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A to Z Texas: H is for the Healing Water of Mineral Wells

Baker Hotel in Mineral Wells, Texas (photo by Tui Snider)
Baker Hotel in Mineral Wells, Texas (photo by Tui Snider)

Weird Tasting Water Has Healing Properties

In the 1880’s, Judge James Alvis Lynch and his wife, Armenia, moved to north Texas and dug a well. At first, the couple was afraid to drink from it because the water tasted odd. After seeing that their livestock thrived, however, the pair began drinking from the well, too.

That’s when things got interesting.

Prior to drinking from their new well, James had a stomach issue and Armenia suffered from rheumatism. After drinking from it, the couple’s health conditions promptly cleared up. In fact, their whole family – which included nine children – seemed healthier after drinking the water.

Word spread of their well’s healing properties, and soon a town grew up around it: Mineral Wells, Texas.

Not only did the water make the Lynch’s healthy, but it made them wealthy, too. Judge Lynch sold the water for a dime per cup, which is more than a whole loaf of bread cost at the time. He even became the town’s first mayor.

Famous Water Company of Mineral Wells, Texas

In the early 1900’s, a man named Ed Dismuke moved to Mineral Wells. Dismuke was a young pharmacist from Waco, Texas who had nothing to lose; doctors told him that due to a stomach condition, he would be dead within the year.

Long story short: after drinking the healing waters of Mienral Wells, Mr. Dismuke lived to be 92!

Can you blame him for bottling and selling the stuff? He called his business the Famous Water Company.

Baker Hotel in Mineral Wells, Texas (photo by Tui Snider)
Baker Hotel in Mineral Wells, Texas (photo by Tui Snider)

Why is it called Crazy Water?

The nickname, “crazy water,” came about when an elderly woman who suffered from some sort of mental illness was allegedly cured after drinking the water from Mineral Wells, Texas.

Whether for good or for bad, the nickname stuck.

The Baker Hotel

One month after the stock market crash of 1929, the Baker Hotel opened in Mineral Wells, Texas. You’d think the place would have suffered due to such disastrous timing, but that is not the case.

The Baker Hotel thrived, attracting rich and famous clientele such as Roy Rogers, Clark Gable, Lawrence Welk, Marlene Dietrich, Judy Garland, and the Three Stooges.

Sadly, in 1972, the hotel closed down. (It’s a long story, worthy of a separate article.) In 1982, the hotel was placed on the National Historic Register, but it has yet to reopen to the public. (Keep your fingers crossed!)

Crazy Water & Mineral Bath Renaissance

In the late 1990’s, a couple named Carol and Mike Elder bought the Famous Water Company and set about the task of reviving Crazy Water’s healthy reputation.

Crazy Water is once again for sale. (As research for this article, I just bought three bottles of the stuff.) According to regulators, Crazy Water contains magnesium, potassium, calcium, silica and trace amounts of lithium. If you visit the official website, Drink Crazy Wateryou can find out the exact ratios of the minerals in the water and more about its history. Crazy Water even has endorsements from hockey players, cyclists and other athletes.

I recently learned that in late 2012, the Famous Water Company began offering mineral baths to the public. I am so curious about these, and will definitely blog about the experience once I get a chance to check it out.

More A to Z blog posts

This was my post for the letter H of the A to Z blogging challenge. Tune in tomorrow to see what quirky Texan thing the letter I will bring!

In the meantime, click on this link to find out what other A to Z blogging challenge folks are writing about.

Tui Snider
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Published inTravel Photo Essays


  1. This was fun! I wonder if anyone has done an actual study of the ‘healing capabilities’ of this water. What if, like you said, the fountain of youth is real and all those explorers looking in Florida were off by a couple thousand miles!?

  2. I went to The Fountain Of Youth here in St. Augustine and you could have a taste of that water at the end of the tour if you so desired. I did, but that was THE WORST water I’ve ever had. You could literally CHEW it! But, I guess if you were used to it, and had nothing else to drink, it’d be good.

    They may say it’s water from The Fountain of Youth, but just a sip will age you a decade!

    Jamie Dement (LadyJai)

  3. There’s so much to see in Texas – maybe this water is the true Fountain of Youth? I live near a spring in which many believe it has healing powers because of the high mineral content. (in Southwest Florida).

    • mentalmosaic mentalmosaic

      Hi Jennifer,

      Have you tried your local spring water yet? I just learned of another fairly local spring water here in Texas that I want to try.


  4. A very interesting, historical post just the kind of local lore I like learning about. There’s something mysterious going on down there with the water. It’s amazing that it has such positive health benefits. I will check out the web site.


    • mentalmosaic mentalmosaic

      Hi Dan,

      Thank you for stopping by and saying hi! I’m so excited that Mineral Wells is not only selling their water, but also their baths once again.


  5. Interesting article, Tui. I gotta get me some of that Crazy Water!!

  6. Yve Yve

    Oh my god. Now Mineral Wells is up there with Marfa on my list of road trips to take the next time we’re visiting Texas. So intrigued! Gonna see if I can get Crazy Water online. And, the well hasn’t dried up yet, or ran out, or something?

    • mentalmosaic mentalmosaic

      Hi Yve,

      Marfa is on my Texas bucket list, too. But since moving here, I keep adding places and sights to that list!


  7. That’s really interesting! I wonder how the water tastes. I imagine it to be a bit brackish because of all the minerals…

    • mentalmosaic mentalmosaic

      Hi Misha,

      There are 4 different “flavors” of Crazy Water, ranging from mild to a stronger flavor. I really like mineral water, but it’s hard to describe!

      Thanks for dropping by!


  8. I want to know how the Crazy Water tastes, and if you notice any difference in your well being :)

    • mentalmosaic mentalmosaic

      Hi Carol,

      I hope it makes me feel better, frankly, it’s been a sickly year for me. I’ll let you know how it goes!


  9. Now this was way interesting and I definitely need to check out that water.

    • mentalmosaic mentalmosaic

      Hi Lucy,

      Let me know if you try Crazy Water and what you think of it.


  10. I recently watched an episode of Ghost Adventures that was filmed at that hotel. Looks like a neat place, so hopefully they will reopen it. Stopping by from A-Z

    • mentalmosaic mentalmosaic

      Hi Sarann,

      Oooh – I would love to see that episode of Ghost Adventures. I will have to look for it on Netflix. The Baker Hotel is such an impressive and interesting building – especially when you see it in person. I truly hope they get it up and running again.

      Thanks for dropping by. I will certainly swing by your blog, too, and see how the A to Z challenge is going for you!


  11. Very interesting article. I’ve heard of Mineral Well, Tx, but that’s it. Wanted to mention when you leave your blog comments not to select anonymous. Chances are many of your comments will end up in folks spam folders. Select name and url instead, and paste your blog url there. That way you don’t have to mess with leaving a cut and paste url (which many people will do nothing with because it requires them to cut and paste vs just click).

    Also wanted to say, I’m adding a few people (you are one) to my blog log so visiting back and forth will be easier. Perhaps you add me to your blog log as well.


    • mentalmosaic mentalmosaic

      Hi Sandy,

      Thanks for your comment and all your advice.

      Even though my comments are marked as anonymous, I am logging in via Google, which should keep me out of spam folders, in theory! I only choose to comment with it when Twitter or the url/id option is not available. As for my own spam folder, I’ve been doing a daily scan before I delete them. A few genuine commenters have been wrongly routed!

      I appreciate you adding me to your blog log. I need to add one back to my toolbar. I mainly follow blogs via Google reader these days.


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