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.

  • Mt. Washington still a peaceful respite

    November 12th, 2014
    by

    By MICHAEL BUSHNELL Northeast News November 12, 2014 This postcard published by the Webb-Freyschlag Mercantile Company shows a peaceful view […]


    Eagle’s lodge once a place of history

    November 5th, 2014
    by

    By MICHAEL BUSHNELL Northeast News November 5, 2014 This week we take a look at the Queen Anne-styled James Ogelbay […]


    Haunting Halloween Greetings

    October 28th, 2014
    by

    By MICHAEL BUSHNELL Northeast News October 29, 2014 Marked by old greeting postcards like these, the tradition of Halloween traces […]


    KC’s first fire fighters honored

    October 21st, 2014
    by

    By MICHAEL BUSHNELL Northeast News October 22, 2014 In March 1867, the Missouri Legislature granted permission to allow Kansas City, […]


    Majestic hours once lived on Armour Blvd

    October 14th, 2014
    by

    This postcard published by the Elite Postcard Company of Kansas City doubles as an advertising postcard for the Jenkins Music […]


  • Parade's a downtown tradition

    October 7th, 2014
    by

    By MICHAEL BUSHNELL Northeast News October 8, 2014 This week’s historic postcard is a Real Photo postcard that shows a […]


    It’s American Royal time again!

    September 30th, 2014
    by

    By Michael Bushnell Northeast News October 1, 2014 About two years after the opening of the “new” Hannibal Bridge over […]


    Oldsmobile Rhythmic ride!

    September 23rd, 2014
    by

    By MICHAEL BUSHNELL Northeast News September 24, 2014 This marketing postcard was produced by the Oldsmobile Motor Company for Kansas […]


    Brush Creek synonymous with Plaza living

    September 16th, 2014
    by

    By MICHAEL BUSHNELL Northeast News September 17, 2014 This Kodachrome postcard published in the late 1950s shows the numerous apartment […]


    Grand Old Opera house

    September 9th, 2014
    by

    By MICHAEL BUSHNELL Northeast News September 10, 2014 The Grand Opera House located at Seventh and Walnut is this week’s […]


  • Local Weather