Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Cawker City in Mitchell County, Kansas — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
 

Waconda Springs

 
 
Waconda Springs Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, September 6, 2017
1. Waconda Springs Marker
Inscription. Click to hear the inscription.  American Indians considered Waconda Springs a sacred site. Translated similarly by other tribes, the name comes from a Kaw word meaning "Great Spirit." The legend tells of the beautiful Waconda who fell in love with the warrior Takota from a competing tribe. Their forbidden relationship led to a battle. Takota was fatally shot and fell into the springs. Waconda followed her lover into the waters.

Considered neutral territory, the springs drew Kaws, Pawnees, Comanches, and Osages to the site.

As the Indians were forced from their lands, American settlers showed interest in the springs. Businesses bottled the mineral water to sell as tonic and opened a health spa in 1884, drawing American tourists. The owners claimed the waters could cure a range of maladies. The springs were submerged under Waconda Lake when Glen Elder Dam was built in 1969.

Erected by the State of Kansas

 
Erected by State of Kansas.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Kansas Historical Society marker series.
 
Location.
Waconda Springs Marker (<i>wide view from pull-out; Lake Waconda in the background</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, September 6, 2017
2. Waconda Springs Marker (wide view from pull-out; Lake Waconda in the background)
39° 31.271′ N, 98° 23.076′ W. Marker is near Cawker City, Kansas, in Mitchell County. Marker is on Wisconsin Street (U.S. 24) 2.3 miles east of Ash Street, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is located in a pull-out on the south side of the highway, overlooking Waconda Lake. Marker is in this post office area: Cawker City KS 67430, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 9 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Waconda (Great Spirit Spring) (was here, next to this marker but has been reported missing. ); Waconda Springs / Glen Elder State Park (approx. 2.4 miles away); Cawker City (approx. 2.7 miles away); Homestead of J. Gledhill (approx. 2.7 miles away); World's Largest Ball of Sisal Twine (approx. 2.7 miles away); Sod and Stubble (approx. 8.4 miles away); Missouri Pacific Railroad Depot (approx. 8.6 miles away); The Founding of Downs, Kansas (approx. 8.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Cawker City.
 
More about this marker. This marker has replaced an earlier brown and white state marker at the same location on the same subject.
 
Related marker. Click here for another marker that is related to this marker.
 
Also see . . .
1. Waconda Springs. A mysterious crater of water once drew visitors from near and far in what is now Mitchell County, in the north central part of the state. This large saltwater spring was believed to have spiritual and healing powers. It was a mound about 300 feet wide and rising 40 feet above the surrounding Solomon River Valley. In 1964 federal flood control measures required the construction of a reservoir at Waconda Springs. Despite efforts to preserve the site as a national monument, the structures were bulldozed and the well was sealed in 1968. The spring was covered by water after a dam was built in on the Solomon River. Today is it Waconda Lake at Glen Elder State Park. (Submitted on September 5, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

2. Waconda Spring. The first settler in the region was in 1870 by a man named Pfeiffer, who took out the first claim on the property. Kansas Senator Samuel C. Pomeroy toured the region in 1870 and marveled at what he saw. Said Pomeroy, “At first I declared it the Crater of an Ancient Volcano. The Water occupying its hollow center is fathomless, and about 200 feet in diameter in a perfect circle! It is always brimming full and running over on all sides... The hills about it were as sacred to the Indians as those about Jerusalem." (Submitted on September 5, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

3. Waconda Springs Sanitarium. In 1906, Dr. G. P. Abrahams, who had operated a bathhouse at Mankato, Kansas, for many years, purchased the property from McWilliams. Abrahams was well acquainted with the extraordinary qualities and advantages of the Great Spirit Spring. (The water had won a medal for mineral waters of superior medicinal qualities at the 1904 St. Louis Fair.) During the years between 1906, when Dr. Abrahams purchased the institution, and 1924, the year of his death, many improvements and expansions were made. Likewise, after his death, the Bingessers who took over the operation, all for the benefit and relief of ailing and health-seeking people, constantly added improvements and facilities. For many years, it stood as a modern institution to which people from all over the nation came to be relieved of their sufferings. It also operated as a modern bottling plant from which Waconda Water was shipped to people all over the country. (Submitted on September 5, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

4. Waconda Springs Jug. One patient from Nebraska took Waconda water home in a Red Wing stoneware jug. "There are few human ills of any kind whatever which treatment at this place will not cure."-- from a Waconda Springs Sanitarium brochure. From arthritis and neuritis to diabetes and blood poisoning, the Waconda Springs Sanitarium claimed it could heal whatever ailed a person. (Submitted on September 5, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
 
Categories. Native AmericansSettlements & SettlersWaterways & Vessels
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on September 6, 2018. This page originally submitted on September 5, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 40 times since then. Last updated on September 6, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on September 5, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.
Paid Advertisement