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One Tank Trip: Texas City Once Known For Its 'Healing Mineral Waters'

MINERAL WELLS, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) - There is a North Texas town that became world-famous in the 1900s for the belief that it was home to the fountain of youth.

Mineral Wells became a resort town and travel destination for movie stars, presidents and millionaires all because of one thing, the town's mineral water supply.

The mineral water that made Mineral Wells famous more than a century ago, is now helping to bring a rebirth of tourism to the city.

Rose Jordan, is part of the Mineral Wells Chamber of Commerce and describes how back in the 1800s to early 1900s people were flocking to the city to drink and bathe in it's healing mineral waters.

"We had Dale Evans, Judy Garland and someone was saying the other day the Three Stooges were here as well," Jordan said.

The movie stars and celebrities were all visiting and staying at two exclusive hotels in Mineral Wells, the Baker Hotel and the Crazy Water Hotel.

"Back then Mineral Wells was the resort town of the nation," Jordan said.

Mineral Wells, Texas
Mineral Wells, Texas (credit: CBS 11 News)

Carol Elder, who owns the Crazy Water Bottling Company in Mineral Wells, says the wealthy and affluent visitors would pay up to a nickel per glass, today's equivalent of $9, for a taste of the mineral water.

"They believed it to have different medicinal properties," Elder said. "They would use it for inflammation and a lot of digestive type problems."

The water was also rumored to heal mental illness, which is how the Crazy Water Bottling Company got it's name.

"Crazy Water got its name when a lady came to Mineral Wells who was a little bit kookoo, and after drinking the water she was supposedly cured of her crazies," Elder said.

Both hotels have been vacant for years, but there is an effort to restore them, and the town, back to it's former glory by tapping into the resource that made it world-famous years ago.

The Crazy Water Bottling Company began in the early 1900s and continues to distribute multiple strengths of mineral water around the United States, straight from the wells below their shop in town.

"We have three different wells and the wells are at different depths, and that's where you get the different levels and combinations of your crazy water," Elder said.

Mineral Wells, Texas
Mineral Wells, Texas (credit: CBS 11 News)

Even today, people still visit Mineral Wells for the curative properties of the water.

"They will bring containers in a gallon or larger to have them refilled right here at the well," Elder said.

Some say the minerals in the water help them manage aches and pains related to rheumatoid arthritis, while many endurance athletes say the water helps their bodies recover quickly from races.

"Because (the minerals) release that lactic acid buildup, it helps give them those trace minerals," Elder described.

"If they're doing a multi-day event, it really helps them recover and then have better endurance for the second days of competition."

Today you can not only drink the water, but you can also bathe in it. The Crazy Water Bath House has spa experience similar to what the movie stars would have experienced close to a century ago, where guests can enjoy experiences like a mineral bath, hot towel wrap, massage and mineral shower.

"It's crazy good for you and (mineral water) has helped people for so long, so it's worth giving it a try," Elder said.

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