hotel on March 11, 1927. The hotel, now [2008] a retirement hotel, is still located on the corner of N. Oak Avenue and NW 3rd Street, Mineral Wells, Texas. It was closed as a retirement hotel, under a considerable cloud, in 2012. texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth38088/
Crazy Hotel from East Mountain
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 to and beyond "the Hospital" is Mineral Wells' (1912) Post office. The photograph was taken shortly after the second Crazy Hotel opened in 1927. texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth16221/
[The Crazy Hotel in Winter]
The Crazy Water Hotel is shown once again. It appears that the season this photograph was taken is winter, as snow may be seen on the ground. The truck in the photograph appears to be of a type common before 1939. Mineral Wells was a very popular convention city, and the bunting-draped section of the hotel in the foreground probably indicates preparation for a coming convention. texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth38069/
[The Crazy Hotel Lobby]
This picture shows the First Crazy Hotel Lobby in 1913. The first Crazy Hotel was built in two sections; the first section, which contained this lobby, was built in 1912. The second section was added in 1914, and joined to the first with the two sections sharing this same sky-lighted lobby. A fire on March 15, 1925 destroyed the first Crazy Hotel along with all the other businesses in this block. The second Crazy Hotel, covering the entire city block, opened in 1927. It is now [2008] a retirement home. texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth29443/
Crazy Hotel, Mineral Wells, Texas
This picture illustrates a postcard of the Crazy Hotel, taken about 1930, well after the "Crazy" burned in 1925. This is a view of the rebuilt hotel, which opened in 1927. It was considered completely up-to-date, and built with solid masonry interior walls to make it fire-proof. The facility is currently [2008] used as a retirement home. texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth38070/
Crazy Hotel, Mineral Wells, Texas - America's Great Health Resort
This picture shows a pamphlet that was presumably published for the purpose of enticing prospective guests to the Crazy Hotel. The text touts the hotel as being "Fire-proof" (Its predecessor was not), and it extends "Special considerations shown at many hotels only to a favored few." The text is surrounded with pictures of the accommodations, and the various activities available at the hotel. At the very bottom, there is an advertisement for Crazy Crystals. The text ends with a notice of where to inquire about rates. If the dress of the ladies pictured is any guide, the pamphlet dates to the era of the 1920's. texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth16343/
"Crazy Hotel Opens"
CRAZY HOTEL OPENS: A program Presented by A.F. Weaver to the Mineral Wells Heritage Association March 10, 1994. [This is the first of ten pages, stapled at upper left-hand corner.] The text was probably computer-generated in 13-point sans-serif script and it is likely that Mr. Weaver began his program with a contemporary newspaper account of the gala opening of the re-built hotel. Certainly the opening of the significant hotel was a red-letter day in the history of Mineral Wells. A photocopy of a souvenir menu was laminated on the back of Mr. Weaver's prepared program.] texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth38087/
[ A Crazy Hotel Pamphlet]
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[The Crazy Hotel Pavilion]
A handwritten note on the back of the picture identifies this as "Crazy Hotel Pavilion 1940 Cigar Stand and Shine Stand." Please notice Leon Cross, the "shoe-shine boy", who operated the stand for years, in the white shirt to the left of the Shine Stand. This pavilion is off the hotel lobby, behind and west of the elevators of the second Crazy Hotel. A fire started March 15, 1925, in the drugstore next to the bath house of the first Crazy Hotel which adjoined the Crazy Flats (second Crazy Pavilion). The fire destroyed all the businesses in this city block. The second Crazy Hotel opened in 1927, and incorporated all of the previous enterprises into one building covering the entire city block. The drinking bar, from which Boyce Ditto served mineral water for many years, is at the opposite end of the pavilion, left of the shoe-shine and Cigar Stand, with its striped awning. In its heyday during the health-spa era of the "City built on Water," the bar served four different strengths of mineral water. The bar is still in existence today although inactive. The mezzanine around the drinking pavilion was lined with offices, primarily those of doctors. texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth29444/
[The Crazy Laundry]
In the 1930's, the Carlsbad Building (once a spa for taking the mineral waters. See "The Texas Carlsbad" for details)was taken over by the Crazy Hotel for use as a laundry. Note the painted windows that still proclaim the waters, and the original Texas Carlsbad building. The Panel truck in front was driven by L. C. Ely and the other truck was driven by his father R. C. Ely. This picture was taken sometime in 1940. texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth39226/
