"It is well known that Southern Texas possesses a greater variety of Mineral Waters than any other country on the globe" enthused a promotion for one of Texas' many watering spas of the nineteenth century. Though most are closed and nearly forgotten today, Texas spas and resorts once drew thousands of visitors from across the country, seeking healing of body and spirit in the rejuvenating mineral waters.
This book offers the first comprehensive history of Texas' healing springs. Janet Valenza tracks the rise, popularity, and decline of the "water cure" from the 1830s to the present day. She follows the development of major spas and resorts, such as Mineral Wells and Indian Hot Springs near El Paso, as well as of smaller, family-run springs. She also describes how mineral waters influenced patterns of settlement, transportation routes, commerce, and people's attitudes toward the land. Period photos and quotes from those seeking cures offer vivid glimpses into the daily life at the springs, which Valenza lists and describes county-by-county in the appendix.