Park Pavilion

Funded through Friends of the Wells

Friends of the Wells

The Friends of the Wells have initiated a Soda Well Restoration Project. The first step is water quality testing and inspection of the Soda Well No. 1, located behind the Hall of Waters on the northeast corner. The inspection/investigation will help to determine the viability of the well to be returned to use.

The primary purpose is to find an existing mineral water well that can be returned to use in drinking and, perhaps, spa bathing, at the Hall of Waters. This is the most economically feasible of the city-owned mineral water wells to be piped into the ground floor Mineral Springs Development tank room. Future plans would be to pipe the water to the water bar in the Visitor Center and make available to residents and tourists. Additional plans may include piping into the hydrotherapy pool for tourism and health-related activities.

Strategic goals that would be met by this project include Downtown Development, Economic Development, Recreational and Community Wellness, and Tourism.

Over the past 40 years, several private companies have attempted to produce the mineral waters for resell, all having failed to achieve economic sustainability. The uniqueness of the Friends of the Wells project is that a group of like-minded citizens have chosen to come together in an effort to restore at least one variety of our mineral water to share with residents and visitors alike without private gain. It is our vision to have the water available for free at the mineral water bar inside the Hall of Waters. This will fill a gap that the community has in not meeting expectations of many visitors who are seeking to taste the mineral waters. It would also serve to fill a gap identified in the 2010 strategic plan that proposes an additional one or two destination activities be developed inside the city for serving the tourism population.

Excelsior Springs should also promote our community for geotourism. Geotourism is defined as tourism that sustains or enhances the distinctive geographical character of a place – its environment, heritage, aesthetics, culture and the well-being of its residents. There are more groupings of mineral water in Excelsior Springs than anywhere else in the world. Groupings of water are ferro-manganese, sodium bicarbonate, calcium bicarbonate and saline sulphur.

Since this is an exploratory project, there is no guarantee that the mineral water testing will result in restoration of the mineral water well. However, if the committee is able to find a mineral water deemed potable (safe to drink), the entire city stands to benefit through increased economy, heritage tourism, and community pride. The Friends of the Wells believe that the greatest, positive impact to restoration of the Hall of Waters would be to have at least one of our waters available at the water bar. It is also an important step in promoting tourism, an industry supporting our hotel and downtown businesses. It would provide new opportunities for our local breweries, further business development for retail and event venues throughout the community, and provide job creation. It will instill new pride in our heritage and provide authenticity to our origin story.

The Hall of Waters recently was recognized on the America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places list and has also received a Saving America’s Treasures grant. We are hoping that the national recognition of the Hall of Waters will help in its restoration efforts.

If you would like to help with the Soda Water Well testing project, please donate any amount using the online PayPal button.

Thank you for your consideration!
Friends of the Wells