As cuz and I returned from the Gibtown Cemetery where we were researching headstones for the Rogers side of the family, I impulsively said I wanted to detour through Wizard Wells. I accurately speculated that it might have been one of the “tourist” locations for mineral water bathing and drinking. Wizard Wells was originally named Vineyard, after George Washington Vineyard who established his home there in the 1880s. When he dug a well, he discovered the high mineral content of the water made it relatively undrinkable taste-wise, but in bathing in it, he reported his leg ulcers were cured. Word spread and people began to show up at his door.
In 1914, the Wizard Wells Health Resort Co. was chartered with a capital stock of $6,000 by investors James Odell, H. F. Stamper, and W. C. Stamper, and the certificate of dissolution was issue in 1916. A number of businesses sprang up around the mineral water’s alleged healing properties, including the Crystal Hotel, the Mountain View Hotel, and this rock-veneer tourist court. Between the 1920s and 1940s, population was around 175, and estimated at 70 in 2000.
Pulling off to read the historical marker, we were entranced by the treehouse (possibly the base is the remains of a water tower?) and the labyrinth. The labyrinth contained a variety of colors of crystal stones, and seemed to include the symbols of several religions within the paths.
A search located the names of both the Center of Divine Light and the Whispering Waters Spiritual Retreat. The house is also listed on Airbnb with photographs of the rooms and common areas. The proprietor described himself as a Hippie, which seemed fairly obvious from the eclectic array of elements.
While we at first thought it was just a roadside historical marker in front of what we presumed to be mid 1930s tourist courts, it soon became obvious we were on private property and thus, we ventured no further. However, the place is beautiful, and peaceful–even in the very hot afternoon Texas sun. While I do not see myself being adventurous enough to engage a room there, it is apparently also available for retreats and other group meets. The “pseudo-hippie” girl of my adolescence would go; the mature seeker of peace in my old age will not.