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[The Rock School Bell]
The "Little Rock School" was Mineral Wells' first public school, built in 1884. The school bell, mounted in a bell tower atop the building, called students to class by ringing 10 minutes before school time; and again at the beginning of the class period. It is now currently on display at the Little Rock School Museum, dedicated to preserving the history of Mineral Wells. This picture is found on page 172 of A. F. Weaver's book "TIME WAS In Mineral Wells", First Edition, with a notation: "The original bell for the old 'Rock School' was found years later in the water department warehouse. R. L. (Pete) Cook is on the left and Derrell Stricklin is on the right."
Stamps & Phillipt [sic] Demonstrating Their Automatic
Stamps and Phillips, inventors, demonstrate their Storm Alarm invention. Note that "Phillips" is spelled with one "l" and a "t" on the hand-written caption. The car is sitting in front of the second Carlsbad drinking pavilion on W. Watts Street (now NW 4th Street.) The photograph was taken during the 1920's.
[Three Women and a Man In Front of a Car]
Three unknown women and a man are shown standing in front of a large automobile. The man sports a celluloid collar & a straw hat. One lady carries what appears to be a reticule, another an umbrella. Benches are visible behind them all. The date of the picture is also unknown, but the early 1920's is conjectured.
[The Zappe Home -- NW 4th Avenue]
Trees in full foliage (the photograph was taken in July of 1975) obscure the Zappe House on NW 4th Avenue. This Tudor-style home with a native sandstone porch was originally built in 1929 by Mr. R.S. (Bob) Dalton, a pioneer rancher and developer of the Dalton oilfield in north Palo Pinto County. Dr. H. Arthur Zappe, a local dentist, member of the Texas State Board of Dental Examiners, and former mayor of Mineral Wells, bought the house in 1947. The house is currently [2009] owned by David Adams. There are arched entrances throughout the house, leaded and stained-glass windows, French doors, stippled stucco walls and doors that are inlaid with mahogany panels. In addition to fireplaces, the house obtains heat from gas-fired steam radiators.
The Thatch
This photograph presents a conundrum. The building itself appears to be an eclectic mixture of Gothic Revival and Queen Anne (Spindle work subclass) styles. Advertising copy from around the picture relates that The Thatch was operated by Mrs. W. G. Wright. The building was said to be located "Within one block of the famous Gibson and Sangcura pavilions" (the 700 block of NW 2nd Avenue and the 800 block of NW 2nd Avenue, respectively). Polk's Directory for 1909 fails to record The Thatch, or Mrs. Wright, as also fail the directories for 1920, 1924, and 1927. No mention of the Thatch appears in A.F. Weaver's "Time was in Mineral Wells...." The unpaved roads in front of the hotel suggest that the picture was taken before 1914. Copy around the picture (not visible here) remark that the building was "Erected two years ago", but no firm date may be deduced from that information.
[The Thompson House, at 215 NE 2nd Street]
Shown here is a photograph of the front of the Thompson House (later the "Cunningham House"), a two-story, Queen Anne-style home located at 215 NE 2nd Street in Mineral Wells, Texas, just north of the Baker Hotel. Architectural elements include decorative woodwork around the eaves in the gable ends and across the front porch, and cutaway bays on the left of the photograph. A truncated tower serves in place of the full tower that is characteristic of Queen Anne styles.
[The Texas Carlsbad Well Slogan]
A picture of the slogan posted in the Texas Carlsbad Well pavilion with "proof" that a Cadillac, with its radiator filled with mineral water, was rejuvenated with enough "pep" to pass a Chevrolet. Please note: The first Cadillac V-8 engine was introduced in 1914 as the 'Type 51' engine, so this photograph may be dated to 1914 or thereafter. The "Over" section is not illustrated. It probably contained more braggadocio---or, perhaps, what happened next to the two cars.
