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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?

The Star Well Water Company

Description: The Star Well Water Company was located in the 200 block of NE 1st Avenue (then called "Mesquite Street"). A. F. Weaver remarks on page 53 of "Time Was...," that "Selling mineral water and establishing bath houses was [sic] big business for 'The Nations Greatest Health Resort'."
Date: unknown

[The Carlsbad Well: First Building]

Description: The Carlsbad (also known as the Texas Carlsbad Well), one of the early drinking pavilions in Mineral Wells, was located at 415 NW 1st Avenue, directly across the street and west of the first Crazy Well pavilion. It was openled in 1901 by Lycurgus Smith, one of the people who claimed improvement of his health by drinking the mineral water. . The Carlsbad slogan was: "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." The pavilion was prominent in several pictures around the turn of the century; this picture--labeled "Sept. 19/07" in ink--was from an advertisement by the Yeager Drug Company. This early pavilion had been demolished by 1911, and replaced by a larger brick structure.
Date: September 19, 1907

Texas Carlsbad Well [3 of 3: People on Porch]

Description: The Texas Carlsbad Well, located at 415 NW 1st Avenue, was one of the early mineral water wells in Mineral Wells. It was located directly across the street, and west of the first Crazy Water Well drinking 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 Pavilion is prominent in several pictures taken in 1908, but this structure was demolished and replaced with a brick structure in 1911. This picture is slightly cropped but it is slightly sharper in certain areas than the previous two pictures.
Date: 1905?

Crazy Radio Theatre

Description: According to A. F. Weaver, in his book "Time was in Mineral Wells", the Crazy Radio Theatre broadcast from the lobby of the Crazy Hotel in Mineral Wells over the Texas Quality Network. The show's origin is said to be the selling of "Crazy Water Crystals." Identified are Hal Collins (Manager of the Crazy Hotel), Paul, Ludy, Dick, Jake, Slim. [No last names are given.] Please note the early 12-string steel guitar held by Paul.
Date: 1933?

[The Calvary Baptist Church in 1975]

Description: The Calvary Baptist Church, as it appeared in 1975, is shown here. Note the combined use of native stone and brick and the lack of a peaked roof. The upper part of the windows appear to be stained (or painted) glass. This one of a series of pictures of the church and parsonage, showing structural damage prior to their demolition. This native rock and red brick church faced south on SE 5th Street, and the white brick structure which replaced it is built on the same city block but faces west on SE 6th Avenue.
Date: 1975

Famous Mineral Water

Description: The Famous Water Company, founded by Ed Dismuke (still located at 215 NW 6th Street) has been restored, and still [2007] sells mineral water. The large concrete bottle depicts the original shape of the container of the product sold. Dismuke also established a plant on the east bank of Lake Pinto, west of Mineral Wells, to manufacture his "PRONTO-LAX" Crystals. He organized the Mineral Wells Lakewood Scenic Railway in partnership with local banker Cicero Smith, whose gasoline-powered "Dinky Cars" operated quarter-hourly between Lake Pinto and Mineral Wells from 1905 to 1909. The Famous Water Company currently sells three grades of water: Regular, full-strength mineral water; deep (400 ft.) well water; and deep-well water that has been ionized and filtered by reverse osmosis.
Date: 1970?

Lithia Wells

Description: The Lithia Wells and Drinking Pavilion was located on the southwest corner of the "Crazy Block." (400 NW 1st Avenue, the current [2008]location of the Crazy Retirement Home). The second Crazy Well Pavilion is the large building the upper left of the photograph. Note the three burros next to the horse. Riding burros up a trail on East Mountain was a popular tourist pastime, in addition to drinking and bathing in the mineral waters. The Mineral Wells Public Library was located in the Lithia Pavilion at one time. See also the preceding picture.
Date: 1908?

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?

"Where the Famous Crystals Are Made"

Description: This is a photograph of a building with a sign that says, "Famous Mineral Wells Crystal Plant." There is a hill, covered in trees, behind the building. Writing at the bottom of the image reads: "Where Famous Crystals Are Made." Ed Dismuke, a druggist from Waco, came to Mineral Wells for his health after his family physician told him he only had a "short time" to live. After miraculously regaining his health, which he credited to the mineral waters of his new hometown, he sold water by the drink at the Damron Hotel, later opening his own company, The Famous Water Company. He also opened The Famous Mineral Crystal Plant on the east side of Lake Pinto in partnership with local banker Cicero Smith. The two also organized The Mineral Wells Lakewood Park Scenic Railway with its two gasoline-powered "dinky cars" named "Esther" and "Susie" after Smith's daughters. This is a picture of the plant where Famous Crystals, labeled "Pronto Lax" were made. Dismuke had outlived the doctors who had told him he only had a short time to live when he died at the age of ninety-four.
Date: 1905?

