Beloit,,Kansas

Healing Waters: the Legend of Waconda Springs


category : Indian Heritage
Healing Waters: the Legend of Waconda Springs Waconda Springs for centuries inspired wonder among its visitors. Both Indians and whites marveled at Kansas' largest saltwater spring. The diameter at the base is 300 feet. Waconda is a deep-seated spring, the source of its supply being the saliferous shale immediately overlaying the Dakota sandstone which in this section is 600 to 800 feet below the surface. Samuel C. Pomeroy, on a tour of the Solomon River valley in 1870, called Waconda Springs "a most wonderful and marvelous sight".

"At first i declared it the Crater of an Ancient Volcano," Pomeroy wrote. 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."

Many Plains Indians regarded springs as the dwelling place of supernatural powers. The Kansas name for Waconda Springs meant "spirit water". Indians of several tribes made pilgrimages to the spot, tossing beads, weapons, blankets, and other offerings to Waconda's waters.

The Pawnee recognized a dozen sacred places in Nebraska and Kansas. Nearly all were associated with water and known as "holy ground". Waconda Springs was thought to mark the location of an underwater lodge where animals of many species gathered and held council.

"Animals, while not gods, were a medium through which Pawnee individuals could acquire knowledge and power," explained historian Rita Napier. "The goal of Pawnee life was to increase one's power in order to live in complete accord with the laws of the universe."

Through a dream of vision, a fortunate Pawnee might visit the lodge beneath Waconda Springs. There the animals would teach them skills such as performing magic, hypnotism, or, most often, the healing of wounds and disease. Pawnee medicine societies traced their origins to such visits, and their ceremonies included smoke-offerings to Waconda Springs.

Kansas' early white settlers attributed medicinal properties to the state's many mineral springs. Senator Pomeroy seized on Waconda's commercial potential, predicting that a health resort of "towering magnificence" would arise. In 1884, developers fenced the spring and constructed a luxury hotel nearby.

The hotel became a sanitarium and spa in 1906. For over a half century patients came to "take the cure" at Waconda Springs. The mineral water was said to relieve a host of ailments from rheumatism to hemorrhoids, insomnia, and discolored skin.

A diver on the 4th of July, 1906, went down as far as possible, finding no bottom to the dark blue water which never froze in winter. Rain or drought never affected its calm and indifferent tranquillity. Many people today say the water rose and fell with the ocean tides.

But these virtues were overshadowed by the goal of controlling Kansas' water supply. In 1944, the Federal Bureau of Reclamation announced its plans to dam the Solomon River at Glen Elder -- and inundate Waconda Springs. In 1970, the waters of Waconda Lake closed over the famous spring.


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Healing Waters: the Legend of Waconda Springs
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Upcoming Events near Beloit, Kansas

Coca-Cola Days

Start Date: Fri August, 12th
Plainville Coca-Cola Days is held around the beginning of school each August. The promotion encourages local purchases by of...

Celebrate the German heritage of this Volga German community with polka music, concerts, parade, car show, talent show, free swimming, food booths, kids pedal pull and fireworks show.  Event features free entertainment on Friday and Saturday night with national recording artists and local bands. Saturday includes a 5K Run/Walk, parade, traditional German Welcome, horseshoe tournament, bingo, pinochle, beer and food booths, polka music, German singers, talent show and fireworks. Various vendors will be set up and food booths will have a variety of local favorites including dumplings, brauts, beirocks, galushkies and green bean dumpling soup. Saturday afternoon Polka Mass at 4 pm is a traditional Catholic service with polka music and German singers. FREE - All are invited to attend.
Herzogfest

Start Date: Fri August, 12th
Celebrate the German heritage of this Volga German community with polka music, concerts, parade, car show, talent show, free ...

The Annual Fall Gallery Walk will feature exhibitions by various artists in a number of downtown and area Hays locations. Come see the local as well as regional talent display their art. A variety of visual and performing arts are demonstrated throughout the community. From paintings and photography to live shows and music, the Hays Arts Council’s Art Walk will be sure to entertain everyone who comes for the event. 6:30 PM - 9:30 PM.

All ages are welcome.
Fall Gallery Walk

Start Date: Fri August, 26th
The Annual Fall Gallery Walk will feature exhibitions by various artists in a number of downtown and area Hays locations. Com...

Midget Nationals Car Races

Start Date: Fri August, 5th
The largest and richest event for midget racing nationwide, the races are held on the world's fastest half-mile dirt oval rac...

Coed Softball Tournament

Start Date: Fri August, 5th
Coed Softball Tournament...

Special holiday open house held during the Frost Fest community celebration in downtown Hays.
Christmas Open House at the Ellis County Historical Society museum. Enjoy the Christmas season at this free event and view the newest museum exhibits in the galleries while listening to live holiday music. The children can make a craft in the Discovery Center, while you are Christmas shopping in the Museum Store. Refreshments will be served and hayrack rides through the downtown area of Hays will be available.

7 p.m-9 p.m. .
Christmas Open House

Start Date: Fri December, 2nd
Special holiday open house held during the Frost Fest community celebration in downtown Hays. Christmas Open House at the El...

Join us for our Christmas open house.  Experience an old-fashioned Christmas at the Fort as it would have been decorated in the late 1800’s.  Discover how soldiers and civilians who lived at the fort spent their Christmas holiday.

In the officers’ quarters, visitors can sample fresh-baked, old fashioned chocolate chunk cookies and the children will receive a bag of goodies from Father Christmas who will be seated next to the large Victorian Christmas tree.

There will be horse-drawn wagon rides around the fort grounds and frontiersmen will be serving hot spiced cider to help warm up the wagon riders.  Near the blockhouse, soldiers will be making hot fried apples over a campfire. 

The buildings will be decorated with homemade ornaments, popcorn garland, candles, luminaries, kerosene lanterns and decorations of the 1860’s.  Visitors are asked to go to the Visitor Center to begin their tour.
Annual Christmas Past Celebration at Fort Hays

Start Date: Fri December, 2nd
Join us for our Christmas open house. Experience an old-fashioned Christmas at the Fort as it would have been decorated in t...

Enjoy horsedrawn wagon rides, a baking contest, a visit with Santa, vendors, decorating cookies, children's arts & crafts, storytelling and the illuminated holiday parade will take place on Main Street at 6 pm on Saturday. Plus check out the FrostFest activities and specials offered by downtown merchants. Call us for a complete schedule of event - 785-621-4171.  Also find the FrostFest Facebook page for lots more information. 

http://www.chestnutstreetdistrict.com
FrostFest

Start Date: Fri December, 2nd
Enjoy horsedrawn wagon rides, a baking contest, a visit with Santa, vendors, decorating cookies, children's arts & crafts, st...

Veterans Day Parade

Start Date: Fri November, 11th
Come view the awesome sight of 170flags on the Courthouse Square and join us for the parade and help us honor our veterans. ...

Chamber Lighting the Holidays Celebration

Start Date: Fri November, 11th
Celebrate the start of the holiday season in Osborne. Several stores will be open 5PM until 7PM. The Osborne County Memoria...

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