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.

  • Kansas City’s first memorial

    February 22nd, 2017
    by

    By MICHAEL BUSHNELL Northeast News February 22, 2017 Dedicated on June 2, 1909, the August R. Meyer Memorial, at 10th […]


    Lagoon & boathouse beautified Swope Park

    February 15th, 2017
    by

    By MICHAEL BUSHNELL Northeast News February 15, 2017 One of the most prolific picture postcard publishers in Kansas City at […]


    St. Valentine champions for couples

    February 8th, 2017
    by

    By MICHAEL BUSHNELL Northeast News February 8, 2017 Around the year 200, the Roman Emporer Claudius was busy conquering various […]


    From postcards, to war planes, to vacuums — C.U. Williams was entrepreneur

    February 1st, 2017
    by

    By MICHAEL BUSHNELL Northeast News February 1, 2017 The Big Blue River starts in southern Johnson County, Kan., where Wolf […]


    Baltimore Hotel stunned around turn of the century

    January 25th, 2017
    by

    By MICHAEL BUSHNELL Northeast News January 25, 2017 Often called enigmatic and eccentric and known by his friends as a […]


  • No better view west of the Hudson

    January 18th, 2017
    by

    By MICHAEL BUSHNELL Northeast News January 18, 2017 Built in 1906-07 by the Swenson Construction Company at a cost of […]


    Airport once was one of best in country

    January 11th, 2017
    by

    By MICHAEL BUSHNELL Northeast News January 11, 2017 This Hallmark Cards postcard titled “Airplane View of Kansas City, Mo.” is […]


    Our feet in the snow, our minds on the beach

    January 4th, 2017
    by

    By MICHAEL BUSHNELL Northeast News January 4, 2017 Tired of living in the deep freeze? We are too, so we’re […]


    Happy New Year HNEKC residents

    December 28th, 2016
    by

    By MICHAEL BUSHNELL Northeast News December 28, 2016 Sent to Mrs. J. E. Hussell of Williamsville, N.Y., on Dec. 26, […]


    Postcard history dates to 1893

    December 21st, 2016
    by

    By MICHAEL BUSHNELL Northeast News December 21, 2016 As a public communications medium, the postcard was ushered into service following […]


  • Local Weather

  • What’s Happening

    Northeast Library Branch debuts new checkout system

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News February 24, 2017 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – Over the past week, the North-East Public Library […]

    KCMO Council approves KCU Master Planned Development district

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News February 23, 2017 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – By a 10-2 vote, the KCMO City Council approved […]

    Schulte visits Northeast to tout $800M G.O. Bond

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News February 22, 2017 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – City Manager Troy Schulte and 1st District Councilman […]