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Mineral Spring Spas in Indiana

Newspaper Collection

In the Indianapolis Newspaper Index see headings: Dillsboro, French Lick, Martinsville, Mineral Springs, Mudlavia, and Springs.

Not indexed: “Miwagco Springs Milan, Indiana circa 1890s”. Indianapolis Star 5-31-1925, pg 2.

Pamphlet Collection

Pamphlets within our Indiana Pamphlet Collection can be found in our catalog and at call number IP 613.12. The resorts represented in the collection:

French Lick (Orange Co.)

West Baden (Orange Co.)

Dillsboro (Dearborn Co.)

Mudlavia (Kramer, IN)

Martinsville Sanitarium (Morgan Co.)

Trinity Springs (Martin Co.)

Manuscripts Collection

  • Mudlavia-V159, Robertson, Mrs. Carrie Weed, Diary of trips to Mudlavia from 1906-1911, tells of her stay there, friends and various experiences.
  • Thomas Taggart collection has many items relating to the French Lick Hotel


Baruch, Simon. Epitome of hydrotherapy for physicians, architects and nurses. Saunders, 1920 (ISLM 615.853 B295E)

Blatchley, W.S. “The Mineral Waters of Indiana: Their location, origin, and character”. Indiana Department of Geology and Natural Resources, Twenty-Sixth Annual Report. Indianapolis : Burford, 1901. pp 11-158. (ISLI 557 I01; gives the location and describes the water of more than 80 mineral wells and springs; see also: Mineral Spring and Mineral Water in the General Index to all the publications of the IN geological survey, Vol. 28, 1903, pp 497-565.)

Buchan, William. Domestic Medicine: A treatise on the prevention and cure of diseases, by regimen and simple medicines: with observations on sea-bathing, and the use of the mineral waters. To which is annexed, a dispensatory for the use of private practitioners. ([Cage] ISLM 610.3 B918D)

Bundy, Chris. West Baden Springs: Legacy of dreams, the complete history in script and pictures. Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana, West Baden Springs Restoration Project, 1996. (ISLI 977.201 O63ZWB)

Burke, William. The Mineral Springs of Western Virginia with Remarks on  their Use, and the Diseases which they are Applicable. 2nd edition. New York : Wiley and Putnam, 1846. (ISLM RA807 V7 B9)

Debono, Paul. The Indianapolis ABCs: History of a premier team in the Negro Leagues. McFarland and Co. : Jefferson, NC, 1997. (chapter 5 “Black Baseball and C.I. Taylor at an Indiana Health Resort”, ISLI 796.357 D287i)

Dreiser, Theodore. Hoosier Holiday.  John Lane : New York, 1916. (Chapter 58, French Lick, ISLI 917.72 D771h 1974)

Duncan, Daniel L. Magno-Lithia: Mud, Sweat and Tears at Mudlavia. 2002 (ISLI 613.122 D911m)

Finnerty and Corbitt. Hydrotherapy. New York : Frederick Ungar Publishing, 1960. (ISLM RM811 F5)

Fitch, William Edmund. Mineral Waters of the United States and American Spas. Philadelphia : Leas & Febiger, 1927 (ISLI 615.79 F546m, Indiana is covered on pages 357-370  and West Baden and French Lick are detailed on pages 717-721)

Gatsos, Gregory S. History of the West Baden Springs Hotel. G.S. Gastos, 1985, 1999. (ISLI 977.201 O63ZWG)

Hepburn, Andrew H. Great Resorts of North America. Garden City, NY : Doubleday, 1965. (ISLI 917 H529g includes French Lick)

Hessler, Robert, AM, MD. “The Medicinal Properties and Uses of Indiana Mineral Waters”.  Indiana Department of Geology and Natural Resources, Twenty-Sixth Annual Report. Indianapolis : Burford, 1901. pp 159-226. (ISLI 557 I01)

Hill, Herbert. “The Importance of Mineral Springs: Hoosier health spas numerous”. Outdoor Indiana. Volume 41 No. 8. October, 1976. pp 23-30. (ISLI 634.9 O94)

