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.

  • A Dime and the Dinky

    July 26th, 2017
    by

    This week, in place of our weekly Historic Postcard feature we publish the third of a four-part series of short […]


    The Alleys of Childhood

    July 12th, 2017
    by

    Northeast News July 5, 2017 This week, in place of our weekly Historic Postcard feature, we begin a four-part series […]


    City Hall once stood at the City Market

    July 5th, 2017
    by

    By Michael Bushnell Northeast News June 21, 2017 In 1889, when cattle, pigs and all manner of livestock still roamed […]


    Hahatonka an oasis from city life

    June 28th, 2017
    by

    By Michael Bushnell Northeast News June 21, 2017


    A grand old flag with a grand old history

    June 21st, 2017
    by

    By Michael Bushnell Northeast News June 21, 2017 During the American Revolution, a number of patriots made flags for our […]


  • Early 1900s school site is now interstate interchange

    June 14th, 2017
    by

    By MICHAEL BUSHNELL Northeast News June 14, 2017 This view of The Paseo, between 15th and 16th streets, looks north […]


    retorts illustrated bryan stalder

    June 14th, 2017
    by

      Northeast News June 14, 2017


    River trade diminished near turn of century

    June 7th, 2017
    by

    By MICHAEL BUSHNELL Northeast News June 7, 2017 “Boats on the river at the foot of Main Street, Kansas City, […]


    From packing meat to packing heat

    May 31st, 2017
    by

    By MICHAEL BUSHNELL Northeast News May 31, 2017 Patrick Cudahy started in the meat packing business as a carrying boy […]


    The ‘most beautiful’ steel bridge

    May 24th, 2017
    by

    By MICHAEL BUSHNELL Northeast News May 24, 2017 In 1936, the American Institute of Steel Construction selected the Hurricane Deck […]


  • What’s Happening

    Northeast Newscast Episode 20 – KC Museum’s Anna Marie Tutera on it’s temporary new space and construction planning

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News This week on the Northeast Newscast, managing editor Paul Thompson invites Kansas City Museum Executive […]

    Neighbors offer a helping hand in storm cleanup

    By Abby Cambiano Northeast News After 60 to 70 mile per hour winds and rain battered the area last weekend, […]

    A Fly-Along With KCPD’s Helicopter Unit

    By Michael Bushnell Northeast News  Criminals who decide it’s a good idea to run from Kansas City Missouri Police Officers […]

  • Local Weather