MT. CLEMENS – Julie Bogogvski stepped out of the steamy bathtub, into a white terry cloth robe and onto the pages of nearby mineral bath history.
Bogogvski was the inaugural mineral bath client at the Tranquil Life Center, the 1st industrial spa to open in downtown Mt. Clemens in nearly a century,
“Ooh, I enjoy this,” bakery owner Bogogvski mentioned soon after a 25-minute soak in the mineral-laden hot water on Friday. “I’m going to be a typical consumer.”
The Life Center mineral bath officially opens right now, possibly signaling a new era for an old enterprise. Mt. Clemens boosters after referred to as it “Bath City USA” simply because of its busy spas.
Eleven hotels dating back to the late 1800s once operated mineral baths in the Macomb County seat, attracting millions of visitors every year who sought comfort from arthritis, rheumatism and skin problems. Notables who came incorporated Babe Ruth, Eddie Cantor, George Jessel, Mae West, Jack Dempsey and Helena Rubenstein.
By the mid-1970s, contemporary medicine had taken the life out of the mineral bath organization and the last of the hotels closed.
Now there’s a minor resurgence. St. Joseph Mercy Hospital renewed the mineral baths final year and expects much more than 1,000 buyers this year, mentioned Scott Adler, a vice-president. The hospital on North Avenue will add six far more mineral bath tubs next year.
Each internet sites provide massages right after 20-minute dips in 103-degree water. Tranquil Life plays soothing music and uses an iridescent, bubbling fountain to enhance the relaxation.
“I’d like to see Mt. Clemens be the overall health mecca it was at the turn of the century,” mentioned Jane Buiting, who owns that center with Ed Meerscheart. The alternative health center also delivers yoga, acupuncture and herbal medicine.
“What you are seeing now is men and women going back to a lot more holistic medicine,” she said. “After we opened our company, so several people asked if we had mineral baths.”
Buiting stated that modern baths never use black mud, as in the past, or have the “rotten egg” sulfur smell that wafted by way of Mt. Clemens for decades.
“The old baths were gruesome,” Buiting stated. “They were tar-searching, gunky and they stunk.”
These drawbacks were eliminated through a refining procedure, stated Susan Gans, owner of Geologix, a local firm that tends to make purified mineral bath crystals under the brand name Ache Away. The solution is employed by each Mt. Clemens spas.
Gans uses water from the city’s only operating well, which taps into an aquifer under the city. Officials with the 102-year-old hospital hope to tap a properly beneath its web site to draw reputedly therapeutic water.
Gans stated mineral bath spas are cropping up in other parts of Michigan, such as Margot’s Spa in Birmingham.
Quinnie Cody, a former Mt. Clemens mayor, admits he was skeptical of the baths’ value till he got a present certificate for remedies at St. Joseph.
“I can assure you it has terrific power,” Cody said. “It relieves discomfort. I thought men and women had been below some hypnosis, but I will tell you it is genuinely great.”
Singer Eddie Cantor also endorsed the mineral soakings in a 1949 Everyday Monitor Leader newspaper article.
“You have got some thing here that’s with no parallel anywhere in the world,” Cantor was quoted as saying. “It is your community’s obligation to mankind to inform the planet about it.”
Cody, who came to Mt. Clemens during the 1940s, recalled that streets have been crowded every day with thousands of well being-seekers. “You couldn’t come downtown because of all the men and women here for the mineral baths,” the ex-mayor stated.
Julie Bogogvski stepped out of the steamy bathtub, into a white terry cloth robe and onto the pages of nearby mineral bath history.
“I’d like to see Mt. Clemens be the overall health mecca it was at the turn of the century.”
Jane Butting, co-owner of Tranquil Life Center
‘Bath City’ heritage
* 1865: George Steffens hits brackish mineral water under Mt. Clemens while drilling for oil.
* 1873: City’s initial bathhouse, The Original, opens at Jones and Water streets.
* 1880: Avery Home is constructed as the first hotel for mineral bath buyers. It could accommodate 400 guests.
* 1897: The Park Hotel and Bath House opens on East Street as the largest and most renowned of the city’s spas. Celebrities stayed at the hotel, razed in 1940.
* 1899: The St. Joseph Sanitarium and Bathhouse is built on North Avenue. It later became a hospital.
* 1910: The Arethusa, final of the bathhouses, was constructed on Gratiot (now South Principal), south of Cass.
* 1976: The Colonial Hotel closes its mineral baths.
* 1999: St. Joseph Mercy Hospital renews mineral baths at its one hundred-year-old constructing on North Avenue as a centennial gimmick.
* 2000: Mineral baths are so common,
St. Joseph decides to bring them back permanently.
* 2001: St. Joseph plans to expand the organization in 2002 to six baths, hoping to draw mineral water from an aquifer beneath the hospital.
* 2001: Tranquil Life Center becomes the 1st private commercial mineral bath enterprise to open downtown in almost a century.
* Supply: “Mount Clemens Bath City USA,” by Marie Ling McDougal, and Detroit News archives.