Monthly Archives: February 2024

Uncovering the Past: The Baker Hospital Through the Eyes of a Patient

Baker Cancer Hospital Eureka Springs

In a striking find, a long-lost letter has come to light, offering a rare glimpse into the day-to-day of the Baker Cancer Hospital, housed within the historic Crescent Hotel. The letter, penned by cancer patient Luther J Baggett back in 1938, has been generously shared with the hotel by Baggett’s descendants, enriching the tapestry of the hotel’s storied past.

The Baker Cancer Hospital, under the dubious leadership of Norman Baker between 1937 and 1939, was infamous for its unconventional and widely disputed cancer treatments. Baker, a figure mired in controversy, touted his facility as a beacon of hope for the incurable, attracting patients with the promise of a miracle cure.

Luther’s correspondence, crafted on the hospital’s distinct purple letterhead—a nod to Baker’s eccentricities—offers an intimate snapshot of his experiences within these walls. From the frustration of delayed mail to the daily regimen of castor oil, tonics, needle therapies, and a diet heavy on carrot juice, Baggett’s words paint a vivid portrait of his time at the hospital.

What stands out in Luther’s recounting is the hospital’s staunch commitment to natural healing, relying on a medley of vegetables, herbs, roots, and barks to concoct their treatments—a philosophy that, despite its roots in Baker’s controversial practices, speaks to a holistic approach to health.

The financial strain of such treatments is a recurring theme in Luther’s letter. The costs associated with his care loom large in his narrative, hinting at the broader economic burden shouldered by patients in pursuit of Baker’s elusive cure.

Tragically, Luther J Baggett’s journey came to an end on February 24, 1939, shortly after his letter was sent. His reflections not only humanize the many faces that passed through the hospital’s doors but also serve as a poignant reminder of the hope and despair that coexisted within its walls.

The Crescent Hotel, in receiving this invaluable letter, continues to honor its complex legacy, weaving the personal stories of its past inhabitants into the fabric of its historical narrative. For those intrigued by the hotel’s rich history and the tales of its former life as the Baker Cancer Hospital, a visit to its historical exhibits and archives promises a deep dive into an era long gone but not forgotten.

Transcription of Luther J Baggett’s Letter sent to his wife & children back home in Lakeside, Arizona:

Friday, 12/9/1938

My Dear Little Bunch,

The weather has blowed off nice & has been a pretty day. Me & another old man walked to town this afternoon but I haven’t had any mail from home yet. This is an awful out of way place & mail is slow getting in & out but I will surely get something tomorrow. I wrote to Floyd and Vera McCluer at High Texas today. Will mail this tomorrow. I have wrote you two letters already. Onaeta can you send me Holts address. I sure would like to kiss my wife, Big Girl, Little Girl, & My Sonny Boy. Good night.

Saturday morning, 10th. Have been pretty busy up to now. Castor oil at 6, tonic at 7, shaved, went to breakfast, took needle treatment back to room on bed with hot pack, have just got back from a little walk & some air, yes & had carrot juice at 9. They say that all the medicines & food used here are made from vegetables, herbs, roots & bark. Can’t tell yet what they are going to do with my main trouble but they sure seem to work over your blood & system. They didn’t find much the mater (sic) with me, my blood was 30 points low, and my main trouble. Some people come here & they find several ailments that they didn’t know they had. That makes it more expensive. One man came just ahead of me with several ailments & they charged him $500.00 flat rate for 5 weeks treatment without room, some are saving some money rooming out but they wanted me here in the hospital, it seems that most of them has to stay as much as five weeks & some longer since the mails seem so slow you had better let me know soon how you think we are going to get along financially. Guess I will try to stay the three weeks, if I don’t stay any longer (I have $47.00 now). It will take $3.00 more for next week, $50.00 for the next & about $30.00 for a ticket & a little for laundry. About $90.00 more for three weeks, this sure has been a long week for me & since I haven’t had a letter & wondering if some of you are bad sick, am going to try to write to Mamie today & I am not sure of her address.

Well, the last mail has come for this week & I didn’t get a letter don’t know what to think & it seems there is nothing I can do about it. Will quit & get this in the mail.

Love to all, LJB (Luther J Baggett)


Eureka Springs Paranormal Weekend Photo Contest Winner

Each year, the Eureka Springs Paranormal Weekend stirs a buzz among enthusiasts and skeptics alike. This year’s event was no exception, and we’re thrilled to announce the winner: Robert N., whose intriguing capture has left many of us pondering the mysteries that lurk within the historic walls of the Crescent Hotel.

Robert’s winning shot came from an unlikely source—a TV screen in room 218, also known as Michael’s room, a hotspot for paranormal activity within the hotel. While investigating with a small group and one of our knowledgeable guides, Robert snapped a series of photos, not expecting what he would find upon review.

Among the images was a distinct face in the TV screen, a face that didn’t match anyone present in the room. The clarity and detail of the face left the group in awe, especially considering the room’s storied past. Intrigued by the discovery, Robert attempted to recreate the photo under similar conditions, aiming to catch a reflection or any logical explanation. Despite his efforts, the mysterious image remained just that—a mystery.

So, what do you think about Robert’s find? Was it a trick of the light, a digital anomaly, or perhaps something more? This year’s photo contest not only brings Robert a well-deserved return trip to Eureka Springs in 2025 but also leaves us with an intriguing puzzle.

We invite you to join us next year to explore, capture, and maybe even unravel some of Eureka Springs’ enduring enigmas. Who knows? The next captivating shot could be yours.