Crazy Paper Box Company
The Crazy Water Company built a plant in 1919 to extract minerals from its water, box the crystals, and sell them nationwide as Crazy Water Crystals. Part of the crystal enterprise included a box factory. Following an action by the Food and Drug Administration in the late 1930's, crystal operations were reduced and box operation was diversified. On the back of the photograph is written "'Treetop' Erwin, left, was the driver of the Crazy Box Company truck." The photograph is dated 1940, and can be found in A. F. Weaver's book, "TIME WAS In Mineral Wells", First Edition, 1974, on page 28. Special note: By magnifying the picture so as to be able to read the license plate of the truck, the date "42" becomes visible. texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth25065/
Crazy Park Entrance
Shown here is the entrance to Crazy Park, Mineral Wells, Texas, a picture taken in 1938. This park was earlier a part of the Gibson Pavilion and Park in the 700 block of NW 2nd Avenue. It was located a block south of the Crazy Water Crystals plant, built in 1919. The property now [2008] belongs to, and is occupied by, the First Christian Church. texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth29451/
THE CRAZY RADIO GANG
The Crazy Radio Gang broadcast music on the Texas Quality Network Monday through Friday at 12:45 P.M. Pictured are: HAL H. COLLINS "One Man's Opinion", FRANK DINKINS "Dink", FRANCIS QUINN "February", FRANK McCORDIE "Great Lover" JOHNNY JORDAN "Uncle Oscar", CONRAD BRADY Master of Ceremonies, GUY WOODWARD "Curly", MAURICE PENDERY "Brother Pink Nose", DALE WOODWARD "Pee Wee", JACK AMLUNG "Musical Director", SUGAR CANE and February (in black face). Hal Collins was the manager of the Crazy Hotel in the early 1930's when a salesman convinced him that he could sell a boxcar-load of "Crazy Water Crystals" a week if he would advertise them on the new-fangled radio. The broadcasts originated in the lobby of the Crazy Hotel, and became popular beyond all expectations. Orders for the mineral water crystals filled many carloads per week, and they were shipped to all areas of the country. Demand was so great that it exceeded the capacity of the crystallizing plant. A second source of mineral water was found, but it did not match the original patented composition. The company never fully recovered from the heavy fine levied on it by the Food and Drug Administration in the early 1930's. texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth29975/
Crazy Radio Theatre
According to A. F. Weaver, in his book "Time was in Mineral Wells", the Crazy Radio Theatre broadcast from the lobby of the Crazy Hotel in Mineral Wells over the Texas Quality Network. The show's origin is said to be the selling of "Crazy Water Crystals." Identified are Hal Collins (Manager of the Crazy Hotel), Paul, Ludy, Dick, Jake, Slim. [No last names are given.] Please note the early 12-string steel guitar held by Paul. texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth24991/
[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/
Crazy Sign Across 100 Block Hubbard Street
This picture shows a post-card of the sign. It also represents the original version of the picture of the Crazy Sign. A colorized version, by A. F. Weaver, may be found under the title [Crazy Sign]. It was constructed in 1933 over East Hubbard Street, (later to become part of the Bankhead Highway--later still, US Highway 180) in the center of Mineral Wells. It was quite a landmark ss it was one of only two signs allowed by by the Texas Department of Transportation to span a highway maintained by the state agency. The sign was torn down on December 24, 1958 (No explanation was offered for the rush to remove it on Christmas Eve.) It was later salvaged for scrap. Information about it was taken from A.F. Weavers "Time Was...", on page 30. texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth29964/
The Crazy Theatre
The Crazy Theater was located at 400 North Oak Avenue, on the east side of the street opposite the Crazy Hotel. The sign reads: "Week Commencing Monday June 22." The street does not appear to be paved, which dates the picture prior to 1914. Bennett's Office Supply now [2013] occupies the site of the former theater. The theater features in A. F. Weaver's "TIME WAS in Mineral Wells..." on page 17. texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth20439/
The Crazy Theatre
Shown here is a picture of the Crazy Theater, 400 N. Oak Avenue (the present [2014]location of Bennett's Office Supply)that was taken between 1907 and 1914. The trolley tracks, which were installed in 1907, are visible on Oak Avenue. The city streets were paved in 1914, some time after this photograph was made. The building is located on the east side of the north end of the 400 block of Oak Street, and the Crazy drinking Pavilion was located on opposite (west) side of the same block. texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth29452/
[The Crazy Theatre--With a Car]