Thompson-Cunningham Home
This picture is, apparently, a page distributed during a 1975 "Tour of Homes." It is best viewed and read when enlarged on the computer screen. The picture is a copy of the one used on page 141 of "Time Was..." by A. F. Weaver. This house, at 215 NE 2nd Street, is Queen Anne style, spindle work sub-type. The copy refers to a "Cupola" on the house, but cupolas were not a part of Queen Anne architecture. The house seems to have, however, a truncated tower. It was restored in 2006 by Bill Pratt, Jr.
[Unloading Grain From Box Cars]
This picture depicts men unloading grain from box cars at the Mineral Wells railroad yards into horse-drawn wagons. During the days if the Great Depression years of the 1930's, grain and cotton were the principal cash crops of farmers around Mineral Wells, and the WMW&NW (Weatherford, Mineral Wells and Northwest) Railroad was a prime shipper of the crops to market. This photograph is featured on page 92 of A.F. Weaver's "Time Was in Mineral Wells," second edition.
The Kingsley
The Kingsley was built on the side of East Mountain around NW 7th Street, and was eventually destroyed by fire. The legend reads "The Kingsley, Mineral Wells Texas." This photograph appears on page 102 of A. F. Weaver's pictorial history book, "TIME WAS In Mineral Wells..." Second Edition, 1988.
[The Woodmen of the World - 1911]
The picture was taken in 1911 during the Woodmen of the World convention. It shows the backside of the Crazy Flats, before the first Crazy Hotel sections were constructed. The buildings in the background are the four wings of the Crazy Well Water Company, "The Crazy Flats," where rooms for rent were also available. The first Crazy Hotel was built the following year, 1912, on the location where this convention gathering is pictured.
U.S. O. Club, Mineral Wells, Texas
The only information available about this photograph is solely the legend on it, identifying it as the U.S.O. Club of Mineral Wells, Texas. It is obviously a drawing of a future building, but further details in regard to this club would be welcome.
[The Tygrett House]
The Tygrett Hotel, built as a Room-and-Board Hotel about 1910, is still [2008] located at 415 NW 4th Street. The house is named "Silk Stocking Row" at this time [2008], and is currently Mineral Wells' only Bed and Breakfast Inn. The house is Queen Anne style, free classic sub-type. Note the unusual two-story wrap-around porch and the the polygonal tower. The Palladian windows and classic columns are characteristic of this sub-type. A. F. Weaver reminisces that he learned how to play the piano at this house. This photograph appears on page 105 of the "Time Was"..., Second Edition.
[The W.O.W. (Woodmen on the World) Drill Team]
This picture shows the Woodmen of the World Drill Team, taken on June 19, 1947. A caption on the back of the photograph reads: WOW DRILL TEAM 6-19-47---- Herman Tolbert, Capt.--LEFT TO RIGHT: Front row: Walter Carter, Gene Lee, Jimmy Brandenburg, Charlie Davis, Bill Teichman, Idys Cox, Jr., Boyce Harvey, Billy Brooks. Back Row: Melton Brewton, Walter Moore, Hayden Hughes, Bazil Brewton, Unknown [heavily underlined, with small lacuna, also underlined, following] Roy Alderson, Roy Brewton and Eldred Fryer. A further caption, rotated 90 degrees to the first reads: "Picture taken in Convention Hall." On the front of the photograph is handwritten: "phillips [sic] photog-aphic [sic] Service Abilene, Texas" in white ink. The photograph appears in A.F. Weaver's "TIME WAS in Mineral Wells" on page 165.
[D. W. Griffith]
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.
[A View of NE 1st Avenue]
In this view of NE 1st Avenue, the Old Post Office Building is shown at the end of the street and at the left of the picture. It is now [2007] The Woman's Club. The Baker Hotel (apparently under construction) can be seen at the far right of the picture. The Southwestern Bell Telephone Company building in the center of the picture sits across NE 1st Street, and to the north of the Baker.
