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Alden is noted for its black water baths. Mineral rich "black water" was discovered while drilling for natural gas in 1891. During the drilling process, one of the few unsuccessful operations had struck a vein of mineral rich black water. Although it was a disappointment to the gas company, it became a boon to the community.
Many of the earliest patrons of these "black water baths" were immigrants from Europe who knew about "the waters" of Europe. Within a few years people were coming to Alden from Buffalo and cities in the east.
In 1936 the New York State Joint Legislative Committee investigated mineral water state-wide. The committee concluded that "Alden Black Mineral Water is especially beneficial in the treatment of rheumatism, arthritis, sciatica, neuritis, salt rheum, high and low blood pressure and skin diseases."