Spring has flowed for nearly a century


Northeast News
May 3, 2017
People from throughout the Midwest have enjoyed drives along Cliff Drive’s rugged bluffs overlooking the Missouri River bottoms. The spring shown here is located on the east end of Cliff Drive. The old Scarritt Spring is located just east of this spring about 100 feet to the north of the drive.
This image shows how the spring looked after the Parks Department “tapped” the spring in the early 20th century, creating this shell and bowl, making it easier for passers-by to enjoy the cool, clear water that flowed from the ground. The shell, however, was covered in the 1970s after it was found that the spring water had been contaminated. During a mid-1980s makeover spearheaded by concerned Historic Northeast residents, the spring took on a new shape — that of a spectacular waterfall.
The first section of Cliff Drive was completed and opened to the public in 1900. It meandered through the wooded hills of then-called North Terrace Park. Pictures of the day show laborers using horse and mule teams to haul rock and dirt for the completion of the drive. Later, the drive was lit by gaslights, spaced about 100 feet apart, lighting both the drive and its four approaches.
The published description on the back of the card, provided by the Fred Harvey company, reads, “Below Cliff Drive, part of the park and boulevard system of Kansas City lies a large commercial district known as the East Bottoms. Gridironed with railroad tracks, dotted with great grain elevators and manufacturing plants, it presents an unusual vista of industry. Looking across the Missouri River, the eye finds the great industrial development in North Kansas City. The (Cliff Drive) is 3.5 miles long.”
The card was mailed on Aug. 24, 1915, to Mrs. T. S. Tasker of Ottawa, Ill. The message reads, “Will arrive home Wednesday night and will write you immediately. Hello to everyone. John.”

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