Category Archives: Hotels

Hot Wells

[Hot Wells, Harris County, Texas]

Some maps of the Houston area identify a location on Highway 290 – across 290 from the Compaq campus, and just short of Cypress – called “Hot Wells”. See, for example, this Mapquest map of Hot Wells (Hot Wells appears in the bottom right corner of the map). This map marking is a reference to a hot artesian well once located in Harris County.

The artesian well was discovered by wildcatters, in 1904, on the heels of Humble Oil’s major oil discovery at Moonshine Hill (near Humble). The wildcatters lost their drill bit and, in the course of a two-week search for the bit, chanced upon the artestian well. It didn’t take long for someone to see the well’s money-making potential, and soon there was developed on the site the Houston Hot Well Sanitarium – a hotel resort of sorts where Houstonians and others went to enjoy the allegedly theraputic hot mineral waters. The resort was conveniently located right next to the Southern Pacific line that still runs parallel to 290 in that area. In addition to large concerte basins of mineral water in which guests would soak, the sanitarium also featured an Olympic-size swimming pool and a dancing/bingo hall. The resort appears to have been the only one of its kind ever developed in the Houston area.

While today the site is occupied by the Hot Wells Shooting Range, there are still some vestiges of the old Hot Wells to be seen. Some can be seen in the above satellite photo – or by switching the above Mapquest map to satellite view, and centering and zooming in on the “Hot Wells” site.

More information:, “History of CFISD”


Shamrock Hotel

[Postcard of Shamrock Hotel]

TIME Magazine, “Luck of the Irish”, Mar. 21, 1949