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Taking the Waters in Texas Springs, Spas, and Fountains of Youth by Janet Mace Valenza

Taking the Waters in Texas Springs, Spas, and Fountains of Youth


Taking the Waters in Texas Springs, Spas, and Fountains of Youth by Janet Mace Valenza

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.


This book chronicles a fascinating aspect of Texas history... I will certainly add springs to my list of destinations and will have to carry a copy of the book in my car library. oCraig E. Colten, Associate Professor of Geography, Southwest Texas State University

About the Author

The late Janet Valenza held a Ph.D. in geography from the University of Texas at Austin and taught geography at Austin-area colleges and universities.

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Book Info

Publication date

30th November 1999


Janet Mace Valenza

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University of Texas Press


279 pages


Social & cultural history
History of medicine
Economic history



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