What to do and see in Mineral Wells

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Crazy Water Hotel


Note: This hotel is not open to the public.


Opened in 1915, the Crazy Water Hotel burned to the ground. Brothers Carr and Hal Collins purchased the site and rebuilt as a 200-room luxury hotel. The hotel boasts seven stories and was re-opened in 1927.


This hotel was full of amenities such as both barber and beauty shops, doctors offices, a florist, and even valet services. Even with such offerings, the brothers found it hard to break even. That is, until they started selling Crazy Water Crystals, which were just mineral crystals dehydrated from the crazy water.


Soon the Crazy Water Hotel opened its own radio station in the building and began broadcasting their rooms and products to the entire nation via the NBC network. Singers and performers flocked to the radio station from far and wide. The national exposure allowed the sales of Crazy Water Crystals to generate $3 million annually, although the country was in the depths of the great depression.


The Crazy Water Hotel was dwarfed by the towering Baker Hotel when the latter opened in 1929. An intense rivalry developed between the two hotels as they scrambled to attract the rich and the famous.


Today, the Crazy Water Hotel is a retirement home. It is not open to the public, but is still being used.


Baker Hotel


Note: This building and its grounds are not open to the public.


Construction on The Baker Hotel began in 1926. The foundation had been poured on the right side of the city-block-sized location, when T.B. Baker decided that the building was situated on the site incorrectly. What was originally the foundation of the hotel on the east side of the property became the underground laundry and the aboveground pool area. The Hotel opened its doors just two weeks after the stock market crash of 1929.


The second floor hosted numerous doctor and dentist offices. There were mineral salt baths for both men and women. The fifth floor was home to a full-sized gymnasium. There was a bowling alley in the basement. Numerous meeting rooms and restaraunts were used for conventions, meetings and special events. Perhaps the most special area of the hotel was the "Cloud Room". The "Cloud Room" hosted some of the biggest names in entertainment. Lawrence Welk spent his early days playing there. There was even a rooftop garden at the Baker.


Through the years, the Hotel boasts some of the biggest names in Hollywood and Washington DC as guests. The Three Stooges booked an entire suite of rooms for an entire year. Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker, of Bonnie and Clyde infamy, stayed at the Baker as did many a movie star and politician. The Baker Hotel was the place to see and be seen.


(For more on the Baker Hotel, click here.)


Elmwood Cemetery


1401 East Hubbard Street


Established in 1883 on donated land Elmwood Cemetery is the final resting place of early Mineral Wells citizens. In 1884, graves that we located at the Cove, the previous public burial grounds, were moved to Elmwood. The oldest grave in this Cemetery is that of Nellie Crump who died in 1881. Once known as "City Cemetery", Elmwood was renamed after the civic ladies of the community planted elm trees on the property. Mineral Wells Founder, James Lynch and his wife are buried here.


Mineral Wells Welcome Sign


Located on Bald Mountain, behind Elmwood Cemetery and visible from Hubbard Street (Hwy. 180), the Welcome Sign has quite a history.


Originally donated to the City of Mineral Wells by George Holmgreen, the sign was America's largest non-commercial electrically powered sign. Its first home was on the City's East Mountain. Over the years the sign became neglected and weathered. After it was moved to its current location by the Fort Wolters Warrant Officers Club in 1972, the sign again fell into neglect and disrepair. Over a decade passed before a local radio station owner, looking for a place to install a radio antennae. He and 50 volunteers worked to restore and relight the sign.


Many residents believe that the Mineral Wells Welcome sign served as D.W. Griffith's inspiration for the famous Hollywood sign in California.