Lake Hiwassee now a distant memory

PC-Lake-Hiwassee

 

By MICHAEL BUSHNELL
Northeast News
May 15, 2013

The great Kansas City real estate developer J.C. Nichols is not known to blunder often, especially in matters of real estate. His two man-made lakes in the Country Club District lends credence to the theory that everyone makes mistakes now and then.

The description on the back of this Hall Bros. postcard published around 1927 reads: “Beautiful Lake Hiwasee in Indian Hills, Country Club District, Kansas City Missouri.”

As part of J.C. Nichols Country Club addition just south of the newly conceived Country Club Plaza, Nichols created two man-made lakes, Lake Hiwassee at 63rd and Indian Lane and Willow Lake at 63rd and Ensley. Lake Hiwassee, as shown on this hand-colored postcard, was his showpiece. Lake Hiwassee contained two islands with shelters built on them and were connected to each other and to surrounding land by rustic bridges. Nichols’ realty company built stone picnic ovens near the shelters to encourage family gatherings on the islands.

Lake Hiwassee was formed at the confluence of two branches of Brush Creek, normally a lazy picturesque, spring fed stream. After heavy rains, however, the creek rose from its banks and carried all manner of silt, mud and debris into the beautiful lake. Afterward, crews would dutifully clean the mess and return the lake to its bucolic state. As development continued, however, more runoff and silt filled the lake. By 1944, Nichols had had enough. Between the silt issues from runoff and the continued vandalism of people chopping up the rustic bridges for firewood, company officials decided to quit throwing good money after bad and filled in the lake, returning the site to the confluence of two streams instead of a water attraction. No evidence of the lake exists today.

Information for this postcard was derived from the book: “J.C. Nichols and the Shaping of Kansas City: Innovation in Planned Residential Communities,” By Dr. William Worley.

 

 

Comments are closed.

  • 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


    Holy rosary Christmas crib

    December 17th, 2014
    by

    Northeast News This real photo postcard of the Holy Rosary Church’s Christmas Crib was taken during the 1941 holiday season.
    Holy Rosary Parish, 911 E.


    Theater was one of many downtown

    December 10th, 2014
    by

    Northeast News Built of reinforced concrete and ornamental brick at a cost of $115,000, the Gayety Theatre stood on the former home site of A.W. Armour.
    Armour, of course, was one


    Hannibal Bridge and gateway to growth

    December 3rd, 2014
    by

    Northeast News Construction of the Hannibal Bridge almost didn’t happen in Kansas City.
    Leavenworth, Kan., and Kansas City were both in a literal race for their city’s future in the mid-1860s.


    Liberty Memorial: A national tribute

    November 26th, 2014
    by

    Northeast News The third annual convention of the American Legion was held in Kansas City, Mo., on Oct.


  • Local Weather

  • What’s Happening

    Two Knuckleheads are better than one

    By Joe Jarosz Northeast News KANSAS CITY, Missouri — Every saloon needs a garage. That's why Knuckleheads Saloon is expanding, adding an additional venue, located across the street from the current location,

    retorts illustrated bryan stalder

    retorts illustrated bryan stalder [...]

    And the walls go up

    [...]