Brush Creek’s great white way

43-Postcard.10.24.2012.tif

By MICHAEL BUSHNELL
Northeast News
October 24, 2012 


Electric Park once boasted over 100,000 electric light bulbs that outlined buildings and rides; then after dark they turned night into day. Writers of the day referred to it as “the great white city of Brush Creek valley.”

City maps of 1908 show Electric Park located at what was then the southern city limits, near 46th Street and The Paseo, extending east to Woodland Avenue. The original park, however, was located at the foot of Chestnut Avenue, near the present day Guinotte Ramp in the city’s East Bottoms area. 

Admittance to the park was 10 cents. After that, you were on your own. Following its move from the East Bottoms, the Heim Brothers of the Heim Brewing company opened the new Electric Park May 19, 1907, to a crowd of 53,000. No beer was served in the park as the city fathers refused a license to the brothers for the park. Soon there proved to be such good returns from popcorn, hot dogs, peanuts, ice cream, roller coasters, shooting galleries, swimming pool and the dance pavilion, that nobody worried about beer.

There was a slight retaliatory action by the bothers, however, when they made a one-cent charge on each glass of water. There was a charge for swimming, but none for the famous night spectacle of “Living Statuary” at the fountain in the lake. Here, beautiful, young women on a pedestal emerged from the fountain every hour of the evening, as if by magic. They held the crowd spellbound with their graceful poses, all the while flooded with colored lights that merged, blended and changed shades over their lovely forms. Much of the park burned on May 28, 1925, and was not rebuilt. Part of the park continued to operate for years after the fire, but the spell was broken. Times were changing and the radio, motor car and movies were all competing for one’s leisure hours. In 1923, Fairyland Park near 75th and Troost had just opened with flashy new rides and attractions.  In 1945, the remainder of the park and the skeleton of the old, burned coaster was demolished to make way for The Village Green Apartments and a shopping center.

Today there is no hint that Brush Creek’s great white way even existed.

Comments are closed.

  • No better view west of the Hudson

    January 18th, 2017
    by

    By MICHAEL BUSHNELL Northeast News January 18, 2017 Built in 1906-07 by the Swenson Construction Company at a cost of […]


    Airport once was one of best in country

    January 11th, 2017
    by

    By MICHAEL BUSHNELL Northeast News January 11, 2017 This Hallmark Cards postcard titled “Airplane View of Kansas City, Mo.” is […]


    Our feet in the snow, our minds on the beach

    January 4th, 2017
    by

    By MICHAEL BUSHNELL Northeast News January 4, 2017 Tired of living in the deep freeze? We are too, so we’re […]


    Happy New Year HNEKC residents

    December 28th, 2016
    by

    By MICHAEL BUSHNELL Northeast News December 28, 2016 Sent to Mrs. J. E. Hussell of Williamsville, N.Y., on Dec. 26, […]


    Postcard history dates to 1893

    December 21st, 2016
    by

    By MICHAEL BUSHNELL Northeast News December 21, 2016 As a public communications medium, the postcard was ushered into service following […]


  • Streetcars were the way to go

    December 14th, 2016
    by

    By MICHAEL BUSHNELL Northeast News December 14, 2016 Kansas City’s street railway began humbly in 1869 with the advent of […]


    World’s most beautiful farm

    December 7th, 2016
    by

    By MICHAEL BUSHNELL Northeast News December 7, 2016 Upon its opening in 1914, Longview Farm was hailed by many as […]


    Cemetery vaults held waiting bodies in historic cemetery

    November 30th, 2016
    by

    By MICHAEL BUSHNELL Northeast News November 30, 2016 In 1888 when the Forest Hill Cemetery was incorporated, it lay outside […]


    Americans give thanks nearly 400 years

    November 23rd, 2016
    by

    By MICHAEL BUSHNELL Northeast News November 23, 2016 What we celebrate as Thanksgiving is traditionally tied to a three-day feast […]


    Polished beauty rode the rails

    November 16th, 2016
    by

    Billed as the first streamlined diesel-powered train between St. Louis and Kansas City, the Alton Burlington, Ozark State Zephyr graces the front of this linen era postcard sent to Meyer Supply Company of St. Louis on Feb 23, 1937. Built entirely of stainless steel, the train was the flagship of Burlington Railway…


  • Local Weather

  • What’s Happening

    KCMO City Council roundup: April 4 election ballot set

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News January 20, 2017 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – The passage of a long-gestating $800 million General […]

    Fatal wreck in Northeast now considered a homicide

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News January 20, 2017 Note: this story has been updated to reflect new information provided by […]

    Councilman Lucas responds to Northeast News G.O. Bond editorial

    Northeast News January 19, 2017 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – As the wide-ranging debate regarding the proposed $800 million General Obligation […]