Joplin's first electrical power plant was constructed on the site in the 1890's and the natural beauty of the site was degraded forever, but not destroyed. In 1903 Grand Falls Park was developed featuring a theatre, boat houses, a German Village and a dance pavilion. Missouri Pacific had established a rail spur to the power plant and offered hourly round trip tickets to Joplin's best known tourist attraction. Today the power plant's wall of cement stands abandoned on the west side of the waterfall and a dam spans the entire width
of Shoal Creek upstream of the falls, creating a pool of impounded water that is Joplin's primary source of water. The entire property is within the city limits of Joplin and owned
by Missouri American Water Company. Gone for nearly a hundred years are the boat houses, the theatre, and dance pavilion. The rail spur was abandoned decades ago with
rails and ties removed or abandoned. But Shoal Creek's waters continue to tumble over the waterfall, as if man had never interfered. Wider than a football field and 20 to 30 feet high(depending on where you measure) it remains the "place of the singing waters". Man, however, was not through attempting to diminish it's natural beauty.