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Cliff Home

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 not known. 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".
Date: 1900?

The Commercial Hotel

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."
Date: 1900?

The Curtis House

Description: 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."
Date: 1900?

Exchange Hotel

Description: [The] Exchange Hotel (also known as [The]Plateau in 1909, and later as the Hospital) was built on the site of the Cliff House, which was destroyed by fire. The house to the right was built in 1896 by Dr. A. W. Thompson as a wedding present for his second wife. The Mineral Wells Post Office was built on the vacant lot at the left of the hotel in 1912. The Hotel presents something of a conundrum. An annotation without date states that the Exchange Hotel was destroyed by fire and the Plateau Hotel was built in its place. A notation of 1902 states that the Plateau Hotel was the only brick hotel. A 1907 map shows the Hotel as being at 207 East Coke (Now NE 2nd Avenue) Street. In 1909, a St. Paul Sanitarium was listed at 118 NE 7th Street. .A map of 1912 shows the Plateau Hotel as still being in existence. The city directory of 1920 shows no building in the 200 block--except for the Post Office. A Mineral Wells City Directory of 1924 listed the former Exchange/Plateau building as the Mineral Wells Sanatorium. Dr. A.W. Thompson was still living in the house to the right at the time. In 1924, the Mineral Wells Sanitarium was listed as being at 211 NE 2nd Street, and a Hotel Wilson (with no room for a third building) at 211 NE 2nd Street. In 1928, the Mineral Wells Sanitarium was listed at 211 NE 2nd Street. By 1937, there was no listing in the City Directory. It is presumed that the Hotel/Hospital was finally demolished.
Date: 1900?

The Fair Grounds and Race Track, Mineral Wells, Texas

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.
Date: 1900?

Fairfield Inn

Description: The Fairfield Inn, built by Col. Walter H. Boykin around the turn of the twentieth century, was a very popular rooming and boarding house in the early days of Mineral Wells. It was located at 814 North Oak Street, across Oak Street and one block north of the contemporary Hexagon Hotel. Part of the retaining wall shown in the picture still exists. Mr. Boykin built his home at 1501 SE 4th Avenue. The home was later sold to William Whipple Johnson, who operated the Rock Creek coal mines in eastern Parker County around 1910. Mr. Johnson, with his brother Harvey, had previously opened the coal mines at Thurber on the Palo Pinto/Erath county line in 1908.
Date: 1900?

[The Foster Hotel]

Description: A note on the back of this picture identifies it as the Foster House. It was located at 202 NW 6th Street (given in Polk's Directory for 1909 as "202 West Moore", two blocks north of the Crazy Well) and facing 6th Street. It was one block west of the Hexagon House, and within two blocks of other wells. The style of the building appears to be Queen Anne, spindle-work sub-type, with paired gables. The number "2231" is written on the photograph. A railroad ran a main trunk line on the other side of the hotel's block. It was built before 1904 but further history of this early hotel is not known at this time [2008]. Another picture (The Foster Hotel: Second Photograph, which please see) supplies a few more details.
Date: 1900?

The "Gibson Well" Mineral Wells, Texas

Description: Shown here is a picture of the first Gibson Well drinking pavilion. Located in the 700 block of what is now NW 2nd Avenue, it was one of the first drinking pavilions in the city. An expanded pavilion replaced the one in this picture, and it became one of the more popular social gathering places in town. The Christian Church now [2008] occupies the entire city block on which the Gibson Well was located.
Date: 1900?

[The Gulf and Brazos Valley Railroad Depot]

Description: A caption to the photograph states: "Gulf and Brazos Valley Railroad Depot 1899-1902. Erected back some 80 years ago, and served the Brazos Valley Railroad from Mineral Wells to Peck City near Millsap, now known as Bennett." The area formerly known as Peck City is now the location of an Acme brick plant, and is named "Bennett" for the rail switch that serves the plant. Standing on the right in the photograph is Noble Nuttall, father of Verne Nuttall, the first depot operator and telegraph operator. Please note the guitar near the woman at the window. The depot was once located on the site now occupied by the Hayes Lumber Company, in the 300 block on SE 1st Avenue. The newspaper caption: "Passengers would ride on the Texas and Pacific to Peck City and come by the Brazos Valley train from Peck City to Mineral Wells" is incorrect. The GULF and BRAZOS RIVER RAILWAY was strictly a freight line that hauled coal from the Rock Creek mines (east of Mineral Wells) to the T&P main line at Peck City. The first depot in Mineral Wells for passenger service from Weatherford was built when the W.-M.W.-N.W. that first arrived in Mineral Wells in 1891. It burned down, and it was replaced by the current brick depot in 1902, the year the GBV was sold at a sheriff's auction in Weatherford. (Photo courtesy of Verne Nuttall)
Date: 1900?

