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.

  • Central served those seeking education

    August 25th, 2015
    by

    Northeast News Published by the Elite Postcard Company, this color postcard shows Central High School that once stood at the corner of 11th and Locust Streets downtown.
    Originally opened in September


    The Chester steams through MO history

    August 18th, 2015
    by

    Northeast News This Fred Harvey postcard shows a scene near the Municipal Wharf at First and Main Streets.


    Power and light building: An Art Deco icon

    August 11th, 2015
    by

    Northeast News The Kansas City Power and Light building is arguably one of the finest examples of Art-Deco architecture in the country, rivaled only by the Chrysler Building in New


    Thacher Elementary now rubble & memories

    August 4th, 2015
    by

    Northeast News Louin Kennedy Thacher was born in Hornellsville, New York, and immigrated to the Kansas City area in the mid 1850s to take advantage of the huge land boom.


    Gayety Theater once took center stage

    July 28th, 2015
    by

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


  • From the Black Hills to the Blacktop, the Sturgis Rally endures

    July 21st, 2015
    by

    Northeast News Aug. 3, 2015, marks the beginning of the 75th annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in the Black Hills of South Dakota.


    Castle Hahatonka serves as an oasis from hectic city living

    July 14th, 2015
    by

    Northeast News “Here I will spend my leisure, secure from the worries of business and the excitement of city life.


    Legend lives on at Lover’s Leap

    July 7th, 2015
    by

    Northeast News Near the confluence of the Niangua and Osage Rivers along the south shore of the Lake of the Ozarks — mile marker 31.5 — a prominent bluff, said


    Uncle Sam ‘Wants You’ to know his origins

    June 30th, 2015
    by

    Northeast News Historians aren’t completely certain how the legendary character Uncle Sam was created or how he got his name.
    One prominent theory is that Uncle Sam was named after Samuel


    Winnwood has faded, but its legacy lives

    June 23rd, 2015
    by

    Northeast News A mere three stops after boarding the Interurban car of the KCCC&SJ’s Excelsior Springs line at 20th Street and Burlington Avenue in the then newly chartered North Kansas


  • Local Weather

  • What’s Happening

    Fire at abandoned elementary school in Northeast

    Joe Jarosz Northeast News Aug. 28, 2015 KANSAS CITY, Missouri — The Kansas City Fire Department spent Friday morning battling […]

    Charges filed in Monday’s shooting

    Michael Bushnell Northeast News Aug. 27, 2015 KANSAS CITY, Missouri — One suspect is in police custody following a shooting […]

    retorts illustrated bryan stalder

    retorts illustrated bryan stalder [...]