Based on fact and legend Waconda Lake inherited its name from a prominent, historical site called Waconda Springs, which was located about half-way between Glen Elder and Cawker City, 3/4 of a mile south of old U.S. Highway 24.
The mineral springs was an interesting phenomena on the plains of north central Kansas. Its pool basin was set in a 300-foot-wide mound rising 40 feet above the surrounding Solomon River Valley.
The spring's pool was 50 feet in diameter and 15 feet deep, although there is a myth that the pool was bottomless. The water contained calcium, magnesium, iron, silica, sodium chloride, sulfate, and bicarbonate. Geologists thought that the mound was formed by the deposits of minerals forced up by artesian pressure in the water.
The mineral springs around which the legend evolved was once a ceremonial gathering place sacred to all the plains Indians. Later it became a health resort for the white man until Lake Waconda covered the site
Information brochures are available at the Glen Elder State Park Office and the information kiosk on site. At Glen Elder State Park, people have created a replica of Waconda Springs to illustrate the cultural importance.