Fairmount Park: A Sugar Creek beauty spot

PC-fairmount park.jpg

By MICHAEL BUSHNELL
Northeast News
May 7, 2014

This week’s postcard gives us a look at Fairmount Park from Independence Avenue. This view would have been from where the old A&P is today, just east of the Fairmount Shopping District in Sugar Creek, Mo.

From this vantage, the diving tower can be seen in the right-center part of the photo. The 50-acre recreation area was created by Arthur Stilwell as an attraction to build ridership on his railroad. 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-reknowned equestrian Loula Long Combs made her debut at Fairmount Park as a young girl competing in her first horse show. Neat cottages were built there, too, for those wishing to have “summer” homes but still be near the call of the city. Cottage owners and guests gathered at the huge dining hall and enjoyed fellowhip, 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 systematically destroyed the park little by little. In 1936, a final fire destroyed six of the nine remaining summer cottages near the lake. 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 entrance of the park was near the A&P.

The visionary Stilwell died in New York on September 27, 1928 at the age of 68. He left an estate of just $1,000. His remains were cremated and his ashes scattered to the four winds according to his wishes. The town of Port Arthur, Texas is named for Stillwell, who founded what is today known as the Kansas City Terminal Railway and the multi-national Kansas City Southern railroad. The card was sent from Oak Grove, Mo. on February 18, 1914 to Miss Velma Fishback of Kansas City, Mo.

Comments are closed.

  • World’s most beautiful farm

    December 7th, 2016
    by

    By MICHAEL BUSHNELL Northeast News December 7, 2016 Upon its opening in 1914, Longview Farm was hailed by many as […]


    Cemetery vaults held waiting bodies in historic cemetery

    November 30th, 2016
    by

    By MICHAEL BUSHNELL Northeast News November 30, 2016 In 1888 when the Forest Hill Cemetery was incorporated, it lay outside […]


    Americans give thanks nearly 400 years

    November 23rd, 2016
    by

    By MICHAEL BUSHNELL Northeast News November 23, 2016 What we celebrate as Thanksgiving is traditionally tied to a three-day feast […]


    Polished beauty rode the rails

    November 16th, 2016
    by

    Billed as the first streamlined diesel-powered train between St. Louis and Kansas City, the Alton Burlington, Ozark State Zephyr graces the front of this linen era postcard sent to Meyer Supply Company of St. Louis on Feb 23, 1937. Built entirely of stainless steel, the train was the flagship of Burlington Railway…


    Iconic igloo inspires museum memories

    November 9th, 2016
    by

    If you’ve forgotten what the third floor of the Kansas City Museum looked like when your elementary school booked a field trip there, here’s a little refresher for you…


  • When the center isn’t really the center

    November 2nd, 2016
    by

    Depending on whom you ask, the geographic center of the United States could be one of four different places, all in various midwestern states.


    Halloween’s chilling origins

    October 26th, 2016
    by

    By MICHAEL BUSHNELL Northeast News October 26, 2016 Halloween traces its origins to the ancient Celtic holiday “Samhain” (pronounced “sow-in”), […]


    Missouri army camp trained celebrities

    October 19th, 2016
    by

    Northeast News Camp Crowder in Neosho, originally established as an Army Signal Corps training camp, was made famous by a variety of celebrities who spent time there during World War..


    P&L building lights up KC

    October 12th, 2016
    by

    By MICHAEL BUSHNELL Northeast News October 12, 2016 Arguably one of the finest examples of Art Deco architecture in the […]


    Real photos are real exaggerations

    October 5th, 2016
    by

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


  • Local Weather

  • What’s Happening

    Fairy Princess draws big crowds to Kansas City Museum

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News December 10, 2016 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – Do you know someone who has a special […]

    Council considers PIAC changes

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News December 9, 2016 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – The KCMO City Council discussed the renewal of […]

    Independence and Benton ribbon cutting

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News December 9, 2016 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – A collection of city leaders and community stakeholders […]