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.

  • Troost Lake connects to streetcar, Mormon histories

    11 hours ago
    by

    Northeast News Opening to the public in 1888, Troost Park and adjoining Troost Lake were the ideas of the Kansas City Cable Railway Company (later known as the Kansas City


    The wild waters of pre-levee Kansas City

    July 19th, 2016
    by

    Northeast News Published by the North American Postcard Company of Kansas City, Mo., this week’s card is a Real Photo Postcard showing the West Bottoms area looking northwest toward the


    Christmas in July

    July 12th, 2016
    by

    Northeast News This week, a rare treat — a Real Photo postcard showing a newly completed Penn Valley Drive in Penn Valley Park, Kansas City, Mo.


    Bible College once served Historic Northeast

    July 6th, 2016
    by

    Northeast News Established in 1890 as a school for “girls,” the Scarritt Bible and Training Institute was located at Harris (now Norledge Avenue) and Askew avenues in Historic Northeast Kansas


    Celebrating with Uncle Sam: Happy Fourth of July!

    June 28th, 2016
    by

    Northeast News Historians aren’t completely certain how the legendary character Uncle Sam was created, or for whom (if anyone) he was named.


  • Kansas City’s old Convention Hall

    June 21st, 2016
    by

    Northeast News This week, we feature a rare advertising postcard showing the old Convention Hall, which was destroyed by fire in early April 1900 — just 90 days prior to


    Century-old view of KC from river

    June 14th, 2016
    by

    Northeast News Kansas City’s riverfront on the Missouri River is pictured in this old, turn-of-the-century postcard published by The Southwest News Company of Kansas City.


    Viaduct connected Kansas cities

    June 7th, 2016
    by

    Northeast News This postcard, titled “United States Troops Crossing Intercity Viaduct, Kansas City, Mo.,” shows what seems to be an unending column of Army troops crossing the then-newly constructed bridge


    ‘The great white city’

    June 1st, 2016
    by

    Northeast News Electric Park was named for the 100,000 electric light bulbs outlining its buildings and rides.


    Thoroughly modern courthouse

    May 25th, 2016
    by

    Northeast News This linen postcard, showing north and west sides of what at the time was the new Jackson County Courthouse and the intersection of 12th and Oak streets, was


  • Local Weather

  • What’s Happening

    Northeast’s August 2 Primary Election Preview

    Northeast News MO Senate District 11 John Rizzo - D John Rizzo - D Top priorities: Economic development, education, and protecting worker’s rights Endorsements: Missouri Governor Jay Nixon, Former State Senator Victor

    chronicles

    James “Jim” George Cariddi On Friday, July 15, 2016, former principal James Cariddi passed away due to complications of a stroke at St.

    retorts illustrated bryan stalder

    retorts illustrated bryan stalder [...]