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.

  • Turn-of the century firefighters were hot at competition

    March 29th, 2017
    by

    By MICHAEL BUSHNELL Northeast News March 29, 2017 In the late 1800s and early 1900s, the Kansas City Fire Department […]


    Roses are red … and pink … and white …

    March 22nd, 2017
    by

    By MICHAEL BUSHNELL Northeast News March 22, 2017 Between Oct. 21 and 24 of 1864, the area we now know […]


    Sweet sound of St. Pat’s

    March 15th, 2017
    by

    By MICHAEL BUSHNELL Northeast News March 15, 2017 Greeting postcards such as this have long been used to convey greetings […]


    Famed theater designers made mark on Kansas City

    March 8th, 2017
    by

    By MICHAEL BUSHNELL Northeast News March 8, 2017 Old Theater architectural enthusiasts throughout Kansas City today can spot a Boller […]


    Alderman Jim’s machine moved Missouri

    March 1st, 2017
    by

    By MICHAEL BUSHNELL Northeast News March 1, 2017 This postcard depicts the statue of “Alderman Jim” Pendergast in its original […]


  • 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 […]


  • Local Weather

  • What’s Happening

    Kansas City Museum hosts open house ahead of April 4 election

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News March 30, 2017 KANSAS CITY, Missouri –  Less than a week before Kansas City, Missouri […]

    Northeast Newscast Episode 4 w/ Kansas City Museum Executive Director Anna Marie Tutera

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News March 29, 2017 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – The Kansas City Museum will host an open […]

    Mayor focuses on positives at State of the City Address

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News March 29, 2017 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – Mayor Sly James championed Kansas City’s commitment to […]