This photograph may be found in A. F. Weaver's Book, "Time Was...", 2nd edition, on page 17. It is captioned "Crazy Theater, 400 North Oak Avenue, photo around 1918." texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth20431/
Crazy Water
No Description texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth60929/
Crazy Water and Crystals Display
As the caption reads, a display of Crazy Water and Crazy Crystals in the front entrance of the plant that manufactured them is illustrated here. texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth60928/
Crazy Water Bottling and Crazy Crystals Plant 1940
No Description texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth60935/
[The Crazy Water Bottling Company]
A note on back of this photograph states, "Crazy Fiz, 1930's." It apparently shows a section of the Crazy Water Bottling Company, where carbonation of the mineral water converted it to a "Crazy Fiz", a product similar to the popular carbonated soft drinks of the day. It was also bottled and packaged for shipment here. texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth29447/
[Crazy Water Company Railroad Cars]
Men are shown here loading boxes of Crazy Crystals onto railroad boxcars. Crazy Water Crystals were shipped nationwide in response to demand created by radio advertising. This scene is typical of the activity required to load boxcars to meet the demand for "instant Mineral Water." Printed on back of the photograph is: "Loading Crazy Crystals 1930." texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth29972/
[The Crazy Water Company - Stock Certificate]
A certificate for 250 shares of Capital Stock in the Crazy Water Company, that once belonged to Boyce Ditto is shown here. texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth16337/
[The Crazy Water Crystal Factory]
Shown here is an interior view of the Crazy Crystals Plant. "Crazy Water" was evaporated, and the dissolved solids precipitated as crystals which were then packaged and shipped all over the United States, Canada, England and Australia. By dissolving the Crazy Water crystals in water, the purchaser was able to reconstitute "mineral water" and secure the benefits of one of the earliest "instant" beverages without the added cost of the supplying company's shipping water. texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth29965/
"Crazy" Water Crystals Plant
The "Crazy" Water Crystals Plant was built in 1919. Mineral water was boiled down in the plant, until only the mineral crystals were left. The crystals became an early version of "instant food" when dissolved in water. Radio advertising in the 1930's over the Texas Quality Network, direct from the lobby of the Crazy Hotel, developed a market for the "Crazy Water Crystals" all over the world. This picture of the plant has been computer-enhanced. texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth20368/
[The Crazy Water Crystals Plant]
One step in the conversion of Mineral Wells' "Crazy Water" into Crazy Water Crystals was to boil mineral water in open vats, in three different stages, until only the minerals were left. One worker is visible, monitoring the open vats. The crystals were then filtered out and dried, packaged and sold nationwide. The customer simply added water to the crystals to obtain one of America's early "instant" products: Mineral Wells' health-giving mineral water. The photograph was taken around 1930. texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth25079/
"CRAZY" WATER CRYSTALS PLANT
This photo shows an easterly view of the "Crazy" Water Crystals Plant, the Water Tower, and Crazy Water train cars on the train track adjacent to the Plant. Mineral Wells, Texas texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth39224/
Crazy Water Hotel
This is a photograph of a post-card showing the south (front) and west side of the Crazy "Water" Hotel in the 400 block of NW 1st Avenue--the street on the left side of this picture. There is an advertisement for Crazy Water Crystals superposed in the upper right-hand hand corner. The title at the bottom of the card reads "Crazy Water Hotel, Mineral Wells, Texas--Where America Drinks its Way to Health". (This advertisement is one of the few references to "water" in the Hotel's history, although a woman with presumed mental problems drank from the well next to the hotel, and was reported to have been healed of her affliction by the water. "Crazy Woman's Well" evolved into the "Crazy Well", and gave the generic name to the mineral waters of the area.) texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth29814/
Crazy Water Hotel
Shown here is the front entrance of the Crazy Water Hotel, in the 100 block of NW 3rd Street. This entrance is into the hotel lobby with the front desk to the left. The "Crazy Water Crystals" radio show originated from the hotel lobby immediately to patron's right upon entering the hotel. A salesman convinced hotel owner, Hal Collins, that if he would advertise crazy water crystals over that "new-fangled" media, radio, that he could sell a boxcar-load of crystals a week. Radio advertising from the lobby of the hotel over the Texas Quality Network (TQN) made the crystals so popular in the thirties, they were selling a boxcar-load of them each DAY! Just dissolve the crystals in water and the purchaser had, perhaps, the world's first "instant food." texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth29813/
