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.

  • The White Company delivers innovation through history

    March 4th, 2015
    by

    Northeast News “Our standard has always been to build a car able to surmount any road conditions which might be encountered.


    Postcard shows business as usual in 1909

    February 18th, 2015
    by

    Northeast News Risqué postcards, like the one shown here, have been around for as long as postcards themselves.
    Prior to the advent of postcards as a private communication medium, those looking


    Missouri’s home-state railroad

    February 11th, 2015
    by

    Northeast News Published for the Missouri Pacific–Iron Mountain Railway, the promotional postcard shows a picturesque view as described by the caption: “Along the Missouri River for more than 100 miles


    The early days of downtown

    February 4th, 2015
    by

    Northeast News Hardly the downtown of today, this black and white lithographed postcard shows a view looking east-northeast from the Coates House Hotel at 11th Street and Broadway Boulevard.
    Published by


    Ginger Club Businesses offer Snappy Service

    January 28th, 2015
    by

    Northeast News Hoping to bring more business to their block, merchants in the 300 block of East 12th Street organized a Ginger Club, using a Ginger Snap as an emblem.


  • A little slice of Beverly Hills in Independence

    January 21st, 2015
    by

    Northeast News “Beverly Hills Acre Tracts. Ideal home sites on easy terms. City conveniences, no city or special taxes, half-acre lots at the price of city lots.”
    So reads the marketing


    The Interurban could get you there

    January 14th, 2015
    by

    Northeast News The message on this Hall Brothers color postcard mailed on April 24, 1917, to Miss Lula Mercer, care of The Hotel Washington, room 516, Portland, Ore.


    Beauty Springs eternal on Cliff Drive

    January 7th, 2015
    by

    Northeast News “Fountain and Cliff Drive, North Terrace Park, Kansas City Missouri.”
    So reads the description on this divided back, hand-colored postcard published around 1910.


    Out with the old…

    December 31st, 2014
    by

    Northeast News “Kissing the Rod” “O heart of mine we shouldn’t worry so,
    What we’ve missed of calm we couldn’t have you know,
    What we’ve met of stormy pain and of sorrows


    Holiday wishes from the king of rock

    December 24th, 2014
    by

    Northeast News This week we take a break from historic cards and offer up a jewel for the Elvis Presley fans among us.
    This postcard shows a uniformed Elvis Presley and


  • Local Weather