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The history of Excelsior Springs

Excelsior Springs owes its existance to a natural spring that for ages gushed forth from remote depths of the earth at the edge of a pretty river near the western border of what is now Fishing River Township, Clay County, Missouri.

The white man was slow in appreciation of the rocky hills, deep caverns and rugged vastness here; the land was practically valueless -- not worth the clearing of stones and gnarled growth; it was so much better far away. Yet a few "squatters" built cabins, prepared small patches for cultivation, bore and brought up children. Here and there a substantial land and timber owner gave permanence to the domain, up to the unfolding of this story -- the days of 1880.

Excelsior Springs Fishing River

In the beginning ...
Excelsior Springs owes its existance to a natural spring that for ages gushed forth from remote depths of the earth at the edge of a pretty river near the western border of what is now Fishing River Township, Clay County, Missouri. Click here for more.

George Kessler designed Siloam Spring Pavilion

The famous waters ...
The rarity of having 20 separate mineral springs bubbling out four distinct varieties of water has given Excelsior Springs the rightful claim of having the world's greatest group of mineral waters. Click here for more.

Hall of Waters Spa and Water Bar

The Hall of Waters & Cultural Museum
A million dollars was made available for the construction of the Hall of Waters, purchase of the mineral water rights, and piping of the waters to the bottling facilities within. Click here for more.

The Elms Hotel

The Elms Resort Hotel
The Elms Hotel is the third Elms Hotel, built in 1912. The present Elms Hotel was built by the Elms Realty Company and designed by the prominent Kansas City architects, Jackson and McIlvain. Click here for more.

Excelsior Springs Historical Museum

Historical Museum
Standing on what was originally the Excelsior Hotel grounds (Excelsior Springs first hotel), the bank was constructed of Bedford stone and was known as one of the most artistic bank buildings in Missouri. Click here for more.

Excelsior Springs Historic Landmarks

Excelsior Springs Landmarks
Excelsior Springs landmarks listed on the local, county and national historic registers. Click here for listing.


Excelsior Springs Golf Course

Historic Golf Course
Tom Bendelow, the noted course architect of Chicago, had his expert hand in the shaping of the Excelsior Springs course along with Alex Ross, its Scottish golf professional. Click here for more.
The Inn on Crescent Lake
Crescent Lake Manor, so named because of the crescent-shaped lakes (ponds that surround the mansion), was the stylish home for two decades of Dr. Aretas S. McCleary and family. Dr. McCleary was founder of the McCleary Sanatorium and Clinic in downtown Excelsior Springs. Click here for more.


Additional Excelsior Springs history websites:
The pre-history of Fishing River
The Excelsior Springs Museum
The Idle Hour


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