Hill, Herbert. “Lost River Valley Meccas: West Baden and French Lick”. Outdoor Indiana. Volume 41 No. 9. pp 31-40. (ISLI 634.9 O94)

Hill, John. “Springing to Life: Mineral wells attract Hoosiers for medicinal purposes”. Outdoor Indiana. Volume 51 No. 2. February 1986. pp 4-9. (ISLI 634.9 O94)

ndiana Medical History Quarterly . Volume 8 Number 1. Indiana Historical Society: Indianapolis. March 1982 (ISLI 610.5 I385i; whole issue regarding Indiana’s spring waters)

Kill, Thomas R. West Baden Springs. Bloomington, Ind. : T. R. Kill, 1988 (ISLI 813 K48W)

Kingsley, Adriel S. Bold arraignment of the medical profession for the practice of false theories, false pretenses, fraudulent claims for a false science, and for their determined purpose to oppose the cold bath in all fevers...with papers attached of Drs. Simon Baruch and G.C. Smythe... on the treatment of typhoid fever with cold water . Indianapolis : Indianapolis Printing Company, 1890. (ISLI 610.1 K55)

McNeal, Claude. Claude McNeal's the Making of a Grand Hotel. New York, N.Y. : A.C.C. Pub., 1985. (ISLI 977.201 O63ZFM)

Mineral Springs Company. Record of the Procedures of the Mineral Springs Co. Spiceland, IN 1895-1925. Ft Wayne: Public Library of Ft. Wayne and Allen County. 1960. (ISLI 613.12 M664r)

Moorman, J.J., MD. The Virginia Springs and Springs of the South and West. Philadelphia : J.B. Lippincott & Co., 1859. (ISLM RA807 V7 M86)

Myers, Flora V. Garrott. The Water Cure. Keenan’s Music Service, 1942. (IPQ 780.8 Hers1; sheetmusic)

Nolan, Jane and Weintraut, Linda „The Right Water, The Right Mud, and the Right Place: The story behind Mudlavia” Traces of Indiana and Midwestern History, Winter 1992, pg 20 (IND 977.2 T759 V. 4 #1)

O'Malley, John W. The Story of the West Baden Springs Hotel. Thesis (M.A.), Loyola University, 1956. (ISLI 977.201 O63DB)

Rhodes, A.J. Souvenir, French Lick and West Baden: History and story, from 1810 to 1904. (ISLI 977.201 O63f) Also available from the Library of Congress at:

Rogers, Joseph Goodwin. Letter giving analysis of mineral waters of French Lick to editor Western Journal of Medicine, November 4, 1869. (ISLI 553.7 R727A)

Shew, Joel. The hydropathic family physician : a ready prescriber and hygienic adviser . Fowler and Wells, 1854. (ISLM RM811 .S55)

Smith, John Martin. Post Card History: French Lick and West Baden. Charleston, SC : Arcadia, 2007. (ISLI 977.201 O632FS)

Weiss and Kemble. The Great American Water-Cure Craze: A history of hydropathy in the United States. New Jersey : Past Times Press, 1967. (ISLM RM805 W45)

Weiss and Kemble. They Took to the Waters: The forgotten mineral spring resorts of New Jersey and nearby Pennsylvania and Delaware. Trenton, NJ : Past Times Press, 1962. (ISLM RA807 N5 W4,

the first two chapters and last two chapters are general about the spa movement)

West Baden Springs . The Albertype Company, 1907. (ISLI 977.201 O63ZWA; photographs)


The cold water cure, as practiced by Vincent Priessnitz, at ... By R. T. Claridge (Available Google books)

Water Cure Journal , some issue available on Google Books

Kellog,  John Harvey. Rational Hydrotherapy: A manual of the physiological and therapeutic effects of hydriatic procedure and the technique of their application in the treatment of disease.  Available from

Clippings Files

Look under “Health Resorts”, 2 folders.

IN MH 9-21-2022