MT. CLEMENS – Julie Bogogvski stepped out of the steamy bathtub, into a white terry cloth robe and onto the pages of local mineral bath history.
Bogogvski was the inaugural mineral bath buyer at the Tranquil Life Center, the 1st industrial spa to open in downtown Mt. Clemens in nearly a century,
“Ooh, I love this,” bakery owner Bogogvski mentioned right after a 25-minute soak in the mineral-laden hot water on Friday. “I’m going to be a regular client.”
The Life Center mineral bath officially opens today, possibly signaling a new era for an old enterprise. Mt. Clemens boosters when known as it “Bath City USA” due to the fact of its busy spas.
Eleven hotels dating back to the late 1800s when operated mineral baths in the Macomb County seat, attracting millions of guests each year who sought comfort from arthritis, rheumatism and skin disorders. Notables who came integrated 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 final of the hotels closed.
Now there’s a minor resurgence. St. Joseph Mercy Hospital renewed the mineral baths final year and expects more than 1,000 clients this year, mentioned Scott Adler, a vice-president. The hospital on North Avenue will add six more mineral bath tubs subsequent year.
Each sites provide massages right after 20-minute dips in 103-degree water. Tranquil Life plays soothing music and makes use of an iridescent, bubbling fountain to improve the relaxation.
“I’d like to see Mt. Clemens be the overall health mecca it was at the turn of the century,” stated Jane Buiting, who owns that center with Ed Meerscheart. The alternative overall health center also gives yoga, acupuncture and herbal medicine.
“What you happen to be seeing now is individuals going back to much more holistic medicine,” she stated. “Following we opened our company, so a lot of folks asked if we had mineral baths.”
Buiting said that contemporary baths do not 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 have been gruesome,” Buiting mentioned. “They had been tar-hunting, gunky and they stunk.”
Those drawbacks had been eliminated by way of a refining approach, mentioned Susan Gans, owner of Geologix, a neighborhood firm that makes purified mineral bath crystals beneath the brand name Ache Away. The product is utilized by both Mt. Clemens spas.
Gans makes use of water from the city’s only operating nicely, which taps into an aquifer under the city. Officials with the 102-year-old hospital hope to tap a properly below its site to draw reputedly therapeutic water.
Gans mentioned 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’ worth till he got a gift certificate for remedies at St. Joseph.
“I can assure you it has terrific power,” Cody mentioned. “It relieves pain. I believed men and women had been under some hypnosis, but I’ll inform you it is really excellent.”
Singer Eddie Cantor also endorsed the mineral soakings in a 1949 Every day Monitor Leader newspaper post.
“You’ve got some thing here that’s with out parallel anywhere in the planet,” Cantor was quoted as saying. “It really is your community’s obligation to mankind to tell the globe about it.”
Cody, who came to Mt. Clemens during the 1940s, recalled that streets were crowded every day with thousands of health-seekers. “You could not come downtown since of all the men and women right here for the mineral baths,” the ex-mayor mentioned.
Julie Bogogvski stepped out of the steamy bathtub, into a white terry cloth robe and onto the pages of neighborhood mineral bath history.
“I’d like to see Mt. Clemens be the wellness 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 although drilling for oil.
* 1873: City’s first bathhouse, The Original, opens at Jones and Water streets.
* 1880: Avery Residence is constructed as the initial hotel for mineral bath buyers. It could accommodate 400 guests.
* 1897: The Park Hotel and Bath House opens on East Street as the biggest and most renowned of the city’s spas. Celebrities stayed at the hotel, razed in 1940.
* 1899: The St. Joseph Sanitarium and Bathhouse is constructed on North Avenue. It later became a hospital.
* 1910: The Arethusa, final of the bathhouses, was built 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 creating on North Avenue as a centennial gimmick.
* 2000: Mineral baths are so well-liked,
St. Joseph decides to bring them back permanently.
* 2001: St. Joseph plans to expand the business in 2002 to six baths, hoping to draw mineral water from an aquifer beneath the hospital.
* 2001: Tranquil Life Center becomes the very first private industrial mineral bath organization to open downtown in nearly a century.
* Supply: “Mount Clemens Bath City USA,” by Marie Ling McDougal, and Detroit News archives.