Visitors Arriving in Our City
The boy shown near the center of the picture is 10-year-old George Calvin Hazelwood, who was a newsboy at the time. The man beside the boy is Louis Farris, who worked for the Hazelwood and C. W. Massie families of Palo Pinto. They are, in 1920, meeting the train to pick up the daily newspapers. The crowd is typical of the week-end visitors arriving from the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. The Weatherford, Mineral Wells & Northwestern Railway Company reported 190,210 passengers for the year 1920. (This information came from page 92 of Art Weaver's "Time Was in Mineral Wells.")
The Piedmont Hotel [The First Piedmont Hotel]
We have here a picture (perhaps an early photograph) of the first Piedmont Hotel,where the Baker Hotel Garage sits presently [2015]. It was built by a colonel R.W. Duke of Weatherford, Texas. He purchased the block and built this frame hotel. Later on, a large brick building was put in its place. This photograph (which was apparently taken from "Cutter's Guide to Mineral Wells") appears on page 104 of A.F. Weaver's book "TIME WAS In Mineral Wells," Second Edition, 1988.
Points of Interest in and About Mineral Wells
A photograph of a collage in a Mineral Wells Area Chamber of Commerce advertisement includes a postcard that pictures points of interest in and about the city. Pictured are: An aerial view of Camp Wolters, the Recreation Center showing a theater, gymnasium, and PX, with an inset of the base hospital; Possum Kingdom Dam and part of the eponymous lake; a local beauty queen; an aerial view of downtown Mineral Wells, Texas; Lake Mineral Wells (with the island that was inundated when the dam was subsequently raised); a view from Inspiration Point south of the city; and the Baker Hotel. The text publicizes the various assets and tourist attractions to be found in and around the "City Built on Water." One photograph in the collage is upside-down.
Piedmont Hotel - [The Second Piedmont Hotel]
This photograph occurs on page 104 of "Time Was in Mineral Wells" (first edition) by A. F. Weaver. The caption reads: "The Second Piedmont Hotel located on 2nd Avenue [sic] and East Hubbard was demolished to give room for the Baker Hotel Garage. It was used as an office for the Army Engineers during the construction of Possum Kingdom Dam." This hotel was probably located on the same site as the first Piedmont Hotel, which was built by a Colonel Duke of Weatherford, Texas, (a two story wooden structure) a picture of which is also on page 104 of the same edition of "Time Was in Mineral Wells."
Roundtree Sanitarium
"The Roundtree Sanitarium, located at the corner of SE Fifth Avenue and SE Third Street, was later owned by Dr. Hugh Milling and operated as the Milling Sanitarium. Part of this house is still standing." (The text was taken from page 129 of A. F. Weaver's :"TIME WAS In Mineral Wells...") The eclectic architecture (The main building Prairie, the porches Neoclassical) is very interesting.
[Letter from Colonel Arnold A. Berglund to the U.S. Army Primary Helicopter School, September 23, 1966]
Letter from Colonel Arnold A. Berglund to the U.S. Army Primary Helicopter School congratulating them on their 10th anniversary. On the back of the letter is a stamp giving the Boyce-Ditto Public Library's address.
[A Guest Room in the Baker Hotel]
This photograph shows a guest room in the Baker Hotel, when it was operating. Please note the corner sofa, shag carpet, round coffee-table. Please note also the smoking stand at one end of the sofa--an amenity not encountered in modern hotel rooms. The decor suggests the late 1950's or the early 1960's. It is said that the door of the room had an apparatus in it that automatically turned off the lights and the fan when the key was turned in it. The method used has not yet [2016] been fathomed. "Smart" keys (and computers that took their advice) were still in the future, but it was within the technology of the period to accomplish such wonders as rooms that automatically came to life hen the door was opened.. It is conjectured that a mercury switch in the door accomplished the feat.