[A Crazy Water "Oxidine" Bottle Label]
A bottle label for Oxidine (apparently a medication for malaria), manufactured by the Crazy Water Company, with directions for use, is illustrated here. texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth60930/
[The Crazy Water Well--1974]
The original Crazy Woman's Well is preserved under the sidewalk at the northwest corner of the Crazy Hotel. This is the well the mentally-challenged (or the once-designated "Crazy woman") drank from that "cured" her dementia. Although not used for years, the well probably only requires a pump to resume production. Printed on the back of this picture is "The Crazy Well as today", and stamped "Mar. 21, 1974." texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth29970/
[The Crazy Well]
The first Crazy drinking pavilion was a small wooden building (in the center foreground of the picture) built over the well that supplied the water. The large two-story wooden structure in the picture was opened on April 14, 1900. This picture, however, was taken in 1908. The wooden pavilion was torn down around 1909, and replaced by a brick structure, commonly called "Crazy Flats", with rooms to rent. The building on the right of the picture (which would be across the street to the west of the Crazy Well) was the Carlsbad drinking pavilion. The tracks in the foreground of the picture were for the Mineral Wells Electric Railway trolley (1907-1913) that ran north-south on Oak Avenue. A second rail system, the Lakewood Park Scenic Railway ("Dinky Cars"), ran parallel to the trolley in this neighborhood but one block west, between the Crazy and Carlsbad pavilions. This picture is from A. F. Weaver, "TIME WAS in Mineral Wells", First Edition, page 10. texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth24971/
[The Crazy Well]
This picture was taken in 1974, looking south on NW 1st Avenue from NW 4th Street, showing the metal cover, in the sidewalk corner, of the Crazy Well. It is full of Crazy water, ready to be pumped out and used. The building on the left is the west side of the present [2008] Crazy Water Retirement Hotel. This information was taken from Art Weaver's book "TIME WAS in Mineral Wells...", page 29. This well was the third one dug in Mineral Wells. texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth20415/
Crazy Well at Mineral Wells, Texas
Shown here is the Crazy Well drinking pavilion, as it appeared around 1908, looking at the North and East (back) sides, after remodeling and the removal of a residence. The house was removed still stands at 715 NW 1st Avenue. The photograph was taken across Oak Avenue. Note the top of the first Texas Carlsbad Well in the background. texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth60933/
[The Crazy Well Bath House]
This photograph was used in A. F. Weaver's 1st edition of "Time Was..." on page 16. His description: "This street scene taken in 1918 showing a drug store on the corner, the bath house next door and then the Crazy Flats north of the bath house. The Crazy Hotel sits just to the West of the drug store. The fire of 1925 March 15th started in the drug store and burned the whole block." (The first Crazy Hotel is not visible in this picture.) Please note the Hexagon Hotel in the distance on the left side of the street. The building across the street with the tower at the right edge of the picture is the Vichy Well and Natatorium, later The Beach, and then The Standard Well. texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth20424/
[The Crazy Well Drinking Pavilion]
This is a picture of the second Crazy Water Well Drinking Pavilion. The original Crazy Well and first Drinking Pavilion are housed in the small building in the middle of the picture immediately in front of the larger second Pavilion. This picture of the wooden structure was taken shortly after its construction in 1900. Notice the dirt roads, and the burros tied at the hitching rail. Burro rides on trails around town, especially up East Mountain, were a very popular form of recreation in Mineral Wells' early years. Customers are seen entering the upper floor by a flight of exterior stairs. texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth29961/
Crazy Well, Mineral Wells, Texas
This is a picture of the first Crazy Well drinking pavilion, the first such facility in the city. When a Mr. Wiggins dug the third well in town, it was frequented by a "crazy woman" who was eventually cured of her dementia. Because of the word-of-mouth publicity, people came from miles around to drink the health-giving water. A house was built around the well for the convenience of the customers. The highly successful business attracted competition, and one of the most popular health spas in the nation grew from these beginnings. texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth24974/
Crazy Well Park
