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[The Damron Hotel Fire, 8 of 21: An Early Stage of the Fire, Looking North]

Description: 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 in exchange for a ranch. It was located at 109 W. Hubbard. The fire received extensive photographic coverage.
Date: December 22, 1975

[The Damron Hotel Fire, 7 of 21: The Parking Lot Behind the Hotel]

Description: This is 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 in exchange for a ranch. 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.
Date: December 22, 1975

[The Damron Hotel Fire, 6 of 21: Bystanders Observing the Fire]

Description: 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.
Date: December 22, 1975

[The Damron Hotel Fire, 4 of 21, Fire Inside the Structure]

Description: 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 in exchange for a ranch. The fire received extensive photographic coverage. Note the height of the flames in this picture, taken in the later stages of the fire.
Date: December 22, 1976

[The Damron Hotel Fire, 5 of 21: View from the Rear of the Building]

Description: 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.
Date: December 22, 1975

[The Damron Hotel Fire, 19 of 21, Two People Looking South from North]

Description: The Damron Hotel was built as the Colonial Hotel in 1906 during the heyday of Mineral Wells as a popular resort city. It burned completely on December 22, 1975. This picture shows the front entrance under a dark plume of black smoke, with flames breaking through the upper floors of the front wall. Two people (one with a hard hat, and one without)stand observing the proceedings.
Date: December 22, 1975

[The Damron Hotel Fire, 17 of 21: Two Individuals on the Street Northwest of the Fire]

Description: 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, one 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.
Date: December 22, 1975

[The Damron Hotel Fire, 15 of 21: Passenger Cars on a Back Street]

Description: The Damron Hotel, built in 1906 during the days that Mineral Wells was a popular resort spa, burned completely on December 22, 1975. It was located at 109 W. Hubbard Street. This picture shows the dense cloud of smoke that resulted from the holiday catastrophe. Westbound traffic on .S. Highway 180 had to be re-routed in order to avoid the clutter of debris that littered the street.
Date: December 22, 1975

[The Damron Hotel Fire, 14 of 21: Drifting Smoke From the Fire]

Description: The Damron Hotel, which was built during the days that Mineral Wells was a popular resort city, burned completely on December 22, 1975. It was located 109 W. Hubbard Street. This photograph was taken from about a block away from the scene, and shows the dense cloud of smoke that resulted from the fire. The hotel was built in 1906 by rancher J. T. Holt for his second wife because she insisted that she would not live in the country. Originally named the Colonial Hotel, the name was changed in 1917 when Mr. Holt traded it to Agnew and Bessie Damron for a ranch. In its heyday, both the Kiwanis and the Rotary Service Clubs once met in its dining room.
Date: unknown

[Dedication of the "Little Rock Schoolhouse" Museum: A Marker is Unveiled]

Description: A marker commemorating the conversion of Mineral Wells' first school to a museum. "The Little Rock Schoolhouse" was built in 1884, and though tuition was charged to the students to pay the teacher, the school building, itself, was built by the city. A granite marker to commemorate the conversion of the school to a museum was unveiled at this dedication.
Date: April 14, 1978

Crazy Hotel

Description: A postcard of the first Crazy Hotel, looking west-northwest, with part of a park visible at its east side is shown here. The photograph was given to A.F. Weaver by Margaret Tompkins. The entrance to the Crazy Hotel faced south on 100 NW 3rd Street, which is on the left side in this picture.
Date: unknown

Crazy Water Hotel

Description: 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 the hotel's owners, Carr and Hal Collins, that if they would advertise crazy water crystals over that "new-fangled" media, radio, that they could sell a boxcar-load of crystals a week. Carr sent his brother, Hal to Texas Quality Network (KTQN) to start a program that would make the crystals popular. By 1937, the Collins brothers were making about three million dollars by selling a boxcar-load of crystals each DAY! The idea of crystallizing the minerals in the water is probably not original, here. It is said that a person named Dunkle, who worked in the Piedmont Hotel, collected portions of mineral water that patrons of the hotel had not used , and warmed the water to put his aching feet in. One day, Dunkle was surprised to find that the water had evaporated, and the minerals had been left behind. He carefully collected the mineral residue, and sold it to Piedmont patrons at two dollars a bottle. Persons interested in more details are referred to Guy Fowler's book, "Crazy Water."
Date: unknown