[Baker Hotel Grounds' View]
Here is a view of Baker Hotel from across its grounds. The style of the hotel is Spanish Colonial Revival, which William Gross, Jr. states in his book "Mineral Wells History: A Sampler" was a favorite of Mr. T. B.Baker. Note: There are umbrellas around swimming pool, but the swimming pool itself is out of view. Foliage includes Canna flowers and cedar trees. An unidentified woman and child are in foreground. The Baker Hotel had an ill-starred opening, as it occurred only weeks after the infamous stock market crash of 1929. The marketing of Crazy Crystals had been blamed for the distress, because fewer people needed to make the trek to Mineral Wells for the waters. They could produce the same thing in their own homes. However, no proof of that assertion has been found, and the general malaise of the Great Depression probably should be blamed. The owners of the Baker Hotel filed for bankruptcy In 1932. On April 30, 1963, Earl Baker formally closed the hotel. The property went under the hammer that August. The rest is history.
[The Baker Hotel at Night]
This picture shows the Baker--in its great days--at night. According to William O. Gross, Jr. ("Mineral wells, Texas: A Sampler, 1997) the hotel is properly named "Hotel Mineral Wells", the name "Baker" refers to the Baker Hotel Corporation of San Antonio, Texas, which operated nine hotels at the time. Legend has it that a female guest jumped to her death. Her ghost is supposed to be resident in the building, but substantial evidence for the existence of the ghost remains to this date [2014] lacking. A legend on the front of the photograph states that it was colorized by A. F. Weaver in 1940.
Welcome Sign And Lookout Tower: 1929
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 [2008], 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.
[The Baker Hotel Roof Garden]
This photograph is identified as "Baker Hotel Roof Garden February 1999." Two chandeliers are still in place on the ceiling, but the missing floor boards, the peeling paint, and the deserted condition of the room are indicative of the sad condition of a once beautiful ballroom. A ballroom on the twelfth floor was titled "The Cloud Room" by virtue of the clouds painted on its ceiling. A picture of it has yet [2014] to be found.
The Bank of Mineral Wells
The Bank of Mineral Wells, the first of its kind, was located at 102 SE 1st Avenue. The quality of this picture is parlous: The upper story of the building appears to have been heavily retouched by an unknown hand.
[A Baseball Team]
This picture shows a men's baseball team in Mineral Wells, but the identification of both the team and the men are unknown. Ike Zablosky (sometimes spelled Zabronski), a Russian immigrant, arrived in America in 1906. He entered the fur-trading business in Mineral Wells, and is credited with naming the Possum Kingdom area when a customer inquired about some premium pelts. Zablosky replied that he had none at the time, but "When my boys return from the possum kingdom, I'm sure they will have some." Zablosky operated a class C professional league baseball team (the Resorters) in Mineral Wells. He became owner of the first professional baseball team in Dallas, later in life. The Chicago White Sox (J. C. McClure was their official photographer) are known to have held their Spring Training camp in Mineral Wells in 1911, and again during a three-year stretch of 1916, 1917, and 1918. It has not been established whether the players shown in this picture represent the Resorters or the White Sox teams. The man in the background, apparently in a World War I uniform, is shown holding an instrument (probably a bugle) whose function has not been determined.
[The Chautauqua Hall]
This picture shows a side view of the Chautauqua Hall, once located on the side of Welcome Mountain, where the Jaycee Youth Center is now [2010] located (behind the Grand Theater.) It was taken, perhaps,in late spring or early summer--possibly in the morning. The photograph is featured in "TIME WAS in Mineral Wells..." on page 50. The building departed existence in 1912, after only about seven years of service. The Chautauqua movement began in 1874 in an eponymous town in New York (it is still there). It was conceived as a form of adult education, which featured a set of touring lectures. Before the advent of moving pictures and the radio, Chautauqua was immensely popular. For example, William Jennings Bryan (he of the famous "Cross of Gold" speech)--and other people--gave various lectures and orations at this Chautauqua hall. H.L. Mencken ("Prejudices:First Series", published in 1919) speaks disparagingly of "...oafish, witless buffoonishness [sic] of the chautauquas [sic] and the floor of Congress...." Mr. Mencken, though, had a reputation for disparaging everything (that was American) in his sight. This remark seems to be his only direct comment on the movement. He makes reference to Chautauqua only tangentially otherwise. One might surmise, therefore, that television (which supplanted Chautauqua) followed a parallel route in its later years.
