Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Thrift Gods Giveth, and the Thrift Gods Taketh Away...

TODAY THEY DID BOTH....

They started wiht the cruel taking of two Chineese paintings... (that would have been perfect for the CH&R they had mostly gold and turquoise in them...)They didnt even let me get a picture before a little man who strongly resembled Agatha Christies "Mr. Piorot"  reached up took them down and checked out of Goodwill...
Bummed I wandered the junk isles with my friend we looked at a sub-par cookie jar, I was hoping the Gods would send me a Frankoma Cup... (they tend to do this when they take awesome things away from me) and then I saw it....
I beleive "Dime Store Thrifts" daughter is performing in a production of "Annie" 
 "Betcha they're young, betcha they're smart, Bet you they collect things like ashtrays and Art..."  
I dont exactly 'collect' ashtrays as much as I collect vintage Hotel Stuff.  I just Couldnt Pass this one up AND IT WAS JUST $0.99! Look at the Cool graphic...


This ashtray will be making its way to the Casablanca Hotel & Resort!  This was a perfect pick-me-up after letting the 2 paintings get away...
* * *

 I love stuff from old hotels, theres just something about them. I always think of how many people checked in for vacations, weddings, proms, that sort of thing. Theres one hotel here in Texas that has long been closed, but I ADORE, its in Mineral Wells TX "The Baker Hotel & Resort"
I have been drawn to this building since I was 9 years old when i saw it on a trip for the first time, we were going to Houston with my great grandmother. She stayed here in 1947 for 2 weeks (as a graduation present) the Hotel was also a spa (Mineral Wells is famous for its healing mineral water) this trip is further glorified by the fact that CLARK GABLE checked into the hotel on the same floor as my grandmother about a week into her stay.  It opened its doors October 29, 1929  (that date ring a bell?) the day the Stock Market came crashing down. The hotel boasted modern conviences, Air condtioning, heating, running water AND the first inground swimming pool in Texas! Through the 1930's- and 40's Everyone who was ANYONE stayed here! Judy Garland, The Andrew Sisters, Lucille Ball, Shirley Temple, Bonnie and Clyde, and Clark Gable just to name a few... Hollywood Flocked to the Texas hill country to rest, relax and play at what was quickly becoming "The Best Health Resort in the South"  An amazing feature, that is now just a fairytale of the past was "The Cloud Room" a ballroom like no other high a top this 15 story skyscraper. Bands played there Big Bands, Glenn Miller, the Dorsey's, music filled the night as the hotels guest came in their best to dance and dine the night away forgetting their cares and feeling like royalty. (I should write for a travel magazine, haha!) 
This postcard is the reason the Casablanca has postcards...who wouldnt want to stay here?

Sadly by 1959 the Baker's heyday had come and gone, although it was still popular people just didnt have the time to go for extended stays at a resort. The final nail in the coffin came when the FDA proclaimed that Mineral Wells could no longer claim its waters were healing. By 1980 the once proud Baker was no longer profitable and closed its doors forever. To make matters worse an auction was held and almost everything in the hotel was sold, thus ending the life of the Baker Hotel & Resort.

I have collected from this place, A full fold out brochure,a souviner plate from the Bakers "sister" hotel in Arkansas, a Salad fork with "B" on the handle, several Postcards some written on some not, a terra cotta shingle from whats left of the Pool Cabana (long story) , and four metal lawn chairs I have restored that were puchased with 296 others in 1929 for the hotel.

Its also said this place is haunted as all get out, I'll share the storys tomrrow!

-Mick-

13 comments:

Retro Keith said...

i have always wanted to rummage through that hotel since it is so close. kind of a ultra cool place in the middle of MW.

Mick said...

I know right?! Last summer when I was there some one had nocked the glass out of one of the doors and there was a chair from the dining room JUST out of my reach...

Midcenturymadam said...

Such a beautiful building. I can't believe it sits vacant. That is very sad. But...that ashtray is oh so cool. I thought Alaska was the last frontier though, not Las Vegas. Ha, who cares? Nice find. Sorry you missed the Chinese paintings.

Amber Von Felts said...

I have a couple of cinder blocks from the now demolished Ban Dar, a country western bar in Ventura. Johnny Cash used to play there among others. Here is a link to what it looked like:

http://www.roadsidepeek.com/roadusa/southwest/california/socal/socaleats/socaltaverns/bandar1.jpg

I bet your tiles were obtained the same way my blocks were. lol.

Mick said...

Amber your Provably right ;)

Vonlipi said...

That's the way trifty Karma works! You win some, you loose some!

Awesome ashtray! It's so...campy

I would've grabeed it in a second!

The Elegant Thrifter said...

Wow. That ash tray is a great find! I, too, would love to get inside that hotel and dig around. I bet there's stuff all over the place. Stan

Chickens in the Basement said...

Love the ashtray! It's sad that we are stuck with Marriotts and Hyatts. Very few one-off pretty hotels out there any more. Wouldn't it be fun to do a vintage murder game weekend at the hotel on your postcards? With it's haunted history, that would be a blast!
Anna

Kristen said...

Incredible old hotel - it makes me so sad to see places with such an awesome history like that abandoned and empty. Can't wait to hear the ghost stories, though - thanks for sharing. :)

Vintage Christine said...

What a great story and I know you will hate the day when someone decides to knock it down. There was a hotel in Biloxi, MS with similar stories--Jayne Mansfield stayed there the night before her tragic accident--and it was slowly falling down even before Katrina (it was right on the coast). Then someone thought they might renovate it but I just saw the other day where it's in the process of being demolished. Probably for a chain motel. I have lots of Vegas and Tahoe hotel/motel ashtrays that I dug up in the dirt at an antique store and think they're so cool. PS--I hope you learned your lesson at the thrift store--when you see something you're even remotely interested in, grab it. After you've touched something, it's legally yours. Sort of.

Holly Hall said...

Very cool story! You know I love old motel stuff too, and add a western theme and I'm drooling. Love the ashtray. Sorry the paintings got away.

~*~The Happy Homemaker~*~ said...

love the font that is used on the 'hotel' part of the ashtray...

Jaz said...

Extended-stay hotel has rooms which are outfitted with kitchens, entertainment systems, office space (complete with computer and telephone lines) and other facilities which guests may access within a minimum of 5 consecutive nights of lodging.

Rio Pousadas