Friends News

Friends of the Wells
raises funds for mineral water testing

There’s no question that tourism is once again thriving in Excelsior Springs but the local industry has been without the prize draw that brought it its fame, its historic waters. The local Friends of the Wells organization, known for their work in preserving well sites and pagodas, has undertaken a fundraising effort to investigate and inspect Soda Well No. 1 and/or Lithia Well No. 1 for water quality testing and analysis to help determine the viability of the wells to be returned to use.

Work will include the removal of all the fill and sediment from the bottom of the well, video inspection of the well from the top to the bottom, disinfect the well, pumping of well for flow rate, and collect three samples from the well for laboratory analysis. A written report of the findings and observations, along with recommendations for pump sizing and repairs that may be required will also be included.

Based on the most recent proposal for the work, the Friends of the Wells Committee has estimated a  need of $13,000 to $17,000 per well. The committee started the project with $5,000 toward the goal but after recent fundraising efforts, they’re much closer to their goal.

Friends of the Wells applied for funding through the City of Excelsior Springs and was granted $2,000. Local citizens Dr. Bob and Patty Shemwell matched the grant for another $2,000 toward the goal. Currently the committee has $9,470.00 and will need another $5,530 in order to successfully take the first step in getting back the city’s mineral waters.

Citizens wishing to donate to the project may do so online at

Friends of the Wells (FOTW) is a non-profit to support the development of the historic well and spring sites in Excelsior Springs and to promote the tourist opportunities the sites afford local businesses by creating and strengthening the bond between the sites and the public in the region, by promoting community participation in the well and spring restoration and maintenance and by contributing resources as appropriate.