History of the Black Water Baths in Alden


Have you ever wondered how Alden, New York grew into the town it is today?

The town’s first black-water bath was founded in 1891 when a businessman named Frank Westcott was drilling for gas and discovered an aquifer of sulfurous water. The black water baths were said to cure some diseases and contain water with more curative properties than the mineral water found in other places around the world.

“According to lore, one of the workers had a sore shoulder and took some of the water home with him and heated it and some towels and wrapped it around his shoulder and felt relief,” said Karen Muchow of the Alden Historical Society. ”The nearest black water bath place was in Michigan, so somehow one of the men from Alden went to Mount Clemens and brought back a bottle of their water and got it tested and the Alden water was better.”

If you are interested in more information on the black water baths, you can visit the Alden Historical society or click here to visit its website.