The Hawthorn Well

Description: The Hawthorn Well drinking pavilion, located at 314 NW 1st Avenue, was owned and operated by William O'Brien. The Hawthorn not only had mineral water and a drinking pavilion, but also catered to the pleasure-seeking public with a bowling alley. Dances were also held in the pavilion both afternoon and nights during the "season." The picture shows advertising on the roof for the Missouri, Kansas, and Texas Railroad. The "Katy" built a north-south railway across Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma) at about this time. Its Texas office and shops were located in Dennison. Hotels in Mineral Wells were sending hacks and buggies to Millsap to transport passengers to "The Nation's Greatest Health Resort" in such numbers that by January 1, 1891, the first train of The Weatherford Mineral Wells and Northwestern Railroad rolled into town. With connections through Dallas, the "Katy" sought a portion of that railway passenger traffic.
Date: 1900?

Lithia Well

Description: The Lithia Well drinking pavilion was located on the southwest corner of the Crazy block at 400 NW 1st Avenue. The roof of the second Crazy Well drinking pavilion can be seen to the left of the Lithia. The Mineral Wells Library maintained its second location in this pavilion. The First Crazy Hotel was built on this location in 1914, but burned in 1925. The rebuilt and expanded Crazy Hotel (Now [2008] a retirement home) replaced the burned hostelry in 1927. See also the following picture.
Date: 1900?

Mineral Wells (1900)

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."
Date: 1900?

[The Mineral Wells Bottling Works]

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 damaged, and was repaired by Mr. Weaver for the making of a duplicate photograph.
Date: 1900?

[The Norwood Hospital]

Description: A photograph of the Norwood Hospital during its completion. Note the "Parry and Spicer Architects" sign and the "Goodrum, Murphy and Croft Contractors" sign. Dr. Norwood was the first Osteopathic doctor to set up business in Mineral Wells. He departed this life at the age of 82 in 1953. The building was donated to the Mineral Wells Historic Foundation. Plans were announced to convert the clinic to a Bed and Breakfast facility, but no progress towards such a conversion has been made to date [2007]. The legend "1863" appears on the photograph, but it is not known what it signifies. It cannot possibly be the date of the building--or of its photograph.
Date: 1900?

Presbyterian Church of Mineral Wells

Description: Written on the back of the photograph is: "Presbyterian Church & Manse N.W. 4th Ave. & [NW]2nd St. Built 1896, Burned 1908" This was the first Presbyterian Church of Mineral Wells. It was replaced, after it burned in 1908, at the same location the next year by a unique domed church that endured for some seventy years. Deterioration of the foundation of the second church building dictated its prudent replacement by a third building at this same location in the early 1980's.
Date: 1900?

Sangcura Sprudel Wells

Description: The Sangcura Sprudel Wells. On back of photograph is written: "Located at 800 N.W. 2nd Avenue." The building was later moved to 314 NW 5th Street. The porches were enclosed and it was turned into a rooming house. The building burned down in 1973.
Date: 1900?

Sangcura Sprudel Wells

Description: The Sangcura-Sprudel Wells Drinking Pavilion was originally located at 800 NW Second Avenue. The building was later moved to 314 NW 5th Street, the porches enclosed, and it was converted into a rooming house. The Crazy Water bottling plant was built on this site in 1919. The rooming house that was the former Sangcura-Sprudel drinking Pavilion burned on December 5, 1973, just five minutes before Mineral Wells' annual Christmas Parade was scheduled to start.
Date: 1900?

