Firefighter/Author Patrick J. O'Brian's Web Page
© 2010 - Patrick J. O'Brian
© 2016 - Patrick J. O'Brian
Tom Taggart bought the French Lick Springs Hotel in 1901 with a vision for what he wanted it to become. A former hotel manager and owner, he left the office of Indianapolis mayor to purchase the hotel and immediately begin a transformation that would rival any hotel in the nation within a few years.
He and his son ran the hotel for the better part of four decades but when the hotel and its famous Pluto water left the family's hands, companies with good intentions didn't always follow through with their grand ideas. The hotel changed with the times, but didn't always receive the maintenance required to keep it looking its best.
Not until the idea of turning the West Baden Springs Hotel down the road into a gaming resort became a reality did the dilapidating hotel find a saving grace. Years of paint were removed to find mosaic tile still in place, the foundation was restored, and for the first time in decades gambling was allowed in Orange County. Thanks to the efforts of the Cook family, concerned residents, and a number of legislators Pluto remains in the valley to this day.