Title: Excelsior Springs, Elms Hotel

Description: Postcard of the Elms Hotel, Excelsior Springs, MO

Historical Article: About a month after the formal opening of the new fireproof Elms Hotel on Sept. 7, 1912, this old post card was mailed from a Mrs. Clegg in Excelsior Springs to Miss Mary Bruce, Cushion, Okla.

Built in 1868, the original Elms was a wooden, wide veranda structure, with pine interior and hand-made terra cotta fireplaces.

Twice destroyed by fire around the turn of the century, the Elms was rebuilt of native stone, as pictured, in 1912.

Guests registered at the Elms included the names of the great and near-great, the famous and the infamous. Names like Roosevelt, Rockefeller and Truman appeared as did those of Hollywood celebrities and Chicago underworld figures.

It was a popular place with Kansas Citians and local city directories carried full-page advertisements of the spa. This one appeared in the 1910 directory: A paradise for nervous and over-worked people. The various natural waters of Excelsior Springs have proven especially efficacious in the treatment of the following diseases: Rheumatism, Blood Poisoning, Skin, Stomach and Liver Diseases, Malaria, Dropsy, Diabetes, Constipation, Jaundice, Catarrh, Affections of the Kidney and Bladder, Obesity and Bright's Disease. The Elms ad in the same directory noted: Open the year round. The New Elms is thoroughly modern. Surrounded by a beautiful 10-acre park. Bath house in hotel. Rates: $2.50, $3.50, $4 and $5 per day. American plan. Grand ball every Saturday night. John Emmke, Mgr.

In addition to the Elms, there were dozens of smaller hotels in the resort town. Many are pictured in color on old post cards. Here are a few in my collection: Castle Rock, McKenzie Hotel, the Maples, the Benton, the Grant House on east Broadway, the Snapp Hotel, Chadwick, Saratoga, the Olives, Sanford House, Kansas City House (Fowler's Inn) and the Monfort House. Some still operate.

Attractions advertised for the entertainment of the guests were similar to those of today: Tennis, swimming, horseback riding, visiting the Watkins Mill and the home of the James boys.

Today's Elms Hotel is undergoing rehabilitation, but 100 rooms have been renovated and refurbished and are open for occupancy.

Kansas City Times
July 18, 1980

Author: Ray, Mrs. Sam (Mildred)

Item Type: Postcard

Collection: Mrs. Sam Ray Postcard Collection (SC58)
See finding aid: http://localhistory.kclibrary.org/u?/Local,36981

Location: SC58

Local Subject: Elms Hotel; Excelsior Springs, Missouri

Digital Format: JPEG

Barcode: 20000497

Repository: Missouri Valley Special Collections, Kansas City Public Library, Kansas City, Missouri

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