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Paul Craig Park is south off of E. Broadway downtown and offers play equipment and basketball court.
Jim E. Piburn Ballfield is in Paul Craig Park and has a lighted field and restrooms.
Fishing River Linear Park is located on the north side of Fishing River adjacent to Paul Craig Park and Jim E. Piburn Ballfield on the west and extending to Golf Hill Drive on the east. The park contains a 0.7 mile walk trail from Marietta to Golf Hill Drive. The historic Superior Pagoda is located in the park.
A mineral water spring was discovered in a 40 acre wheat field in a river valley in 1880. This spring would eventually lead to the establishment of a city and a health resort industry. The site of that spring, and much of the river valley, is today encompassed by the Fishing River Linear Park. Except for the boundaries, setting and location, Fishing River Linear Park does not reflect any of George Kessler's influence, however, the site today remains developed much as Kessler originally envisioned it -- a park along the Fishing River, extending nearly a mile.
Along with the grounds of the Hall of Waters, which contain two mineral water wells, the Siloam and the Sulpho-Saline, the Fishing River Parkway, East Valley Park and Siloam Mountain comprised the "backbone" of the original park system. Between 1882 and 1887, development was spurred by the Excelsior Springs Company, a group of Kansas City capitalists who acquired nearly 1,000 acres of land, which included Siloam, Regent and Relief springs, as well as all the territory within a radius of one mile west and south of Fishing River.
In the early 1900's, the City of Excelsior Springs took possession of Siloam, as well as the Sulpho-Saline well. Fishing River Linear Park is also significant for its association with the Kansas City landscape architectural firm of Hare & Hare. Now known as Oschner, Hare & Hare, the firm may be the oldest continually operating landscape architectural firm in the country. They worked with the City of Excelsior Springs in the 1920's in developing a general beautification plan for the city and to prepare the site plans for the Hall of Waters.
In 1955, due to problems with flooding, many of the stone terraces and walkways in Siloam Park were eliminated, and a dike was constructed south of the Hall of Waters to protect it from Fishing River. In 1983, the Jim E. Piburn Ballfield was dedicated. Besides the Siloam and Sulpho-Saline wells, the park contains three additional wells that were piped to the Hall of Waters, the Park Spring well and two Superior Spring wells. The Superior Spring Pagoda is still in evidence today and is listed individually on the local Landmarks Register.
For more park history, click here.
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Sports and Play Equipment
• Lighted Ballfield
• Basketball Court
• Playground Equipment
Fishing River Linear Park
• 0.7 mile Walk Trail
• Historic Superior Well & Pagoda