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Look Back: Wells offer cure-all

COOPER’S WELL [leading to the name of Mineral Wells], or Buena Vista, owes its principal notoriety to some late cures of Dropsy and Dyspepsia. These were truly wonderful, and so perfect as ought to establish the fame of this water at once. He who tastes must be convinced that this contains medicinal properties in an eminent degree. Upon first coming from the well, it is clear and cool, looks palatable and would, for once, tempt the thirsty. A single draught, and its real nature is manifest. Salts and Magnesia predominate among the constituents of this powerfully medicinal water, and there are other properties whose presence is quite perceptible.

Excerpt from The Parkersburg Gazette

July 29, 1847

NOTE: The famed Mineral Wells resort was situated about one-half mile off Rt.21 on Sam’s Creek Road. No known photographs exist.

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FOR THE GAZETTE, Buena Vista, Wood County, Va.

Editor of The Parkersburg Gazette:

Dear Sir: Knowing that your useful paper has a wide circulation, permit me, through its columns, to address a few lines to the public, respecting the Mineral Well, six miles south of Parkersburg.

Having been afflicted, for several years with Dyspepsia and dropsy, and receiving no relief from medicines, prescribed by some of the first physicians of the country, I was advised to try the use of this water, as the last resort. I did so, last spring, and I am happy to say that I was greatly benefitted by it. In passing through different sections of the country, on my return home, I found the idea prevalent, that there was no accommodations for invalids at the Well. There are so many people who would visit the Well, if they knew there was a boarding house convenient thereto: to all such I would say, that Mr. John Barrett keeps a boarding house close by. This is the second time I have been under his hospitable roof and, for one, I can say that, with untiring zeal, Mr. Barrett and his Lady leave nothing untried, to make their guests comfortable and to enable them to while away the time most agreeably. There are several houses adjacent that entertain boarders, but none so convenient to the Well as Mr. Barrett’s.

Yours, B. Curtis, of Ohio

The Parkersburg Gazette

Aug. 19, 1847

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A block ad in the Sept. 23, 1849, edition of the Parkersburg Gazette reads:

BUENA VISTA! or COOPERS WELL, near Parkersburg, VA.

The Undersigned, Proprietors of this noted Watering-place, would respectfully announce to the Public, that they have added to their accommodations and are now prepared to receive and entertain Guests at the very low charge of $3.50 per week. Since last season, a new Well has been opened which furnishes water of somewhat stronger medicinal properties than formerly used. Both Wells yield an abundant supply for any number of visitors. A new building has been erected, adjoining that formerly occupied as a boarding house — the two offering spacious accommodations for families or single boarders. The Table will always be furnished by the best that the country can supply and every attention will be shown those who may resort to this place in search of health and recreation.

Signed, Selecman and Taylor

P.S. To those who are unacquainted with the virtues of this water, it may be proper to say, that, in cases of Dropsy, Dyspepsia and Diseases of the Liver, it has effected truly remarkable cures — never having failed when tried for a reasonable time.

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A block ad in the Jan. 18, 1867 edition of the Parkersburg Daily Times reads:

MINERAL WELLS, only 6 miles off Parkersburg, W.Va. These Wells, celebrated through the wide range of the United States and whose waters have and are effecting such wonderful cures, and which command a constant rapid sale, are now offered FOR SALE. Any Physician with a moderate capital can, by buying the Wells, make a fortune in a short time.

To be continued …

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Bob Enoch is president of the Wood County Historical and Preservation Society. If you have comments or questions about Look Back items, please contact him at: roberteenoch@gmail.com, or by mail at WCHPS, PO Box 565, Parkersburg, WV 26102.

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