Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Scarritt Spring - Lost and Found

Above, what Scarritt Spring looked like in the early part of the last century. Below, what it looks like now. This site is located directly below Cliff Drive just east of the DiCapo Fountain (the waterfall). It commemorated the site of the spring (still flowing) which the Scarritt family used for water and to keep things cool. As late as the 1950s you could still go down there and get watercress for salads. But, when the Cliff Drive Spring above was closed due to contaminated water, so was this one below.
The walls shown in the postcard view are still there and in remarkably good shape. At some point it would be fun to clear away some of the debris and brush to see if any of the walking paths still exist. There is the desire to bring this back to its 20th Century condition... but it will take some time.

The original spigot (left in the image) is still there with ample water coming forth. The spring had a mind of its own though and opened a new channel on the right.
I wouldn't be surprised if some of the original stonework that made up the basin is still in place under the dirt and debris.

Above, closeup of the spigot and, below, much of the original granite is still in place lining the channel.

The pieces below "crawled" about 50 yards to the east.... probably a failed attempt at "recycling".
I'll keep you posted on any efforts toward restoration.


  1. Better get the Beautification Czar on that project! Very cool...

  2. What a sleuth you are! Cool, indeed...

  3. That sounds like a wonderful project!

  4. What an incredible find. I say we refurbish it as soon as it gets warmer. It looks so serene. I love the bench. We need a Cliff Drive Merit Badge offered through the Boy Scouts to help us uncover all of this lost history. It would be a great Eagle Scout project. It takes a few days to recover from those clean ups! From the old water reservoir, to lost street lamps, secret stairways, stone walls, and hidden pathways, there is so much to explore on Cliff Drive. We need a catalog of all the sites YOU have uncovered. Keep up the great work!

  5. Actually, Mike, there is a merit badge for the Indian Mound Trail... the hiking and maintaining thereof... it's a troop from Raytown (go figure) that does it. Yes.... lets clean it up...

  6. what a drag such beauty is so often lost through neglect. Would love to go paint there, care to direct me in a little closer?

  7. Sure. It's located about 300 feet east of the Waterfall Fountain below the Drive...