For "Travel Tuesday", Let's visit Mineral Wells, TX, in the Panhandle Plains region.
"The Texas Panhandle Plains region offers visitors a wide variety of experiences from the breathtakingly beautiful canyon lands, to the Old West heritage that is still evident today. You can visit the birthplace of Buddy Holly and many other famous artists, explore a wide variety of museums & exhibits, or simply enjoy the wide open skies that have attracted visitors for generations. Discover the adventure of the Texas Panhandle Plains."
Mineral Wells, TX.
"Mineral Wells is located in Palo Pinto and Parker counties just 45 miles west of Fort Worth, Texas."
"In 1877 James A. Lynch and his family settle in a Valley 48 miles west of Fort Worth. Tired of hauling water from the nearby Brazos River, Mr. Lynch had a well dug on his property. The water had a funny taste and at first was believed to be poison. Mrs. Lynch continued to drink the water and found it did not harm her, in fact, the water seemed to cure her rheumatism. The word spread and many came to see if they could also receive a cure.
The third well dug was made famous from the fact that a woman who suffered epilepsy drank the water daily. Legend says that after she drank the water she was cured and they named the well the Crazy Woman Well, later just the Crazy Well.
The town was originally named Ednaville but after the waters began to draw people, the town was renamed Mineral Wells.
The Crazy Water Hotel was built where the Crazy Well is. After the first hotel burnt down, the Collins brothers from Fort Worth, Texas rebuilt the Crazy Hotel and planned to market the water.
Meanwhile a group of citizens in Mineral Wells didn't like the fact that outsiders were going to make a profit from their waters. They raised money to build their own hotel. That's when they got T. B. Baker to build the Baker Hotel.
Mineral Wells was a victim of its own publicity. In the late 1930s, the newly created Federal Drug Administration was quick to order Mineral Wells to stop saying that the water would cure pretty much everything. Then penicillin and other medicines were invented that really did cure a lot of illnesses. By the 1940s, the spa phenomenon was pretty much over."
"Mineral Wells is most famous for its Baker Hotel.
Since March 1945, the southern wall of Deutsches Weintor ("German Wine Gate") in Schweigen-Rechtenbach, Rhineland-Palatinate, bears the Graffito: "Jere Gills Min. Wells 3-45" and a map of Texas with a star, marking the position of Mineral Wells. The German Wine Gate is the start of the 1935 established German Wine Route.
Salts from the mineral springs were marketed by Carr Collins, Sr. as Crazy Crystals in the 1930s as having curative powers, but their sale was then suppressed by the Food and Drug Administration.
This town is also commemorated in the eponymous Tom Russell song, including specific references to the Crazy Water Hotel.
It’s a town built on a special Texas kind of “CRAZY” and makes for one CRAZY-fun Texas day trip.
While you wouldn’t know it today, in the early 1900′s, Mineral Wells was an international tourist destination. Millions came from all over the United States to sip on the city’s famous mineral water that pumped up from the ground. In the days before modern medicine, folks believed this funny-tasting mineral water could cure anything. And so they came to Mineral Wells in droves to be cured of whatever ailed them. Nowadays, all the wells are closed except for ONE – the Famous Mineral Water Co. Stop by to sit in an old pavilion and get a taste of Mineral Wells culture back in its heyday.
Other artifacts of Mineral Wells’ boom era are all around town. Don’t miss seeing the Baker Hotel, the Crazy Water Hotel, or the many other sites around town. Word of warning, many of these are closed so don’t expect to go inside.
Other points of interest in Mineral Wells include the National Vietnam War Museum and the Laumdronat (not misspelled) – a working laundromat and washing machine museum. See: http://www.travelersguide360.com/index.php/laumdronat-washing-machine-museum-laundromat-mineral-wells-texas-16697/
Outdoor enthusiasts should head to Mineral Wells State Park, to fish, hike, bike the Mineral Wells Trailway, or rock climb in Penitentiary Hollow. Kids will love diggin’ up bones at the Mineral Wells Fossil Park.
As far as food goes, my favorite options lie all around Mineral Wells. Eat country cookin’ with a side of Lebanese food at Dee’s Hometown Diner in Cool, TX. Or head to Strawn, TX for a Chicken Fried Steak as big as the STATE at Mary’s Cafe. BB-Q trippers might want to check out Hashknife on the Chisholm which is north in Peadenville.
The Bucket List: 11 things to do in Mineral Wells and Palo Pinto County Before It's Too Late
- Play golf at The Cliffs Resort, one of the most challenging courses in Texas, and on the well-known bent grass greens at Holiday Hills Country Club. (888) 335-8882 or (940) 325-9442.
- Eat a chicken fried steak at Mary's Café in Strawn. (254) 672-5741.
- Explore Clark Gardens Botanical Park, a 35-acre oasis of Texas native and native adaptable plants. (940) 682-4856.
- Canoe the Brazos River. Call Rochelle's Canoe at (940) 659-3341.
- Hunt for fossils at the Mineral Wells Fossil Park. (940) 325-2557.
Mineral Wells Fossil Park
- Belly-up for a glass of Crazy Water No. 4 at the Famous Mineral Water Company. (940) 325-8870.
- Drive Farm-to-Market Road 4 between Palo Pinto and Santo for the views.
- Honor our veterans at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall and Camp Holloway Memorial Wall. (940) 664-3918.
- Jump in for a swim or rent a boat at Possum Kingdom Lake, one of Texas' clearest and most scenic lakes. (940) 779-2424.
- Scale the heights of Penitentiary Hollow, North Texas' premier rock climbing destination. (940) 328-1171.
