Generations of visitors have found health and prosperity in the French Lick-West Baden region of Indiana. The history of these communities is filled with tales of exploration, ambition, philanthropy, and promised miracles from a foul-smelling water that magically seeped from the ground. The French Lick Hotel, founded by William Bowles in 1845, and the West Baden Hotel, founded by John Lane in 1855, both grew to set the standards for elegance and luxury across the country. Tycoons and gangsters found comfortable refuge here in this secluded corner of Indiana, but the challenges of the Great Depression and the war years set the community back on its heels. The once posh hotels fell into a period of decline and disrepair, only to come bounding back again in the 1990s. Today, the resort is filled with visitors who come seeking the perfect round of golf, a day at the spa, or a winning hand at the poker table, in two lavishly restored hotels that are reminiscent of another era.