A panoramic view of Mineral Wells looking southwest from East Mountain, Poston's Dry Goods store may be seen in the middle left of the picture, and the Old High School, Rock Schoolhouse, and West Ward School are visible next to West Mountain skyline in the upper right corner of the picture.
This picture is an undated photograph that appears to have been published in the Mineral Wells Index . It also appears on page 148 of A.F. Weaver's book "TIME WAS In Mineral Wells." The caption reads, "Palo Pinto County Boys' and Girls' Poultry Clubs and the Junior Rotary Band received pure-bred eggs distributed free by the Bank of Mineral Wells. Note the bank has had an addition to its south side." The caption on an earlier picture of the bank states, "D. M. Howard and R. B. Preston opened the first bank in the City, The Bank of Mineral Wells, located at 102 SE 1st Avenue." In a companion picture on p. 148, "TIME WAS ... ", the caption reads,"The Bank of Mineral Wells went broke in 1924. The building was then used by Ball Drug and Massengale's Appliances. The building was torn down to make room for parking in the downtown area." (The City Directory of 1924 lists the bank's location at 102 Southeast 1st. Avenue. There is no listing of it in the 1927 City Directory.)
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 burned-out site of the Crazy Hotel was bought in 1926 by Carr Collins. A "New", completely rebuilt, Crazy Hotel was promoted as fireproof, since it was built with solid cement walls and ceilings. The former "New Crazy Hotel" had a roof garden (with glassed-in ceiling) for dancing, and colorful past that included a daily radio show originating in its Lobby and broadcast nationally over KTQN (the Texas Quality Network). It had survived the Great Depression of the 'thirties, World War I, the Korean "Police Action", and the Viet Nam War. Those interested in a more detailed story are referred To Guy Fowler's book, "Crazy Water."
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.
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 by local folklore 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.
This photograph shows the Convention Hall, which was built in 1925 to accommodate the West Texas Chamber of Commerce Convention. The lack of signage on the front of the building--along with copious bunting--suggests that the photograph was taken at its dedication. The picture is featured in "Time There Once was", page 164. The Convention Hall was demolished in 1976.
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.
A note on back of photograph states,"Crazy Water flats fire 1925, March 15th. Picture taken from NE Corner on Oak". Thelma Hart's name appears on back of the picture, which was possibly taken by her husband, as his name, Lawrence, also appears. The picture is included in A. F. Weaver's book, "TIME WAS in Mineral Wells," on page 18.
A handwritten note on the back of the photograph identifies the picture as "Crazy Hotel southside [sic] 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  a retirement hotel that was forcibly closed down in 2010.
This photograph shows a SOUVENIR MENU on the occasion of the formal opening of the Crazy Hotel on March 11, 1927. The hotel, now  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 2010.
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 1960's, 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.
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. Recto 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.
Pictured here is a semi-ornate brick building (with a socle presumably of stone), advertising the Davis Wells and the Davis Baths. This enterprise is not listed in A.F. Weaver's "TIME WAS in Mineral Wells...." The picture appears to have been excerpted from a larger photograph, as the legend "Davis Baths" (not visible in the picture) appears on the negative. Polk's Directory for 1920 lists "Davis Mineral Baths" (proprietor, Dr. Eldred A.--the "A" stands for "Albany"--Davis) at "210 1/2 N. Oak Avenue." The business cannot be found in the 1909 or 1914 Polk's Directories. However, the 1914 Polk's Directory shows a Dr. Davis as living at 514 East Throckmorton [presently, in 2014, NE 1st Street] with his wife, Helen. The name of the bath house was changed to the "Buck Head" (or "Buckhead", as some sources have it) at some as yet unknown date.
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 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.
"First car of shale" is the legend printed on the original photograph. The car bears the marking "H.M.X. 20" on the rear. The picture probably commemorates the opening of Mineral Wells' fledgling brick manufacturing industry, as the appearance of a gentleman wearing a tie and wielding a shovel suggests a celebration of sorts. His attire shown is typical of summertime 1930's dress. The photograph bears the legend that it was restored by A.F. Weaver.
