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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?

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?

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

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.
Date: 1905/1909

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 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?

[Mineral Wells' First Public School Erected in 1884]

Description: This rock structure is now [2008] a museum dedicated to the preservation of the history of the city. There was some construction around the school at the time of this photograph, probably due to the building of Mineral Wells' first high school, the West Ward School, on the same lot, next door to and north of the little Rock School in 1902.
Date: 1902?

[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?

[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?

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?

Old Elmhurst Park , Allen & Charles,1907

Description: Two people are shown standing on the wooden bridge at Elmhust Park, Mineral Wells, in 1907. A holograph inscription on the photograph that reads "Old Elmhurst Park, Allen & Charles, 1907", probably refers to the man and boy in the picture. Elmhurst Park, a very popular recreation area during its heyday, was located in southwest Mineral Wells at the end of the streetcar line. Patrons walked from the streetcar (in the background) across the wooden bridge to the Casino and other attractions.
Date: 1907

[The St. Nicholas Hotel]

Description: A group of men stand in front of the St. Nicholas Hotel. A colophon at the lower right designates this picture as a photographic souvenir from Minerals Wells, taken by Dan W. Evans. The building had a varied history. It was first (in 1904) an unnamed two-and-one-half-story sanitarium, then re-named the St. Nicholas Hotel, and then later it became the Delaware Hotel. It was located at N. Oak and NE 3rd Street. The building was eventually consumed by fire on October of 1907. The back of photograph has a T and P Railway logotype and this information about the Jericho Fine Photo Company: "Mountain and Donkey Groups, View Souvenirs and Scenery of Min-Wells, Kodak Supplies and Finishing, Button and Stamp Photos a Specialty. Dan W. Evans Prop. Min Wells, Tex."
Date: 1907?
Creator: Dan W. Evans

[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?

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?

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?

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?

[A Group of Hikers]

Description: This photograph shows group of two young men and six ladies on an outing in 1905. Note the walking "canes" held by several of the ladies. They appear to be resting at the souvenir photograph stand on the mountain trail about half-way to the top of East Mountain. Hiking to the top of East Mountain was a popular pastime for health seekers in the "City Built on Water" around the turn of the century.
Date: 1905

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?

Daniel Photo 1907

Description: Shown is a group of seven women (riding "sidesaddle" as was the fashion for women at the time), two men and a boy, all riding donkeys. A handwritten note on the photograph's mat identifies it as: "Daniel Photo 1907." The identities of the people are unknown, but the caption suggests this could have been a Daniel family outing. Riding donkeys over the "mountains" of Mineral Wells was a popular pastime of the day. The picture appears to have been taken atop East Mountain in Mineral Wells, which was a popular destination. Souvenir photographs of of the donkey trails survive from the early days. [There was a Daniel's Studio located in the 200 block of N. Oak Avenue in the early days of Mineral Wells, and this photograph is likely to have come from that collection. In which case, the group shown here could have been unrelated.]
Date: 1907

Texas Carlsbad Wells, Mineral Wells, Texas

Description: Shown here is another picture of the Texas Carlsbad Wells, Mineral Wells, Texas. The Carlsbad was one of the early mineral water drinking pavilions in "the city built on water," located at 415 NW 1st Avenue, directly across the street and west of the first Crazy Well pavilion. The Carlsbad slogan was: "Makes a man love HIS wife, Makes a wife love HER husband, Robs the divorce court of its business, Takes the temper out of red-headed people, Puts ginger into ginks and pepper into plodders." The Carlsbad was on the Mineral Wells Lakewood Park Scenic Railway Line. Gasoline-powered trolleys, known as the "Dinky Cars", operated at 15-minute intervals between Mineral Wells and Lake Pinto from 1905 to 1909.
Date: 1905?

Gibson Well, Mineral Wells, Texas

Description: The Gibson Well, in the 700 block of NW 2nd Avenue, was one of the first wells in Mineral Wells to establish a drinking pavilion for the convenience of its customers. In time it became one of the largest pavilions and parks in the city. The gasoline-powered "Dinky cars" of the Mineral Wells Lakewood Park Scenic Railway passed the Gibson Well (from 1905 to 1909) every quarter hour on their journey to Lake Pinto. The "Dinky car" tracks are barely visible in this photograph, but the well's extensive gardens had not yet been developed at this time. Drinking and bathing in the mineral water was believed to alleviate a variety of ailments and restore the body to health.
Date: 1905?

West Ward School Mineral Wells, Texas

Description: This photograph illustrates a view from the east of the West Ward School at the time of its completion in 1902. It was located just north of Mineral Well's first public school, the "Little Rock School", at 205 NW 5th Avenue. West Ward housed first through twelfth grades. Mineral Well's first high school graduating class (four students) graduated from here in 1905. High School classes were moved from here to the East Ward School when it was completed in 1906. Only elementary school classes were taught here at the time West Ward school was torn down, about 1930. The Lilian Peek Cottage, Texas' first free-standing Home Economics building, was built by the W.P.A. in 1937 just to the north of where the West Ward School had been located.
Date: 1902

[The Crazy Well]

Description: 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.
Date: 1908?