[The Second Crazy Water Well Drinking Pavilion]

Description: The small building seen at the right of this picture was the First Crazy Well Drinking Pavilion. The large structure in the center of the picture is an early view of the second Pavilion, which was built in 1900. This picture was taken before its first two floors were enclosed. The Carlsbad pavilion, which was built around 1895 (across NW 1st Avenue and west of the Crazy) also appears in several pictures of the area around this time. Its absence in this photograph is probably the result of a combination of perspective, angle of picture, and depth-of-view of the camera. The Second Pavilion (shown in this photograph) was replaced in 1909 by the Crazy Flats, which burned in the fire of 1925. The current Crazy Hotel opened in 1927, and occupies the entire city block. It is now [2003] a retirement home.
Date: 1900?

[A Souvenir Photograph of a Donkey Ride up East Mountain]

Description: Entertainment for the many visitors to Mineral Wells around the turn of the twentieth century was provided, in part, by donkey rides up a trail to the top of East Mountain. The donkey trail crossed a 1,000-step staircase, built in 1905, to the top of the mountain about half-way up. Photographers, first J.C. McClure and then J.L. Young, took souvenir photographs of the visitors at this crossing. This photograph of the Belcher family was a taken by J. D. McClure. Mr. John M. Belcher stands on the right and his son, John E. Belcher sits on a donkey at the left of the picture, with his mother standing beside him. The clothing suggests that the picture was taken in the early 1900's. The legend "19EE" in the lower left-hand part of the picture invites speculation concerning its significance.
Date: 1900?

Texas Carlsbad Water

Description: This photograph illustrates the Texas Carlsbad Well at Mineral Wells, Texas, one of the early drinking pavilions in the "City built on water." It was located at 415 NW 1st Avenue, directly across the street west of the first Crazy Well drinking pavilion. Shown here is an early picture of the Carlsbad, as later views show slight additions and alterations in response to competition among drinking pavilions for business.
Date: 1900?

Vichy Well Natatorium

Description: An off-season picture of the Vichy Well Natatorium, once located in the 600 block of North Oak Avenue, where North Oak Community Center now [2008] stands is illustrated here. The picture dates to around 1900. The Vichy well featured a swimming pool, which it labelled a "Natatorium." Later improvements, when the name was changed to The Standard Well, included a motion-picture theater and a pavilion for dancing. (Note the Dr. A.W. Thompson residence and the Mineral Wells Sanitarium on the right skyline.) A USO was built on this location In World War II for white servicemen at Camp Wolters. The USO building was turned over to the city at the end of the war, and became known as the North Oak Community Center. Preservation efforts are underway [in 2008] to restore the Community Center.
Date: 1900?

Lower End of Mesquite St.

Description: A view of Mesquite Street (in 2008: NE 1st Avenue), taken in 1910, and looking south-east. The scene shows horse-drawn wagons loaded with cotton bales. Electrical lines are visible. The building at the northeast corner of East Hubbard Street and South Mesquite Street is the D.M. Howard Block. D. M Howard was the first of five Howard brothers to come to Mineral Wells and establish businesses. There was a Dry Goods store on the left end of the building, a millinery shop above it, and a grocery store was in the building to the right. Later the J.M. Belcher Furniture occupied the building; and still later, R&W Furniture. Demolition of the building began March 17 of 1975 to make room for the Savings and Loan Building and a parking lot. The First State Bank now [2007] occupies this entire block.
Date: 1900-05?

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

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.
Date: 1901/1902

[The Donkey Trail up East Mountain - 1901]

Description: A trail ride, going up East Mountain on burros, is pictured here. The participants listed on back of picture are: "Jessie Padgett - Dallas, Mr. Oscar Levin, Miss [unidentified], Mr. Coy Wimberly - Tyler, Miss [unidentified], Miss Burriss - Terrel, Mr. Jacobs - Atlanta, Lilian Webster - Dallas, Raymond Caruth - Dallas, Johnetta Armstrong - Dallas, Mr. Cousins - Tyler, Maggie Street - Dallas, Katie Elliott - Dallas, Miss Hyman - Min. Wells, Mr. Nance - Dallas, Mr. Brown - Tyler, Mary Roberts - Terrel, Will Caruty - Dallas. Mineral Wells, June 11, 1901." Burro rides on the Donkey Trail up East Mountain were a popular pastime around the turn of the twentieth century.
Date: June 11, 1901