A beauty spot in Roanoke Park

Postcard.12.12.2012.psd

By MICHAEL BUSHNELL
Northeast News
December 12, 2012 


Karnes Boulevard meanders through the Coleman Highlands, Volker neighborhoods and Roanoke Park, between Southwest Trafficway and 31st Street, and southwest  to roughly 37th Street where it intersects with Roanoke Road and Wyoming Avenue.

The view on this hand-colored postcard published in 1911 by Hall Bros. of Kansas City, Mo., shows the intersection of Roanoke Road and Karnes Boulevard, one of the beautifully landscaped entrances to Roanoke Park.

Roanoke Park, officially dedicated in 1908, is a roughly 36-acre preserve of rugged cliffs and forested ravines in an area punctuated by the elegant homes built along the shaded boulevards and roads that made Kansas City a showcase of the City Beautiful movement, popular during the early years of the 20th Century. Along a steep hillside just east of the tennis courts was the Roanoke Park Cave, long thought to be a hideout of the outlaw Jesse James.  According to residents who lived in the area during the 1940s, the cave was a narrow slit up a rocky outcropping in the park. Legend has it that sometime in the early to mid-1940s, two children got lost in the cave and died as a result. Soon after that, the entrance of the cave was sealed by the Parks Department.

Land for the park was acquired between 1901 and 1923. The first two tracts were donated to the city by the South Highland Land and Improvement Company. Other parts of the park were given by local individuals. As Kansas City’s wealth began to move away from Northeast and Quality Hill, the area was developed into upscale housing occupied by prominent Kansas Citians. As the area developed, land adjacent to the residential district was purchased by the residents and donated to the city for the park, the primary interests being keeping undesirable growth away, thus keeping property values protected.

A 1914 Parks System report from the city describes the park as follows:

“This park is a beautiful preservation of wooded ravines lined with rugged cliffs, in the western section of the city. It was entirely acquired by deeds of gift from the South Highlands Land and Improvement Company and others, who had caught the spirit of conserving nature’s beauty before it became marred, and of the resulting enhancement in value of nearby property.”

Just east of the park, Kansas City’s International Fair was located between Valentine Road and 38th Street in the area now bisected by Southwest Trafficway. The fair opened on Sept. 17, 1883, and featured horse racing, livestock shows and various other fair type events. The fair was a huge success, drawing upwards of 25,000 people in 1886. The next year, the land was purchased by the Roanoke Development Company and the fair moved to an open area near 15th Street and Prospect Avenue.

Comments are closed.

  • Memorial an expression of gratitude

    May 17th, 2017
    by

    By MICHAEL BUSHNELL Northeast News May 17, 2017 H. Van Buren Magonigle of New York was selected from a field […]


    And the rains came

    May 10th, 2017
    by

    By MICHAEL BUSHNELL Northeast News May 10, 2017 Seems fitting with the spring rains we’re experiencing that we run a […]


    Spring has flowed for nearly a century

    May 3rd, 2017
    by

    By MICHAEL BUSHNELL Northeast News May 3, 2017 People from throughout the Midwest have enjoyed drives along Cliff Drive’s rugged […]


    Aviation history took flight at Fairfax

    April 26th, 2017
    by

    By MICHAEL BUSHNELL Northeast News April 26, 2017 This 1942 Max Bernstein linen postcard depicts the Aircraft Assembly Plant, Fairfax […]


    The Pony Express led the way from St. Joseph

    April 19th, 2017
    by

    By MICHAEL BUSHNELL Northeast News April 19, 2017 “Beginning April 3, 1860, from St. Joseph, Mo., and continuing through Oct. […]


  • Coaches offered first-class tours of Kansas City

    April 12th, 2017
    by

    By MICHAEL BUSHNELL Northeast News April 12, 2017 These Real Photo postcards show Coach No. 503 of the Kansas City […]


    The glory days of the Blue River

    April 5th, 2017
    by

    By MICHAEL BUSHNELL Northeast News April 5, 2017 The North American Postcard Company of Kansas City, Mo., published this Real […]


    Turn-of the century firefighters were hot at competition

    March 29th, 2017
    by

    By MICHAEL BUSHNELL Northeast News March 29, 2017 In the late 1800s and early 1900s, the Kansas City Fire Department […]


    Roses are red … and pink … and white …

    March 22nd, 2017
    by

    By MICHAEL BUSHNELL Northeast News March 22, 2017 Between Oct. 21 and 24 of 1864, the area we now know […]


    Sweet sound of St. Pat’s

    March 15th, 2017
    by

    By MICHAEL BUSHNELL Northeast News March 15, 2017 Greeting postcards such as this have long been used to convey greetings […]


  • Local Weather

  • What’s Happening

    NEKC Chamber of Commerce hosts local chefs for cook-off

    By Abby Cambiano Northeast News May 19, 2017 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – Local chefs are gearing up for a food-filled […]

    KCPD annual memorial service honors fallen officers

    By Abby Cambiano Northeast News May 19, 2017 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – The Kansas City Police Department honored its 119 […]

    Northeast Newscast Episode 11 – A Day in the Life w/ KCMO Illegal Dumping Investigator Alan Ashurst

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News May 18, 2017 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – We’re back with a special edition of the […]