Completed Projects

Park Pavilion

parklithia-historic
The Friends of the Wells  volunteers, under the direction of Jim Bowman, has completed the replacement of the Park Pavilion.
The Friends of the Wells chose the Calcium No. 2 well (originally called the Park Lithia Well) as the an important well site for redevelopment because it is part of a popular park system, located just south of the Hall of Waters, across Fishing River. The pavilion can be accessed by a walking trail from Isley Boulevard or from Marietta Street.

Other amenities in the park include foilage that attracts butterflies (as well as deer and fox). It is the site of a large, red boulder that commemorates Henry Fish, an entrepreneur who helped in the establishment of the first mineral water bottling system, the park system, the golf course, and the original Elms Hotel.

Sometimes referred to as Park Lithia Spring, was one of the wells that was owned by the city when the Hall of Waters was built, and was the lithia water that was dispensed at the water bar. A swinging bridge over the Fishing River provided access to the pavilion from the Hall of Waters, destroyed by flooding.

Lithia Spring Gazebo

The Lithia Spring Gazebo project was assisted by Jim Bowman, owner of the Willow Spring Mercantile store and bistro located adjacent. Jim volunteered to rebuild the gazebo with the materials paid for by the Friends of the Wells. Another local business man, David Adams of Owen Lumber Company donated the blueprints for construction.

The water was discovered in 1833-’84 and first used by the owner, Thomas McMullin, and his family as a private supply. By 1909, McMullin opened McMullin’s Lithia springs pavilion. Postcards advertised that the water was “Absolutely Pure.Cures rheumatism, kidney, stomach and prostatic trouble. Shipped to any part of the world.” Lithia #1 Spring was one of the ten waters purchased by the city and subsequently piped into the Hall of Waters. The building was destroyed by fire in the 1930s.

Crystal Lithia Pavilion

The Crystal Lithium Spring is listed among the medicinal waters in Excelsior Springs in advertisements as early as 1907, but was undoubtedly operating earlier. In the 1908 Excelsior Springs Blue Book, it is one of 14 “Medical Drinking Water” companies listed, and was one of the 15 known calcium bicarbonate waters (lithia) that operated in town.

The spring water was originally served by two hand pumps providing the water, later an enclosed springhouse was built midway on the lot, sometime before 1913, and then an open air pavilion was constructed in the extreme southeast corner of the property. Sometime prior to its demolition, the springhouse was converted to a residence. The springhouse was demolished in August 1974. In 2009, a replica of the open air pavilion was reconstructed by the Friends of the Wells and Downtown Excelsior Partnership, although not in the original location on the lot.

Other projects completed by community partners:

Lithiated Soda Springhouse

Originally this site contained a frame house, the well, and pump house for the Lithiated Soda Spring, later Soda Saline Spring, as well as a springhouse/pagoda which sold both Soda Saline and Excelsior Lithia Waters. The well was sometimes referred to as the Callerman Well. George Callerman, formerly a barber, built the pavilion for the Lithiated Soda spring water that was “strong in minerals, and at the same time it is pleasant to drink.”

The house, springhouse and well were eventually demolished and a parking lot was constructed for the Commerce Bank building. The Excelsior Springs Optimist Club in partnership with Commerce Bank to financed the reconstruction of the pavilion on its original concrete pad during 2013. It contains a metal hand pump and commemorative plaque. Local construction company TNG Construction was commissioned to build the springhouse. The property is now owned by the Excelsior Springs School District.

Link Soda & Sulfo-Salt Spring Gazebo

Link Soda & Sulfo-Salt Spring Gazebo, located on Excelsior Street, is a stone gazebo that replaced a house and brick pavilion between 1913 and 1926. Link Soda was categorized as one of the eleven known soda bicarbonate waters that operated at various times in town, while the Sulfo Salt Spring was one of eight saline and sulphur laxative mineral waters. Over the years, the roof had weathered and torn off. In 2012, a new octagon-shaped pyramidal roof was constructed over the original stonework. The roof of the gazebo was replaced by the Excelsior Villas during its new housing project along Excelsior Street.