2 postcards of Excelsior Springs, Regent Spring & Wabash Depot
Taking the waters at Excelsior Springs was popular with Kansas Citians at the turn of the century.
Some persons traveled the 25 miles to Excelsior Springs over dirt roads through Clay County by carriage or automobile, but more popular was the train. Rail travelers were met at the quaint Excelsior Springs depot by horse-drawn hacks which took them to their hotel or one of the hundreds of boarding houses. In 1903 one railroad sold 110,000 round-trip tickets from Kansas City to Excelsior Springs.
Printed for the Missouri exhibit at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, held in St. Louis in 1904, was a thick volume prepared by state officials to accurately describe the chief resources and attractions of the state. Several pages were devoted to descriptions of the springs and detailed chemical analyses:
The state abounds in mineral springs... The largest and most popular resort in the state is Excelsior Springs, in Clay County, a beautiful little city lighted by electricity and with a good sewer system, fine hotels, bath houses and ample pleasure grounds, all of which have been developed since the discovery of the springs in 1880. The two most important of the springs here are the Regent and Siloam, both ferro-manganese waters which have their source in coal measures shales. ...Two drill wells, the sulpho-saline, 1,460 feet deep, and the salt-sulphur, 1,370 feet, have been sunk in the vicinity, furnishing sulpho-saline waters.
The Regent and sulpho-saline waters are carbonated and shipped to all parts of the country. The similarity of these waters to those of St. Moritz and Mont d'Or in Switzerland and France has been shown.
Post cards, plentiful at the resort, pictured shady streets, lakes, parks, the business district and the numerous Victorian boarding houses, hotels and the quaint pagoda-like shelters or summer houses built over the different springs.
Hotel Castle Rock, the Elms, the Royal, the Snapps, the Chadwick, the Benton, the Grant, Kansas City House, Avalon Apartments, Sanford House, the Saratoga and Maplehust were among hotels pictured on cards.
Missouri Valley Special Collections, Kansas City Public Library, Kansas City, Missouri
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