"CRAZY WELL PARK, located just south of the Crazy Hotel at the corner of NW 3rd Street and 1st Avenue" as the picture that appears on page 115 of "Time Was...", Second edition, declares. The building one block west (left) of the first Crazy Hotel (at the northwest corner of NW 2nd Avenue and NW 3rd. Street) is the W.E. Mayes Building in which the Wells Hotel was located. (The far right end of the building also carries a sign reading "Caldwell Hotel." (Early in its life, the site of this building was the Texas Carlsbad well and drinking pavilion.) Also visible is Clark's Pharmacy. The prominent park is now part of the Crazy Hotel parking lot. texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth20398/
The Crazy Well Water Company
This picture shows a photograph of two pages from a water-bottle-shaped brochure about Mineral Wells. The "Appendix" referred to on the verso folio refers to a series of burlesques printed on previous--unseen--pages. The recto folio describes the four types of the water and the various ailments that they are expected to cure. The brochure notes that number four water is purgative, and should be used in moderation, but at frequent intervals. texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth60936/
[A Crowd at a Race]
A note on the back of the picture identifies this scene as being at Elmhurst Park. The rails on either side indicate that this is a photograph of a race track. There is a chalk circle in the middle of the track, and a companion picture shows this circle being used for shot-put/discus competition. The spectator in the left foreground is leaning into the track to get a better look at a runner approaching the finish line at the far end of the track. texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth20329/
[A Crowd in Period Dress at a Speech]
A crowd, the picture dating to about 1910, appears to be attending the awarding of prizes for an athletic event--probably a track meet, judging by companion photographs. The location is Elmhurst Park, an amusement park in the early 1900's on Pollard Creek about two miles southwest of Mineral Wells. texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth20311/
[Crystal Plant]
A picture of the Crystal Production Line is shown here. On the back of the photograph is typed: CRYSTALS WERE THEN PACKED INTO GREEN AND WHITE BOXES AND RUN DOWN THE CONVEYOR WHERE GIRLS PLACED THE LIDS. AT THE END OF THE BELT A MACHINE WRAPPED THE BOX IN CELLOPHANE. PHOTO 1930 texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth29820/
The Cullen Grimes School
Principal Donald Bond, the teachers and the students of the afternoon group at Cullen Grimes School in Mineral Wells, Texas congregate in front of the building in March of 1954. texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth16326/
[The Cumberland Presbyterian Church]
Shown here is a picture of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. On the back of picture is written "901 N.Oak [.] Sold to Church of Christ [.] Demolished and rebuilt." The streetcar tracks, which ran from 1907 to 1913 are visible on N. Oak in front of the church. The church takes its name from Cumberland Street, Philadelphia. A sub-sect of Presbyterianism--based on an Arminian interpretation of Calvinism--was begun at the church there. A Cumberland Presbyterian church is advertised as being in Newberry at the present [2014] time. The picture was taken before North Oak Avenue was paved in 1914. The Church of Christ still [2008] occupies this location on N. Oak Avenue. texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth29979/
The Curtis House
The Curtis House was an early hotel at 315 E. Hubbard Street, where the Baker Hotel swimming pool is now [2008] located. This picture was handed down through the Curtis family to Robert Curtis, who donated it to A.F. Weaver June 25, 1996. A later view of the hotel is found on page 101 of A.F. Weaver's book "TIME WAS In Mineral Wells." texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth20293/
The Curtis House
The Curtis House was once to be found at 315 E. Hubbard Street in Mineral Wells. This photograph of it is to be found on page 101 of "Time Was..." by A.F. Weaver. Note the steeple of Methodist Episcopal Church at 301 NE 1st Street, at the far right edge of the picture. Built in 1898, the church was expanded in 1903 as the First Methodist church, whose congregation still [2008] occupies this location in a newer church building. texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth16177/
[The D. M. Howard Store]
A photograph taken during the construction of the D. M. Howard Store, located at 101 SE 1st Avenue. D. M. Howard was the first of five brothers to arrive in Mineral Wells. He built the first large department store(s) here. This was the first in a complex of Howard Brothers stores, and later housed the J. M. Belcher Furniture Store and its successor, R. & W. Furniture. Howard himself departed this life in 1910. The building was torn down in 1975. texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth20236/
The Daily Index
No Description texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth60962/