[A Charter for the Interurban Road and Street Car Line]
The Mineral Wells Electric System operated two electric street cars in the city of Mineral Wells from 1907 to 1913; one on Hubbard Street from NE 17th Avenue to SW 6th Avenue (later part of the Bankhead Highway), and one on Oak Avenue from NE 17th Street to SE 11th Street, thence Southwest to Elmhurst Park. However, two gasoline-powered 70 passenger (all-passenger--no freight) motor cars were operated by the Weatherford, Mineral Wells and Northwestern Railroad (WMW&NW) between Graford, Mineral Wells, Ft. Worth and Dallas from 1912 to 1935. An electric interurban line was apparently the brainchild of a "Major" Beardsley, who had founded the trolley line in Mineral Wells. Although there was great enthusiasm for it (as reported in the 1906 Weatherford paper), the interurban line was never built. The entire project was declared defunct in 1908, with the bankruptcy of "Major" Beardsley, and the sale of his assets. The second part of this notice--the Army-Navy Sanitarium--never received final approval by Congress, either. The source of the notice remains [2017] unknown.
[A Building Being Demolished]
This building, once the second Post Office, had stood at the corner of 201 SE 1st Avenue and Hubbard Street. This building (as the photograph shows) was subsequently demolished. A Piggly Wiggly grocery store was located on its site. As of March 2, 2009, the place was occupied by the Dollar General Store. This picture may be found in A.F. Weaver's "Time Once was in Mineral Wells" on page 149
[The Budweiser Clydesdale Team]
A scene in the 200 block of North Oak, looking towards the south on Oak Avenue, taken in the 1930's is illustrated here. (Shadows indicate the picture was taken in the early morning.) The Budweiser Clydesdale team was introduced to the public in 1933, and is shown here along the 200 block west. The "CRAZY" sign that spanned Hubbard Ave. (now [2016] US Highway 180) a block behind the Clydesdale team was erected in 1933 also, probably later in the same year the picture was taken. A two-story garage/office building, the former Seaman's Pontiac Agency (still standing in 2010) is visible alongside the Anheuser-Busch beer wagon. Other businesses noted are: Dr. M. S. Green, Chiropractor; Kay's Cafe. The prominent building behind the Clydesdale team is still standing at the corner of Hubbard Street and Oak Avenue. Advertising signs are also noted: Texaco, Mobilgas, and a sign on the seaman's building for Crazy Water Crystals.
[A Buffet Table]
A buffet table, presumably in the Baker Hotel, is shown ready for guests (who are absent) to use it. Its opulence would reflect the quality of the hotel. The fact that the photograph is in color suggests that it was taken in the late twentieth century. The exact location of this buffet table is [2014] unknown. An ice sculpture of a sleigh and reindeer suggests a Christmas occasion. Further details are lacking.
[The Arch] "Welcome Ye Editors"
This picture of the arch, erected to welcome the members of the Texas Press Association (who held a meeting in the nearby Chautauqua auditorium--visible in the background), was taken from East Hubbard Street, looking North on Mesquite Street. The Texas Press Association held its meeting on May 21-23, 1908. A note with the photograph states "The group of people were attending the Odd Fellows Convention and/or Press Convention." The note also states that "Bill Cameron (Who was an editor of the Mineral Wells Newspaper. He was about 21 at this time) has an Odd Fellows Apron [sic] on. Aprons, however, are not in evidence in the picture. The men are shown assembled under the standard of a lodge (on the right-hand side, whose legend is barely legible), and they are wearing variously-decorated tippets (except, of course, for the man in the center, who is wearing a sash, and the men at the ends, three of whom wear sashes; and the others, who are wearing uniforms, bandoleers and plumed fore-and-aft hats). The organization has been tentatively identified as the Eagles, whose lodge was said to be organized in Mineral Wells in 1906.
