Texas Travel

Historic Baker Hotel in Mineral Wells

The Historic Baker Hotel of Mineral Wells Texas
The Historic Baker Hotel of Mineral Wells

If you ever get a chance to visit Mineral Wells Texas, the one thing you will be sure to see is the Baker Hotel. It is certainly the first thing I look for on my trips there. The Baker hotel stands proud, a grand lady of yesteryear, and her presence draws you to her, still lovely as you imagine days gone by with dapper gentlemen and ladies dressed for an evening in the Brazos Room.

The Baker Hotel was built by T.B. Baker to be a spa and resort destination for the rich and famous. Even when it opened in November of 1929, her 14 stories and 450 rooms boasted the most modern of conveniences including air conditioning and an Olympic sized pool. One of the main attractions were the spas and the mineral waters which were thought to have curative powers for a host of ailments. The Baker Hotel was lavishly decorated with beautiful chandeliers, fine rugs, silk and velvet draperies, luxurious couches as well as painted alcoves and ornate tile work. She was truly a grand hotel in every sense of the word.

Once a spa to the rich and famous, she hosted the likes of Will Rogers, Judy Garland, Mary Pickford, Jean Harlow, Guy Lombardo, Mary Martin, Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, Marlene Dietrich, Clark Gable, Ernest Tubb, Sam Rayburn, President Lyndon Johnson, John Glenn, and even Bonnie and Clyde.

Earl M. Baker, nephew to T.B. closed the doors to the Baker Hotel on April 30, 1963.  Since the hotel was designed and built by a structural engineer, the building is still sound after many years of neglect.

There are many who believe the Baker Hotel is still occupied by the ghosts of years past. Indeed, there have been numerous reports of opening and closing windows, unexplained lights, the whiff of perfume from a mistress rumored to have jumped from the 7th floor, voices such as a childlike “hi” and the smell of cigar smoke. Perhaps these visitors are drawn, as we are, to her past glory.

Texas History

Six Flags Over Texas History

The Six Flags Over Texas is used to describe the six nations that had sovereignty over portions of the territory of the U.S. state of Texas.  The “six flags” are also shown on the reverse of the Seal of Texas.


Spanish Flag over Texas

Spain: 1519 – 1821
The first explorations into Texas were by the Spanish. The first was a map making expedition in 1519 led by Alfonso Alvarez de Pineda and Cabeza de Vaca. Soon after came explorers Francisco Vasquez de Coronoda in 1540 and Jaun de Onate in 1601.


Flag of France over TexasFrance: 1685 – 1690
French explorer Robert La Salle established Fort St. Louis on Matagorda Bay. He was hoping to start a settlement in the French Louisiana Territory at the mouth of the Mississippi River. Not realizing he was so far off, 150 people landed on the banks of the Garcitas Creek. Life was extremely hard and their numbers slowly dwindled to about 40 by 1687. La Salle left for the Great Lakes for French re-enforcements but was killed by his own men on the journey. The few remaining inhabitants of Fort St. Louis were all killed by Karankawa Indians in 1689.


Flag of Mexico over TexasMexico: 1821 – April 21, 1836 – San Jacinto Day
In 1821 Mexico gained independence from Spain and the region of Texas became part of Mexico. The Austin family received a grant to settle 300 US citizens in the new territory. These settlers were led by Stephen F. Austin. Many more soon followed. Santa Anna was elected governor of Mexico in 1832 and soon after sent troops into Texas to force martial law. The Texans first rebelled at Goliad in 1835. A troop of Mexican soldiers had come to get their cannon and the Texians refused – making a flag that said “Come and Take it!” The Texians then took over the city of San Antonio. On March 2, 1836 at the town of Washington on the Brazos, a group of 59 representatives voted to declare Texas independence. Just 4 days later, on March the 6th, Santa Anna led his army to the Alamo where he had all survivors executed. He marched on to Goliad and had everyone shot there as well. General Sam Houston and his army of Texians faced their final battle with Santa Anna along the banks of Buffalo Bayou. They fought and won independence for Texas at the Battle of San Jacinto on April 21, 1836.


Republic of Texas Flag over TexasThe Republic of Texas: 1836 – 1845
Sam Houston was elected the first president of the Republic of Texas. The small town of Waterloo was chosen to be the capitol and it was renamed Austin – in honor of Stepehen F. Austin. The last president of the Republic of Texas was elected in 1844 – Anson Jones. He ruled just 1 year before Texas joined the United States.


Confederate Flag over TexasConfederate States: 1861 – 1865
When the Civil War broke out in 1861, The State of Texas decided to join with the Southern Confederate states. Governor Sam Houston resigned and refused to swear allegiance with the Confederates. The news of the 1863 Emancipation Proclamation did not reach Texas until June 19th, 1865. The last battle of the Civil War was fought at Brownsville on May 11, 1865 – a month after the formal surrender of General Lee at Appomattox. Texas was readmitted to the Union on March 30, 1870.  Anson Jones was the last president of the Republic of Texas. In the changing of the flags ceremony he said, “The final act in this great drama is now performed, the Republic of Texas is no more.”


United States Flag over Texas

United States: 1845 – 1861 and 1870 – present

In 1845 Texas became the 28th state of the US. The US president at the time was James K. Polk. In a special ceremony J. Pinckney Henderson became the first governor of the State of Texas.


