The Story of My Infirmity and the Permanent Cure by the use of the Waters of the Starr Hot Springs, near Index, Washington
by Carrie Starr Weismann
In the year 1870, I was living in the State of New York, and became afflicted with a swelling of my right knee. I was taken to Watertown, New York, to Dr. Spencer, at that time a noted surgeon. Dr. Spencer said it was tubercular, and there was nothing to do but to have the leg amputated.
I did not want to submit to such an operation, so went to consult another doctor, a Dr. Brown. At first he seemed to help me. I had to walk on crutches at that time about 18-months, and could not seem to recover full use of my leg. In the year 1884, I went to Omaha to consult with Dr. Lee, who was one of the surgeons who was called to Buffalo, N.Y. to work on President McKinley when he was shot. Dr. Lee told me that the outcome sooner or later must, in his opinion, be an amputation.
In 1887 I married Dr. J.N. Starr of Chicago, and he took me to Dr. Murphy and Dr. Fonger in Chicago. They both told Dr. Starr that that if he would take me to Puget Sound on the West Coast, where there was no frost, a complete change of air, water and food could be had, that I might improve. We came to Snohomish in the year 1888 in August. But, the change did not seem to improve my condition, and Dr. Starr had about decided to take me back to Chicago.
In a conversation with an Englishman one day, who had come in from the woods near the place now called Index, Washington, the Englishman told the doctor about the wonderful springs in the valley of the North Fork of the Skykomish River. He related that the springs were so charged with gas that a bottle would not hold the water. He also said he had been in Baden Baden, Germany, and he thought the water of these springs were much better than the water at Baden Baden.
Dr. Starr then found a guide, took a pack train and started for these springs. This was in the year 1889, in the month of March. After locating the springs and staying there a few days, building cabins and preparing to take me in, Dr. Starr returned to Snohomish and told me he had found the spring and a cure for my knee. (Note: Age 37). In May 1889, he made preparations to take me to the springs. I went on horseback, as there was nothing from Sultan to the spring but a mountain trail, and a very poor one at that.
The first night, we stopped in Sultan at Mr. Inman’s and the next stop was at or near Index at the Englishman’s. I found his wife a very charming woman. I could not go farther on account of my knee being so painful. In our party with others, we had brought a maid. Dr. Starr left me and the maid at the Englishman’s and he, with the rest of the party went on to the spring with the pack train. In a few days, I was able to travel the rest of the way to the springs, and on reaching the springs and not finding the comforts of life, I was not so well pleased, and I decided that I would not bathe in the water. But, as time went on, and my knee got much worse, I finally decided to bathe in the water. I took two baths every day for three weeks. At the end of the three weeks, I had no swelling in my knee at all, but was still very weak. It was then August, and time for me to go back to Snohomish, so I returned with the pack train.
In the Summer of 1890, Dr. Starr had things much more comfortable at the springs, and I went there and stayed a good share of the Summer. I enjoyed my stay there very much. I bathed in the springs a great deal, and was greatly improved. I soon was fully recovered from my infirmity, and the Doctor proceeded immediately to secure title to the lands on which is located these wonderful springs. We secured the grant, which was signed by Grover Cleveland as President of the United States in May 1896, and have owned it ever since.
Since that time, I have never felt anything of the lame knee, and now at the age of 84 years, I am exceptionally well, weighing a little less than 200 pounds and enjoying extremely my home at Wilber, Washington, with my present husband, Mr. Weismann, Dr. Starr, having died some years ago. While I am still able to do so, I am glad to tell of my complete cure at what is now known as the Starr Hot Springs that others who may hereafter be afflicted in some way may also be able to receive their cure in the same way.
Carrie Starr Weismann
March 6, 1928
Note: In the 1930s, the Starr Hot Springs were renamed Garland Mineral Springs.