[The Damron Hotel Fire, 8 of 21: An Early Stage of the Fire, Looking North]
This view of the spectacular holiday [Christmas] fire that consumed the Damron Hotel completely on December 22, 1975, was taken from SW 1st Street at the southwest corner of the block in the early stages of the fire. The Damron Hotel was built as the Colonial Hotel in 1906 by J. T. Holt for his second wife. She adamantly refused to live in the country. The name was changed in 1917 when it was traded to Agnew and Bessie Damron. It was located at 109 W. Hubbard. The fire received extensive photographic coverage.
[The Damron Hotel Fire, 9 of 21: Firemen and a Fire Truck Near the North Side of Budiling]
This photograph shows another view of the early response to the holiday conflagration that consumed the Damron Hotel on December 22, 1975. The Damron was built in 1906, during Mineral Wells' heyday as a popular resort city. Originally named the Colonial Hotel by J. T. Holt, and built for his second wife, the name of the hotel was changed in 1917 when Mr. Holt traded the hotel to Agnew and Bessie Damron. The hotel was located at 109 W. Hubbard, and the spectacular fire received extensive photographic coverage.
[The Damron Hotel Fire, 4 of 21, Fire Inside the Structure]
This is another view of the spectacular fire that consumed the Damron Hotel on December 22, 1975. The hotel was built as the Colonial Hotel in 1906 by rancher J. T. Holt for his second wife. The name was changed in 1917 when the hotel was traded to Agnew and Bessie Damron . The fire received extensive photographic coverage. Note the height of the flames in this picture, taken in the later stages of the fire.
[The Damron Hotel Fire, 5 of 21: View from the Rear of the Building]
The Damron Hotel was built in 1906 as the Colonial Hotel by J. T. Holt. At one time, both Kiwanis and the Rotary service Clubs met in the dining room that was located on the west side of the main floor. Formerly located at 109 W. Hubbard Street, the hotel burned completely on December 22, 1975 in a spectacular fire that was extensively photographed. Shown here is one of many views of the fire.
[The Damron Hotel Fire, 7 of 21: The Parking Lot Behind the Hotel]
This is yet another view of the spectacular fire that consumed the Damron Hotel during the 1975 Christmas Season. The Damron was originally built as the Colonial Hotel in 1906 by rancher J.T. Holt for his second wife. The name was changed in 1917 when the hotel was traded to Agnew and Bessie Damron. The fire was covered extensively by free-lance photographers. The hotel was formerly located on at 109 W. Hubbard Street, on the corner of the block that included SW 1st Avenue and SW 1st Street. Spot fires began on many nearby buildings, but they were extinguished quickly by volunteers atop those same buildings. This picture was taken during the later stages of the fire, and shows the gutted rear of the hotel, with huge flames still burning in the front portion of the building.
[The Damron Hotel Fire, 3 of 21: Baker Hotel in Background]
The Damron Hotel (very popular in the resort city of Mineral Wells through the periods of the "Roaring Twenties", The Great Depression and World War II) was originally built as The Colonial Hotel in 1906 by J.T. Holt. Mr. Holt also owned a hardware store at the back of the hotel facing S. Oak Avenue, and a one-room buggy showroom between the hardware store and the hotel. The hotel was traded to Agnew and Bessie Damron around 1917 , and the name was changed to reflect the new ownership. Mr. Holt sold the hardware store to his manager, John Davidson. The Damron Hotel and Davidson Hardware burned completely on December 22, 1975. This picture of the fire was taken looking east on Hubbard Street. The Baker Hotel in the left middle of the photograph is to the north of most of the smoke.
[The Damron Hotel Fire, 10 of 21]
Another in the extensive series of photographs that covered the spectacular holiday fire that completely consumed the Damron Hotel during the 1975 Christmas season is shown here. This picture shows some of the early response to the fire. Note, for example, the electrical utility truck, which has arrived to cut off electrical power to the buildings. The Damron Hotel (which was built during the days when Mineral Wells was a resort) was originally named the Colonial Hotel. It was located at 109 W. Hubbard. The spectacular fire received extensive photographic coverage. The sign "Pemberton Appliance and Plumbing", located across the street west, is visible. Pemberton's also suffered damage in the fire, but by 7:30 the next day, workmen were installing plate glass in it.