- Hike the trails at Possum Kingdom and the Lake Mineral Wells State Trailway. (940) 779-2321 or (940) 328-1171.
"Famous Water Company, the bottlers of Crazy Water in Mineral Wells, have opened the Crazy Water Bath House to offer visitors a similar soaking experience to the one that attracted hordes to “take the waters” back in Mineral Wells’ heyday as a health resort.
After a year’s trial with one bath, the company opened a bathhouse on its property, featuring overnight guest rooms and four private baths. Treatments start at $30 for a 40-minute tub rental, $45 for a microbubble tub rental, and $85 for a basic treatment, which includes a microbubble soak, a hot towel wrap, and a massage.
“We basically have just taken from how they did things in the late 1800s and early 1900s and re-created it, so people can get that therapeutic absorption of the water,” says Carol Elder, Famous Water owner. “People have good health results when they take it internally, and we want to give everyone the benefit of being able to soak in it as well.”
The baths use Crazy Water No. 3, containing the second-highest mineral content in the company’s line of four water products. Soakers can fill the tub to a temperature of their liking. Carol says the massage treatments use only organic products to help maintain the natural experience provided by the mineral water.
“Usually people with arthritic problems do pretty good with the baths, and it’s also a good way to get mineral absorption in your skin and detoxify,” she says. “The bicarbonate soda in the water helps draw out toxins in the body.”" From: http://blog.texashighways.com/?p=3210
Moseying Mineral Wells...
"Hello! Today we are off to Mineral Wells. What a surprise this sleepy little town turned out to be. When I first decided to go today, I really planned on just passing through. What I found, kept me there for most of the day, and wanting to go back for more.
Abandoned some years ago, the Baker has its share of legends and ghost stories. Just ask son-in-law Joey who grew up in Mineral Wells. He told me the story of Mr. Baker and his mistress and how, a few years ago, they discovered a hidden passage leading from his room to her room. And a secret whiskey cabinet that held his own personal collection.
Then, there is the “ghost story” – legend has it that there was a ring left in her room, and for those brave enough to try to pick it up, it will get hot in your hand and doors will start slamming. Mr. Baker’s cigar smoke can be smelled floating in the room. Hold the ring, and you will get an eerie feeling of something “bad” about to happen. Try to leave the room and the ring gets hotter and the feelings stronger. As far as he knows – it’s still there. I guess so, I know that I am not going to be the one to try and leave with it! There are other ghost stories as well, one of a little girl named “Dizzy”, and they must be true, a film crew from Canada even came down once to try and film them." Complete article at: http://www.texasoutside.com/twg/3.html
On This Day:
Red Cross is awarded Nobel Peace Prize, Dec 10, 1917:
"After three years of war, during which there had been no Nobel Peace Prize awarded, the Norwegian Nobel Committee awards the 1917 prize to the International Committee of the Red Cross.
In their nominations, both Renault and the Swiss lauded the Red Cross for its establishment of the International Prisoner-of-War Agency, which worked to provide relief to soldiers captured by enemy forces and provide communication between the prisoners and their families. They also praised its efforts to transport wounded soldiers to their home countries via neutral Switzerland.
Hundreds of Red Cross volunteers worked in Geneva and in the field during the war, directing inquiries to military commandants and hospital officials alike in order to find information about prisoners and the wounded and sending more than 800,000 communiqués to soldiers families by June 1917.
This was not the first time, nor the last, that the Red Cross would be honored by the Nobel Committee for its humanitarian work. Its founder, Henry Dunant of Switzerland, was awarded the first-ever peace prize in 1901; the Red Cross organization would go on to claim the prize twice more by the end of the century, in 1944 and 1963."
Mindi was going to pick her dogs up Sunday evening, but they called to say that they were having trouble getting a flight out of Vegas, and it would be more like 1.00AM. I happened to wake up about then, so I watched TV for a while, but when they didn't call to say that they were getting near my house, I went back to sleep. When I woke up again at 5.00 something, there was a message that they would pick the dogs up later in the morning.
Just after I was dressed and had fed the critters, all dickens broke loose. A young man from down the street was waving and raving like a lunatic in the middle of the road, bleeding from his wrist. What was a concern was that the young man is HIV positive. His wheelchaired roommate was desperately trying to get away from him. She was crying and had blood spatters on her, so I got her safely in my house. Ray was outside on the phone to 911, when the young man pushed his way into Ray's house, and was arguing with Shay. They have all known each other for years. The young man even upset Ray's really, really heavy log coffee table.
Ray got him out of there just as two police cars drove up. The young man went for one of the cops, so they pushed him on the ground and hog-tied him. When the ambulance arrived, they treated his cut wrist while he was laying face down on the ground, but he was still hollering and trying to fight anyone who came near him. Then a big fire truck came, another police car, then a "square bear" (Police SUV); all this manpower for one young man.
The ambulance was here for ages, so gawkers had gathered which infuriated the young man even more, and he was hurling obscenities at them. After a long time they loaded him up in the ambulance and took off. The police stayed to get statements from those involved. I heard that they were going to keep him on a suicide watch for 72 hours, then I sure hope he gets some psychiatric help.
Mindi didn't arrive to pick up her four live doggies, and one dead, until about 2.00PM. We talked for a while, both with teary eyes. I had carefully wrapped the little white cardboard casket in pretty white patterned plastic, and taped a rose on the outside. Mindi put that in her trunk, and loaded up the rest of the dogs in her car.
My foster cats could finally go back into the Grooming Room, their favorite place, and investigate the new smells which had accumulated in there the last few days.