[The Gibson Well- - Souvenir Photograph]

Description: This picture appears to be a souvenir photograph of the Gibson Well drinking pavilion and park, one of the earliest mineral water supply spots in Mineral Wells. It grew into one of the larger parks and pavilions in town. The gasoline-powered "Dinky Cars" of the Mineral Wells Lakewood Park Scenic Railway passed here every quarter-hour (from 1905 to 1909) on their journey to and from Lake Pinto. The Crazy Industries had acquired the property by 1938, and it became known as Crazy Park, a beautiful botanical park. The mineral water industry became a victim of the FDA and the wartime activities during World War II. As a result, the mineral water pavilions, along with other parts of the local health industry, died a slow death. The First Christian Church now occupies the site of the Gibson pavilion.
Date: 1910?

Gibson Well

Description: The discovery of mineral water, and its reported healing powers, sparked an influx of health-seeking visitors in 1881-82. A flurry of drilling activity resulted in incorporation of the city of Mineral Wells in 1882, as water was sought to satisfy the booming market; so much so that no one remembers the order in which the wells were drilled. The Gibson well, however, was one of the early ones. Located at 705 NW 2nd Avenue, it grew into one of the largest parks and drinking pavilions in town. The gasoline-powered "Dinky cars" of the Mineral Wells Lakewood Park Scenic Railway passed by it every quarter-hour, from 1905 to 1909, on their journeys to and from Lake Pinto. The Gibson property was acquired by the Crazy. It was known as the Crazy Park in 1938, and it was made into a beautiful botanical garden. It is currently the site of the First Christian Church.
Date: 1910?

[Blind Nellie at the Austin Well]

Description: Colonel W. R. Austin came from Kentucky to Palo Pinto County about 1880, and settled on Staggs Prairie. When an infection in his eye responded to mineral water treatment, he established the Austin Well, later operated by his son-in-law, Tom Sims. Blind Nellie was a fixture of the Austin Well for years. She had an interesting history: A cowboy rode her into town one day, and auctioned her off to the highest bidder, J.H. Coleman, who bid a dollar and a half for her. Then Bob Kyle took Coleman's bargain off his hands, but Colonel Austin was the one who profited most from her when he devised a method that used her to "pump" water from his well. This unique method of bringing water to the surface was an added attraction at the Austin. Instead of drawing it up by hand or using a power pump, Blind Nellie was trained to walk around in circles, pulling the water up from below. She would pause long enough for the water to empty and, as if on a hidden cue, would go around again as the receptacle was lowered back into the well, repeating her performance accurately each time. In later years, when she became confused in her ritual, she was allowed to retire. In retirement, however, Blind Nellie selected a place in her pasture, and during the working hours of the day she repeated the ritual of walking her circle in a size corresponding to the one she had walked for so many years at the Austin Well. She died in 1912.
Date: 1900?

[The Carlsbad Well: Second Building]

Description: The original Carlsbad water pavilion, a two-story wooden building at 415 NW 1st Avenue (directly across the street and west of the Crazy pavilion) was built in the mid-1890's. This second pavilion, a red-brick building, replaced the original one at the same location. The Mineral Wells Scenic Railway ran its gasoline-powered "Dinky Cars" from 1905 to 1909 each quarter-hour on tracks that led north on N.W. 1st Avenue, and turned west on NW 6th Street. The Ben Hur was the last and largest of the "Dinky Cars". This picture was taken before the stained glass windows were installed in the pavilion, and before the Dinky Car tracks were removed. The pavilion was taken over by the Crazy Hotel for its laundry and dry cleaning in the 1930's after the Carlsbad closed.
Date: 1908?

[The Texas Carlsbad Well Slogan]

Description: 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.
Date: 1914?

Gibson Well, Mineral Wells, Texas

Description: Shown here is an early picture of the Gibson Well drinking pavilion, located in the 700 block of NW 2nd Avenue. Note the horse and buggy. Note also the condition of the (unpaved) street. Finally, please note the "Dinky Car" track in the lower right corner of the picture. The gasoline-powered motor cars traveled at fifteen-minute intervals between the city and Lake Pinto from 1905 to 1909. The tracks remained in place some years after. The Gibson Well pavilion was expanded and a park was added on its west. The Christian Church (built of limestone rocks from the historic cattle pens on Dillingham Prairie) now occupies the entire city block on which the Gibson Well was formerly located.
Date: 1908?

Texas Carlsbad Well [ 2 of 3: People on Porch]

Description: An early picture (probably taken from a newspaper) of the Texas Carlsbad Drinking Pavilion, located at 415 NW 1st Avenue. It stood across the street west of the Crazy Well and its first Crazy Drinking Pavilion. The large, two story Second Crazy Pavilion, built adjacent, and to the south of the first one, faced west toward the Carlsbad. The Carlsbad had been replaced by a brick structure by 1909. Stained glass windows were later added to the building that depicted Ponce de Leon and his "Fountain of Youth" mineral water that "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." (Please see the picture one down, but one, for a better view of it.) This is the second picture of this image. The first one has been cropped, and does not show the outer parts of the picture. The third one is a slightly clearer picture. A colophon on the lower left corner reads: "Evans Photo Min Wells Tex"
Date: 1905?

