Fairmont Park: A summer escape near the city

pcFairmont-Park

By MICHAEL BUSHNELL
Northeast News
July 31, 2013

This week’s postcard offers a look at Fairmount Park from Independence Avenue. This view would have been from the vantage point of the old A&P (now Piggy’s Market) location, just east of the Fairmount Shopping District in Sugar Creek.

From this position, the diving tower is visible in the right-center part of the photo. Aurthur Stilwell created the 50-acre recreation area as an attraction to build traffic on his railroad, the Kansas City Terminal Railway. It offered a number of entertainment venues, including Shakespearean drama, band music, Swiss bell ringers, a zoo, a nine-hole golf course and an eight-acre lake complete with a bathing beach.

Historic Northeast native and internationally renowned equestrian Loula Long Combs made her debut at Fairmount Park as a young girl competing in her first horse show.

Cottages were built there, too, for those wishing to have “summer” homes but still be near the city. Cottage owners and guests gathered at the huge dining hall and enjoyed fellowship, community sings and guest lecturers, such as William Jennings Bryan and Sen. James A. Reed, who was the regular Labor Day speaker at the lake.

During the late 1920s and early 1930s, a series of fires destroyed the park, little by little. In 1936, a final fire destroyed six of the nine remaining summer cottages. In the 1940s the lake was filled for the Sugar Creek baseball fields. New cottages sprung up and still stand today along the former shoreline.

The visionary Stilwell died in New York on Sept. 27, 1928, at the age of 68. He left an estate of just $1,000.

The card was sent from Oak Grove on Feb. 18, 1914, to Miss Velma Fishback of Kansas City, Mo.

 

 

 

 

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

    Hill takes office as interim Fifth District Rep

    Northeast News Jan. 30, 2015 KANSAS CITY, Missouri — Cokethea Hill was sworn in to the Kansas City, Mo. City […]

    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 [...]