Texas Travel

Dallas Cowboys Stadium

Cowboys Stadium, the world’s largest domed stadium was completed on May 27, 2009 at a total construction cost of $1.3 billion. The stadium seats 80,000, making it the third largest stadium in the NFL by seating capacity, however the maximum capacity of the stadium, including standing room, is 110,000.

Located in Arlington, the stadium also has the world’s largest column-free interior and the 2nd largest high definition video screen which hangs from 20 yard line to 20 yard line. The facility is utilized for a variety of other activities including concerts, basketball games, boxing matches, college football and high school football contests, soccer matches, and motocross races.

Photos © Cliff Base, All Rights Reserved. View more of Cliffs photos at his site,

Texas Photos

Possum Kingdom Lake Sunset Photo

Known for the famous Hell’s Gate, a sheer break in the cliffs around the lake, Possum Kingdom Lake is a 17,000 acre reservoir located primarily in Palo Pinto county on the Brazos River.  It is mentioned in the popular 1990s song “Possum Kingdom” by The Toadies.

Possum Kingdom Lake Sunset
Possum Kingdom Lake Sunset







This photo is © Cliff Base, All Rights Reserved.  View more of Cliffs photos at his site,

Texas Weather

Texas Weather & Climate

coming soon…

Texas Recipes

Texas Cookbooks

Here are a few of our favorite Texas cookbooks offering a wide variety of Texas cuisine including homestyle cooking, elegant bed and breakfast recipes, cowboy cooking, barbecue secrets and Tex-Mex favorites.


Texas Home Cooking

This cookbook not only has great recipes, it has invaluable tips and interesting comments on Texas culinary history and culture. The recipes are not fancy, and the book offers more than 400 recipes from every region of Texas. Includes Texas classics recipes for “real” barbeque, lots of chili, Tex-Mex favorites, chicken fried steak and other cowboy fare.

This cookbook covers breakfasts, desserts, Super Bowl menus; and in between are lots of meat dishes, relishes and side dishes.


Texas Cooking: It’s A Whole Other Cuisine!

Texas Cooking is both a cookbook and a travel guide, featuring gorgeous photographs and unforgettable recipes from every region of the state. This book is filled with recipes from some of the most famous and respected chefs in Texas. Contributors include famous Texans such as Tracy Byrd, Barbara and Laura Bush, Bill Moyers, Grady Spears and more. Every state has its own way, and its own history of preparing its foods. This is Texas cooking, reflecting home-made, hand-me-down recipes from generations past, delectable recipes from many of the state’s top restaurants and new Southwest-style recipes from some of the nation’s most famous and respected Texas chefs.


Legends of Texas Barbecue Cookbook Recipes and Recollections from the Pit Bosses

A practical cookbook and a guided tour of Texas barbecue lore, giving readers straightforward advice right from the pit masters themselves. Their time-honored tips, along with 85 closely guarded recipes, reveal a lip-smacking feast of smoked meats, savory side dishes, and an awesome array of mops, sauces, and rubs. Their opinions are outspoken, their stories outlandish and hilarious. Fascinating archival photography looks back over more than 100 years of barbecue history, from the first turn of the century roasts to candid shots of Lyndon Johnson chowing down on a plate of ribs. A list of the best barbecue joints and a month-by-month rundown of the most influential statewide cook-offs round out this glorious celebration of barbecue found deep in the heart of Texas.


Texas Ties: Recipes and Remembrances – A Junior League of North Harris County cookbook

This festive cookbook offers something for everyone, from gourmet to everyday cooking. Triple-tested recipes in easy to follow format, cooking tips, menu suggestions, heartwarming essays, anecdotes, and photographs.

Homestyle recipes that are easy to make and delicious including White Texas Sheet Cake, Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes, Black Bean Salad, Raspberry and Spinach Salad, Best Banana Pudding and more!


The Tex-Mex CookbookThe Tex-Mex Cookbook – A History in Recipes and Photos

Nobody knows Tex-Mex cooking like Houstonian Robb Walsh, who has spent much of his career researching the vibrant Mexican-American and Texan kitchen. Now he shares all the savory details in a comprehensive Tex-Mex book, filled with outsize characters, fascinating stories, rare archival photographs, and of course great recipes. Recipes include tacos, enchiladas and authentic Texas chili, as well as fajitas, nachos and Frito pie. Upscale contemporary selections such as Wild Mushroom Chalupas and Prickly Pear Margaritas bring this western saga up-to-the-minute.


The Texas Cowboy Kitchen – Recipes from the Chisholm Club

With 100 recipes inspired by an unforgettable era of horseback heroes, this cookbook is beautiful with historic photos of cowboys and Texas. Cowboy cook Grady Spears captures the hearty food, and the romance of the famous Chisholm Trail where cowboys drove cattle over 130 years ago. The recipes come from Grady’s restaurant, the Chisholm Club, but they are very home cook-friendly. And lots of Texas favorites, like an updated version of Frito Pie with venison chili.


Texas Bed & Breakfast Cookbook 
From the Warmth & Hospitality of 70 Texas B&B’s, Country Inns & Guest Ranches

Owners and chefs from Texas B & B’s, Guest Ranches and Country Inns share their most requested, award winning recipes, many with make ahead or time saving tips. This cookbook features 160 delicious recipes for breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner and sweets. Sprinkled among the recipes are B & B travel information & map, humorous anecdotes and comments. There are historic ranch houses, log cabins, country manors, Victorians, old hotels and cottages.