Texas Carlsbad Well [1 of 3: People on Porch]

Description: The Texas Carlsbad Well was located at 415 NW 1st Avenue, directly across the street west of the first Crazy Well drinking pavilion. This picture appears to be a promotional advertisement for the pavilion. The name of the well was lettered at the top of the building under the large eaves of the roof. The pavilion was replaced with a brick building, the "New Carlsbad Well' around 1909. Stained glass windows were added to the new pavilion showing a picture of Ponce de Leon and his "Fountain of Youth" mineral water. This picture has been cropped, and the second picture of this image shows more of the outer detail.
Date: 1905?

--Winter Scene--Shipping Star Well Water-- From Min. Wells Texas--

Description: A legend on the photograph reads: "--Winter Scene-- --Shipping Star Well Water-- --From Min. Wells Texas--" The Star Well was located in the 200 block of NE 1st Avenue, across the street and north of where the Baker Hotel now [2008] stands. It was managed by Frank Richards, who purchased a block of land in the north part of Millsap Valley on which two wells were dug that proved to have an abundant supply of the very strongest mineral water. Mineral water was expensive to ship, so furnaces were built at the new location, pumps installed, and a modern evaporating plant built to produce hundreds of pounds of crystals annually. (The new well became known as the Pike Well.) Signs on the building claim that the water "Cures stomach trouble" as well as constipation, nervousnes [sic], insomnia, rheumatism, and female diseases." This picture can be found in "TIME WAS in Mineral Wells", First edition, on page 57.
Date: unknown

[Confiscated Whiskey Stills]

Description: Nick Chandler & Gib Abernathy, officials of the government, have detected (and presumably are about to destroy) illegal whiskey distilling apparatus confiscated during the Great Depression of the 1930's, when Prohibition was regnant. The lack of a "Thumper" barrel between the distilling apparatus and the worm suggests that these "Stills" were probably amateur operations. Abernathy was the Palo Pinto County Sheriff at the time, and also the father of Bill Ray Abernathy.
Date: unknown

Texas Carlsbad Water

Description: The first building for the Texas Carlsbad Well, one of the early mineral water wells which brought tourists to Mineral Wells is shown here. This picture appears on page 62 of "Time Was..." by A. F. Weaver, who dates it around 1895. Weaver includes a bit of advertising by Texas Carlsbad Mineral Water, "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."
Date: 1895?

[Mineral Wells Firemen , About 1907]

Description: Photograph of a group of men posing for a photograph on a firetruck. Front Row: Guy Croft, Henry Russell, J W (Buck) Thomas, Jube Warren, Holland Cogdell, Bill Deck (mask on), Bob Bozzell, Oscar Bish -Chief- , John Moore. Top Row - John Gill, Ben McGowen, D.E. Odell, Henry Briley, Arthur Ford, Arthur Howard, C.H. Alexander, Henry Hester, J.W. Birdwell, Ernest Wallace, Reginald Cogdell (driver). 18 are known to be deceased." Then, in Mr. Weaver's handwriting again, "All but three deceased."
Date: 1907~

[The Womanless Theater]

Description: This is apparently the picture of a picture of a fund-raiser performed by the Lion's Club. It consisted of a play in which men all played the roles of women. Identified (in print) are the three "ladies" in front: J. B Courtney (Miss Fortune), Charles Williams, and Noble Glenn (Miss Applied). Also identified (in holograph) is Cecil Young, third from the right, presumably among the standing "ladies."
Date: 1930?/1935

[The Carlsbad Well: Second Building]

Description: Shown here is a picture of the second Carlsbad Well building, as it appeared around 1915. The stained (or painted) glass windows are shown installed, and the "Ben Hur" street car tracks have been removed. This picture appears in Weaver, A. F., "TIME WAS ...", 1st Edition, on page 63. The original Carlsbad Pavilion was on the northeast corner of NW 1st Avenue and NW 6th Street, directly across the street west of the Crazy Drinking Pavilion. The Mineral Wells Lakewood Park Scenic Railway provided a gasoline-powered motor car, a "Dinky Car", which provided service every 1/4 hour to Lake Pinto from 1903 to 1909. The "Ben Hur" was the last and largest of the "Dinky Cars" whose tracks, on NW 1st Street, passed the Carlsbad pavilion and turned west on NW 6th Street. The El Paso Morning Times of 1909 reports that the construction of the second Texas Carlsbad building will cost about $40,000. The equivalent sum in modern dollars is not known. The new building was to be "50 x 130 feet. It will be fire proof [sic] and steam heat [sic]." The building was taken over by the Crazy Hotel for the Crazy Laundry and Dry Cleaning after the drinking pavilion was closed in the 1930's.
Date: 1915?