Stryker Mineral Springs brought people to town for curing effects
When Stryker residents noticed gas continuously escaping from local wells, a company was organized in the spring of 1861 to search for oil. After drilling to a depth of about 70 feet, work ceased due to inadequate equipment and the outbreak of the Civil War.
During the winter of 1864-1865, the Stryker Oil Company was organized at Boston, and in April 1865, the company struck oil and gas in Stryker.
After drilling two years to a depth of 860 feet, not enough gas and oil were discovered to make the venture profitable, and the well was abandoned.
Mineralized water began regularly spouting up from the well, and in 1870 a local newspaper reported, "hundreds of invalids are using it and praising its medicinal qualities."
In 1884, the Stryker Mineral Springs Company built a two-story bathhouse at the northwest corner of Center and Curtis streets. People traveled from as far as California seeking mineral bath treatments to cure a variety of ailments.
On July 26, 1900, the bathhouse burned down; about 15 years later, John A. Gardner erected this two-story bathhouse on the same site.
Over time, demand for mineral baths declined and in 1953, the bathhouse was reopened as a nursing home.
This business closed in the late 1960s, and the building was razed in 1977.
Photograph courtesy of the Kevin Maynard collection.