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Brian Topp

The Ghosts Of Baker Hotel

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The 14-story hotel, long the dominant feature in the Mineral Wells skyline, has been stripped of just about everything valuable.

Rooms are trashed and windows broken. Entrances are covered with sheets of plywood, forcing city officials to constantly seal new entryways pried open by trespassers - the Baker’s most frequent guests.

But even in its dilapidated state, residents of this Palo Pinto County city 50 miles west of Fort Worth are confident that a rebirth is near for the Baker - and Mineral Wells itself.

A group of developers has been working for six years to bring the Baker back to life.

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They've gotta lot of work ahead of them. Pretty view from the window tho. Wonder if the ghost stories are just to drum up some interest?

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Now that's a squatters paradise.

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Thanks for posting this, Brian. Fascinating building and history. I liked "You can check out any time you want, but you can never leave."

I look at these old beautiful buildings and really hope they can bring them back with the ghosts or without them.

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I'm all for people who want to renovate these old hotels, but I struggle to see how the economics of the project make any sense.

Mineral Wells is a town of about 17,000 people. The fanciest hotel in the area is a Best Western. Beyond the initial splash that might draw folks from Dallas and other areas, where do they think the guests are going to come from to fill this place to 80%+ capacity every single night?

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I'm all for people who want to renovate these old hotels, but I struggle to see how the economics of the project make any sense.

Mineral Wells is a town of about 17,000 people. The fanciest hotel in the area is a Best Western. Beyond the initial splash that might draw folks from Dallas and other areas, where do they think the guests are going to come from to fill this place to 80%+ capacity every single night?

You have an excellent point but I have a question. What brought so many people there and so many stars in the first place ?

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You have an excellent point but I have a question. What brought so many people there and so many stars in the first place ?

The mineral baths. I'm sure at one time there were dozens of such hotels in the area, but that has long ago stopped being a draw. Mineral Wells is nothing more than a dried up little town - unlike a town like Hot Springs, AR, where these kinds of hotels are still a huge draw. But in Hot Springs' case, there's a ton of other stuff to do there because the town isn't dead.

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They've gotta lot of work ahead of them. Pretty view from the window tho. Wonder if the ghost stories are just to drum up some interest?

Isn't that what nearly every single ghost story is actually made up for?

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There are various Texas paranormal ghosts who have investigated there. I have a book at home called Crazy Waters,about Mineral Wells and many of the old mineral spas that existed in the past.Near Lockhart is Burdette Wells but as far as I know no one goes there.

It's near a little community named Joliet. Closer to me is Sutherland Springs.It too had a bath house and hotel which are long gone.What they call old Sutherland Springs is along US Hwy 87. When the springs were discovered near Cibolo Creek,they built the hotel and the community of new Sutherland Springs.There is the remains of the bank building and movie theatre,plus a few houses,but most of the citizens live along US87.It was even served by a railway line from San Antonio.

Also in the San Antonio area is Terrel Wells,which is a community and then on Presa Street in town is the old Hot Wells bathhouse.Famous people went to the Hot Wells Bath house.There are plans to renovate the old hotel there.

Funny you mentioned Hot Springs. My great grandparents moved there from Milwaukee in 1911 due to greatgrandpa's health begining to fail.My great aunt Helen worked at the Buckstaff bathhouse as a massuer for ladies.Many famous people went there like John D.Rockerfeller who once gave my dad and Uncle Tom each a dime. It was his habit to give kids dimes to symbolize the first dime he ever made.That was back in the 1920s. Al Capone,Nick the Greek ,movie stars,gamblers, gangsters and others came to Hot Springs back in those days.They still have horse racing, fishing,boating,etc.People still go to Saratoga Springs,Ny, and other places like that in the US.

In one of the books on Texas ghoststhey mention the Baker Hotel. Other than that,don't know what other attractions that Mineral Wells has.

There are a couple of other places around there that had mineral springs.There was Wooten Wells,and Wizard Wells. I think the community of Wooten Wells still exists,but the other town is a ghost town.

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There are various Texas paranormal ghosts who have investigated there. I have a book at home called Crazy Waters,about Mineral Wells and many of the old mineral spas that existed in the past.Near Lockhart is Burdette Wells but as far as I know no one goes there.

It's near a little community named Joliet. Closer to me is Sutherland Springs.It too had a bath house and hotel which are long gone.What they call old Sutherland Springs is along US Hwy 87. When the springs were discovered near Cibolo Creek,they built the hotel and the community of new Sutherland Springs.There is the remains of the bank building and movie theatre,plus a few houses,but most of the citizens live along US87.It was even served by a railway line from San Antonio.

Also in the San Antonio area is Terrel Wells,which is a community and then on Presa Street in town is the old Hot Wells bathhouse.Famous people went to the Hot Wells Bath house.There are plans to renovate the old hotel there.

Funny you mentioned Hot Springs. My great grandparents moved there from Milwaukee in 1911 due to greatgrandpa's health begining to fail.My great aunt Helen worked at the Buckstaff bathhouse as a massuer for ladies.Many famous people went there like John D.Rockerfeller who once gave my dad and Uncle Tom each a dime. It was his habit to give kids dimes to symbolize the first dime he ever made.That was back in the 1920s. Al Capone,Nick the Greek ,movie stars,gamblers, gangsters and others came to Hot Springs back in those days.They still have horse racing, fishing,boating,etc.People still go to Saratoga Springs,Ny, and other places like that in the US.

In one of the books on Texas ghoststhey mention the Baker Hotel. Other than that,don't know what other attractions that Mineral Wells has.

There are a couple of other places around there that had mineral springs.There was Wooten Wells,and Wizard Wells. I think the community of Wooten Wells still exists,but the other town is a ghost town.

When I was in college, we'd make the pilgrimage to Hot Springs ever spring for the opening of racing season.

I currently live about 10 miles from Saratoga Springs and I'd say that the springs aren't really the draw anymore - it's the horse track, casino, and concerts. Oh, and there's one of the best fried chicken joints in North America.

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