[The Damron Hotel Fire, 2 of 21: View South/Southeast ]
The Colonial Hotel was built in 1906 by Mr. J. T. Holt for his second wife. Mr. Holt also owned a hardware store on S. Oak at the back of the hotel. The name of the hotel was changed to The Damron Hotel around 1917 when Mr. Holt traded it to Agnew and Bessie Damron. A hardware store, hard by, was sold to Mr. Holt's manager, John Davidson. The Damron Hotel, located at 109 W. Hubbbard Street, along with Davidson Hardware, burned completely on December 22, 1975. Please note the Christmas decoration, symbol of the season, on the telephone pole above the fire truck. The main entrance to the hotel is faintly visible through the dense smoke to the rear of the fire truck. The Crazy Hotel can be seen at the lower left edge of the picture.
[The Damron Hotel Fire, 6 of 21: Bystanders Observing the Fire]
The Damron Hotel was destroyed (on December 22, 1975) in a spectacular fire that received extensive photographic coverage. The hotel was located at 109 W. Hubbard. This is another picture of that immense conflagration. All the firemen answered a call that came in at 9:08 on the morning of the fire. The City of Weatherford also sent men and equipment over to help. Volunteers who were not themselves firemen also helped. Other buildings that suffered damage were Pemberton's (an appliance store across the street and west of the hotel), and the hardware store (Bought by Bob Sturtivant) next to the hotel. Note the height of the flames in this picture taken in the later stages of the fire.
[The Damron Hotel Fire, 1 of 21, Dec. 22, 1975]
A fire destroyed the Damron Hotel, December 22, 1975. The hotel was located at 109 West Hubbard Street, facing north, before the unfortunate conflagration. The fire also destroyed Davidson Hardware, located in the same block.
[The Damron Hotel Fire, 16 of 21: Black Smoke Billowing Over Businesses]
This picture illustrates the photograph of the huge column of black smoke accompanying the Damron Hotel fire that completely destroyed the hotel on December 22, 1975 in Mineral Wells. It is viewed from a narrow street or alleyway that has buildings lining either side; a Chevrolet truck is parked on the right side of the image.
[The Damron Hotel Fire, 13 of 21: Christmas Decorations on Light Poles]
The Damron Hotel (which was built in 1906 during the days that Mineral Wells was a popular resort city) burned completely on December 22, 1975. It was located at 109 W. Hubbard Street. By 11:30 (some two hours after the fire started), the Davidson Hardware company, next door, was engulfed in flames. George's Man's Shop and Hill's style Shop were also damaged.
[The Damron Hotel Fire, 17 of 21: Two Individuals on the Street Northwest of the Fire]
Shown here is another view of the plume of thick black smoke at the height of the fire that completely destroyed the Damron Hotel December 22, 1975, along with two hard-hatted individuals (presumably fire-fighters) standing in the street. It was a very popular hotel during the mineral water industry's heyday through the "Roaring Twenties", Great Depression and World War II. By the time of the fire, however, an informant remarked--verbally--that no respectable lady permitted herself to be found within a block of the hotel. Sic transit, it would appear, gloria mundi.
[The Damron Hotel Fire, 18 of 21: Individual in Front of the Burning Hotel]
The Damron Hotel, built as the Colonial Hotel in 1906 during the days that Mineral Wells was a popular resort, burned completely on December 22, 1975. Shown here is another view of the front entrance to the hotel as flames burst through the front wall of the building. The gesturing individual with the hard hat has not been identified.
Colonial Hotel
The Colonial Hotel at 115 W. Hubbard Street was built by rancher J.T. Holt for his second wife, who would not live in the country, despite the fact that he had bought a ranch (near Mineral wells) of five thousand acres about the year 1900. The hotel was traded to Agnew and Bessie Damron for a ranch about 1917, and its name was changed to The Damron Hotel. The popular hotel burned down December 22, 1975 along with several other adjoining businesses.