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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • BRITISH COLUMBIA VACATION-LAND: 1950s

Medea Baths: 1899

Medea Baths: 1899

Mount Clemens, Michigan, circa 1899. "Medea Bath House." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Photographic Company. View full size.

 

On Shorpy:
Today’s Top 5

New and Old "Ral"

I have a strong impression that cures touted by Mineral Baths would help cure STDs. Neuralgia was a common term for acceptable mental and physical ailments, and the term "old Ral" was for the naughty ones.

Bath Time Is Over

By the end of it's its run the Medea had added a hotel above but was stripped of the architectural touches that made the original bath building stand out. It was a sad end to a long run for a fixture in Mt. Clemens history

No Children

I guess the appropriate warning sign is blocked from view by one of the columns.

Media mogul

I don't remember this Tyler Perry movie. Although, come to think of it, "Medea Goes to the Baths" probably *would* be something he'd make, so maybe look for that in theaters near you soon.

Quite a life!

The 1882 Medea bath house eventually grew into the four story Medea Hotel in 1904, and it lasted until 1991. More on the Medea and other Mount Clemens bath houses here.

Oh black water

The hottest spot on earth to relieve yourself

Doug Fejer reports:

The Medea stood at 195 S. Gratiot Avenue on the site now occupied by the Macomb County Administration Building. The bath house portion was built in 1882. A 150 room hotel was opened on June 6, 1904. The building was razed in 1991.
In one of the truly great scams in all of recorded history, the folks in Mt. Clemens had people convinced that taking a bath in the black water with the horrible smell would cure their ailments.
My guess would be that wide spread availability of aspirin did in the mineral bath industry.

In Harmony & Dissonance: Voices of Jewish Identity in Detroit, 1914-1967 you may read:

Mt. Clemens had become famous for its curative mineral baths and its spas. [.....] The "cures" lasted twenty-one days, and in its heyday (the 1920s through the 1940s), Mt. Clemens hoasted thirteen baths [....], "five blind pigs and twelve houses of ill repute." It was, wrote one late commentator, "the hottest spot on earth to relieve yourself of pain, suffering, and money."

Razed in 1991

The Medea stood at 195 S. Gratiot Avenue on the site now occupied by the Macomb County Administration Building.

According to: Mount Clemens Bath Houses

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