A view of the Crazy Flats and first Crazy Hotel, as seen from East Mountain, is shown here. The Crazy Flats, at the right middle of the picture, was the second Crazy Drinking Pavilion--also with Rooms for Rent--was built in 1909. One feature of the Flats was "Peacock Alley", where the men gathered on Sundays to watch the ladies parade and show off the latest fashions in female gear. The first Crazy Hotel is to the left rear of the Flats; the first section of the Hotel, on the right, was built in 1912, and the second section, on the left, to its left, was built in 1914 and connected to the first with a common lobby. The Crazy Bath house adjoined Crazy Flats on the left, and a drugstore was located in the left corner of the Bath house building. A fire, starting in the drugstore on March 15, 1925, burned the entire block, sparing only the small building housing the first Crazy Pavilion (the right rear of the Flats.) The current (second) Crazy Hotel opened in 1927, and replaced all of the former businesses in this block.
A picture of the Hexagon Hotel. See also "Hexagon Hotel [with history]." This picture was taken in 1925. Note the construction of the Convention Hall beside the Hexagon Hotel on the right. The Convention Hall was demolished in 1977
This picture is accompanied by a newspaper article that chronicles the activities of a group of men repairing the public highway between Mineral Wells and Palo Pinto in the year 1920--before the Texas Highway Department was created. Pictured are the following people: Harold Guinn on left with spade. J. L. Miller on truck fender. Standing, left to right: Red Taylor, George Oliver, Johnnie Liveley; Irl Preston and W. T. Tygrett shaking hands, with Joe Dillon standing between them. Also standing in the background are Clarence Wewerkka, W. C. Caldwell, W. I. Smith, and Lawrence Davis. The photograph is listed as courtesy of W. T. Tygrett.
The gazebo-like structure shown in the picture protects a water pump in front of the Milling Sanitarium. The sanitarium was built about 1929 on what was then the 2500 block of Southeast 6th Avenue. It later became the Irvine Sanitarium. The Veterans of Foreign Wars (Post 2399) occupies the building as of 2010. The fate of the structure shown here is unknown.
Please note the men in golf attire standing on bank, one of whom is holding a bag of golf clubs. Knee-length knickers with decorated socks were typical golf wear in the Roaring Twenties. Others are lounging around on the bank between club house and lake on a typical lazy Sunday afternoon.
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.
A photograph of the first clubhouse of The Mineral Wells Golf and Country Club is shown here. This picture comes from Knights of Pythias Album, 1925. The swimming area and lifeguard station can be seen at the far left of the picture.
This is a photograph of a suspension bridge for pedestrian traffic across Eagle Creek at Lover's Retreat. Formerly a public park, and now on private property, it was located four miles west of Palo Pinto on the old Bankhead Highway (now U.S. Highway 180).
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: The Tom Moore Drug Company, a barber shop, a cafe, Young's Studio, a bath house, and the Crazy Drug.
Two men are here seen sitting on a bench at Inspiration Point. The photograph is believed to have been taken about the year 1920. The bluffs above the Brazos River are visible in the background. The man at the far left has been identified as Bealer Beard, at one time an owner of a construction company in Mineral wells.
A view of Mineral Wells, looking north from South Mountain, taken after 1929, is pictured here. The front of the old Mineral Wells High School is visible in the lower left corner. The Crazy Hotel is just to the right of center. This picture comes from one of 17 (4X4) negatives that were found in an envelope from Charles W. Simonds (Route 5, Box 43, Norman, Oklahoma, 73069), addressed to A.F. Weaver Photography and postmarked Aug. 4, 1975. Also on the envelope were some telephone numbers and the remark "Father - C.W. Simonds (Clarence Winfield)."
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. Local folklore has it that 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 now graces 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.
This is a picture that was found in Mr. Weaver's collection, and captioned "We lost our job at Mineral Wells, Texas." This type of advertising was used by most of the drinking pavilions in this popular health resort to tout the beneficial effects of Mineral Wells' waters. There were numerous testimonials attesting the truth of such claims. When the Food and Drug Administration began to enforce the nation's drug laws vigorously in the mid-1930's, however, there were no rigorous scientific test data to document such claims, or to warn of possible side effects that taking the mineral water might cause. Consequently, this sort of advertising was banned after the 1930's.
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 , 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 United States, the HOLLYWOOD sign in California, following his visit to Mineral Wells in 1928. Griffith, Producer/Director of the early movie classic, "Birth of a Nation," also produced the "Keystone Kops" comedies. The house in the foreground (an example of Queen Anne architecture, spindle-work sub-type) was the home of druggist Dr. C.F. Yeager. Also in the picture, about half-way up the mountain, is a water tower, with its windmill. It was supposed to supply mineral water to the then new Baker Hotel, but no verification of this fact has turned up. The object in the upper-left-hand corner of the picture invites speculation.
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