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.

  • ‘One of the greatest playgrounds in America’

    April 26th, 2016
    by

    Northeast News The description inside this vintage 1930s Curt Teich linen postcard folder of the Lake of the Ozarks reads, “Lake of the Ozarks is formed by a huge dam


    Those were some postcards! (And that’s no exaggeration)

    April 19th, 2016
    by

    Northeast News William H. “Dad” Martin of Ottawa, Kan., is considered to be the father of the exaggerated postcard.


    We all went fishin’ with Harold

    April 12th, 2016
    by

    Northeast News “Gone fishin, instead of just a wishin.” Those once-obscure lyrics became Harold Easley’s theme song as he ventured weekly to various outdoor spots throughout the world to spotlight


    Sharp Building stood downtown

    April 5th, 2016
    by

    Northeast News This week’s postcard, published by the South West News Company of Kansas City, Mo., features a Real Photo postcard view of the Sharp Building on Petticoat Lane.


    Union Station image adorned with swastikas didn’t symbolize Nazis

    March 29th, 2016
    by

    Northeast News This week we feature a souvenir postcard published by long-time postcard publisher Max Bernstein in 1921.


  • Come on, ride this train

    March 22nd, 2016
    by

    Northeast News This week’s postcard collage shows the Kansas City Southern Lines Southern Belle – Sweetheart of American Trains.


    Sweet sound of St. Pat’s

    March 15th, 2016
    by

    Northeast News Postcards such as the one above have long been used to convey greetings to friends and relatives afar. The man who became St.


    Whizzo the clown, that’s who

    March 9th, 2016
    by

    Northeast News “Who’s always smiling, never sad? It’s Whizzo!/ Who makes the boys and girls so glad, Whizzo./ He’s a merry fellow with a big red shiny nose,/ dressed in


    West Terrace one of Kessler’s first works

    March 1st, 2016
    by

    Northeast News West Terrace Park was one of Kansas City’s first parks originally proposed by Landscape Architect George Kessler in his plan to develop a “city within a park” in


    Corby legend lives on in St. Joseph

    February 24th, 2016
    by

    Northeast News When John Corby passed through the trading post area of Joseph Robidoux on the Missouri River in 1843, he noted that the location would be an excellent place


  • Local Weather

  • What’s Happening

    Children’s Day Celebration at 9th and Van Brunt

    Northeast News April 30, 2016 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – Area residents flocked to the 9th and Van Brunt athletics fields […]

    Northeast Spring Clean-up Photos

    Northeast News April 30, 2016 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – After a wet week, the sun emerged long enough on the […]

    Weekend Preview: Happenings around the Historic Northeast

    Northeast News April 29, 2016 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – It’s time for another weekend in Kansas City, and that means […]