Once a bustling tourist attraction known for its mineral waters, Excelsior Springs boasts a rich history and has attracted many famous people throughout the years.


Hours

April- Nov: Tue-Sat 11 am-4 pm; Feb-March: Tue, Fri, Sat 11 am-4 pm.
Closed December and January.

Contact Information

101 E Broadway Street
Excelsior Springs, MO 64024
Phone: 816-630-0101
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Location Type

Kid-friendly
Museum
Interpretive Signs
Walking Tours

Site Info

Restroom
Wheelchair
AC / Heating
Restrooms
Staffed
Wheel Chair Accessible

Once a bustling tourist attraction known for its mineral waters, Excelsior Springs boasts a rich history and has attracted many famous people throughout the years.

in 1967, the museum was created to house a large collection of Indian artifacts. The south end of the Water Bar at the Hall of Waters was selected as a display site. The museum moved into an old bank building, and later expanded into an adjoining hotel building.

The Clay County State Bank was established in 1894.

In 1905, a new bank building was designed by Louis S. Curtiss, a well-known architect in the Kansas City area. Construction was of Bedford stone, at a cost of about 25,000. It was known as one of the most artistic bank buildings in Missouri. A 1920 expansion brought the building to its present size. The wall paintings paintings were presumably done at this time also. The painting on the south wall is a copy of The Gleaners; the one on the north is The Angelus.


The Francis Hotel building portion of the museum was built in 1919-1920. The second floor was always a hotel. The first floor has housed several businesses including a shoe store, Excelsior Institute & Hospital, and Wicker’s Furniture prior to the city obtaining it in the late 1980s.

J.V. B. Flack was a founder of Excelsior Springs. He arrived in 1880, curious about the news of curative powers of the spring waters. After investigating the reports of the water, he advised the owner of the spring, Anthony W. Wyman, to have the land platted, the water analyzed and to begin advertising the cures of the water. Flack built a home there, and opened a dry goods store, a church, and an enterprising community with Wyman, and their mineral waters.

In less than one year 200 houses nestled in the little valley and clung to the rugged hillsides, while hundreds of visitors had to content themselves at campfires, under tents and in the shelter of covered wagons.

Soon the community had grown to include numerous hotels, boarding houses, churches, school, opera house, livery stables and stores. A second spring was found in 1881. First known as Empire it became the Regent Spring. In 1893, Regent Water received a medal at the Chicago World’s Fair, for having the highest iron content of any known water. The 3rd spring was Relief Spring found almost in the basin of Dry Fork of Fishing River.

As the need for water increased by the large number of visitors who poured into the city, many wells were dug. Four distinct types of water have been found: ferro-manganese, sodium bicarbonate, saline and soda combined, and Saline and sulpho-saline water. Thus, located here in this little valley of Excelsior Springs, there are more different kinds of mineral water than can be found in any other like-area in the entire world.

Volunteers are available to give museum tours. To arrange for tours and research, call or email emuseum101@gmail.com.

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