Found: Bethesda Mineral Spring, Waukesha, WI

Found: Bethesda Mineral Spring, Waukesha, Wisconsin. Circa 1910s. © E. C. Kropp Co., Milwaukee. Written in cursive in fountain pen on the backside: "Dear Fran & family. This is a handy place & we all like it. I hope to feel better before I leave here. I will see the Dr. to-day. Take care of Babe. Best love, Stella."
Native Americans pointed early settlers toward the healing springs throughout Wisconsin. What became Bethesda Mineral Spring was one of them. Historian accounts explain that "people flocked to the spring, hoping to be cured by the magic waters." Cures included diabetes, constipation and other maladies were documented. But in time, Waukesha's many springs dried up. Nineteenth-century civilization--from out houses to pavement to overuse--made it impossible for the springs to replenish with rain water and then they were gone. No more water bubbling up from the ground. Increased demand for water from the growing city also required deeper and deeper wells which also drew from the water table. By the late 20th-century even the deep weels became contaminated with radium and were dangerous to citizens. What was once a paradise of more than 50 fresh water springs is gone and Waukesha is now asking that water be piped in from Lake Michigan.

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