Crazy Water Hotel

Description: 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--although a household phrase in its day--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.)
Date: unknown

Crazy Hotel

Description: The east side of the second Crazy Hotel in the 400 block of N. Oak Avenue is illustrated here. Across NE 3rd. street, to the left, is Renfro's Drugs (at 319 north Oak Street). The low building on the right is the Hotel's drinking pavilion, and has a sign on it proclaiming a public auction of homes, business sites and farm land to take place January 20-21-22. This is a rare view (from the North-East) of the north back side of the hotel. Cars, of the late 1930's, are double-parked and visible in the middle of the street along the east side of the Crazy. (Head-in angle parking in Mineral Wells was changed to parallel parking in 1938, shortly before America was drawn into World War II.)
Date: 1940?

Oak Street, Looking South

Description: This picture shows the 100 block of what is now N. Oak Avenue, looking south. The "Palace Saloon" sign is still visible in 2008. The Palo Pinto County Courthouse Annex currently [2010] occupies the building that once housed Poston's Dry Goods (just down the street from the Palace Saloon). Please note the absence of trolley tracks--or the festoon of wires required to keep its power-line in place. The unpaved street dates the photograph prior to 1914, and probably prior to the previous picture.
Date: 1914?

Carlsbad Well

Description: This picture, dated September 19, 1907, shows the Carlsbad Well at 415 NW 1st Avenue, and west of the Crazy Well drinking pavilion. It was one of the first drinking pavilions in Mineral Wells, and boasted that the water "Makes a man love HIS [sic] wife, makes a wife love HER [sic] husband/ Robs the divorce court of its business/ Takes the temper out of red-headed people/ Puts ginger into ginks/ and pepper into plodders."
Date: September 19, 1907

Company 1, 4th Texas Infantry

Description: Typed under this picture is the legend: "FIFTY YEARS AGO -- Co. 1, 4th Texas Infantry, was patrolling the Mexican Border. The company's home base was in Mineral Wells. Later it was called into federal service and designated as Co. 144th Infantry, 36th Division, with combat duty in France on the Meuse-Argonne Campaign and the Argonne Forest. In the picture is the company pet donkey, about to consume a copy of the Daily Index, on the left is Bill Cameron and right is Spencer Heath. The picture was made in Marathon, Texas in 1916." Bill Cameron was employed in various capacities by the "Mineral Wells Index" newspaper for many years. At the time of his death, 1976, he was its business manager. The image of the donkey chewing on the copy of the "Index" is a favorite picture shown in the "Index" to this day [2013]. It remains the subject of raucous humor in Mineral Wells.
Date: 1916

The Lamar Bath House

Description: The Lamar Bath House was part of a complex of buildings, the last of which was next door to the current First Methodist Church on NE 1st Street. In this picture, the first, or old, First Methodist Church, which was across NE 1st Street, north of the Lamar, can be seen at the far left. An engraving in the "Cutter's Guide to Mineral Wells" (originally published in 1893, re-printed in 2007) showed a wooden structure with a polygonal tower, from whose apex a flag flew. This photograph, therefore, must be of a newer building. The original Lamar Bath House, however, was sophisticated. It featured "[H]ot, cold, vapor, douche [shower] and Turkish electro-therapeutic (both faradic [sic] and galvanic [sic]) baths", and cooling rooms (segregated by sex) for its customers. Page 59 of A.F. Weaver's "Time Was in Mineral Wells" defines the Lamar property as consisting of several buildings in the same vicinity. The current Baker Hotel, at the corner of Hubbard and NE 1st Street, replaced all the Lamar buildings along with a couple of other businesses.
Date: unknown

Standard [Well and Amusement Park]

Description: Formerly the Vichy Well, it was re-named the Standard Well and Amusement Park. Note the large mineral water bottle sign in the lower right hand corner of the picture. The building was torn down during World War II, and replaced by USO Club. The North Oak Community Center is at this location as of 2008. Information about it was taken from A.F. Weaver "Time Was" page 67.
Date: 1942?

[Crystal Plant]

Description: 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
Date: 1930