Lagoon & boathouse beautified Swope Park

pc

By MICHAEL BUSHNELL
Northeast News
February 15, 2017
One of the most prolific picture postcard publishers in Kansas City at the turn of the 20th century was Max Bernstein. His company spanned more than 50 years in the postcard business, originating with hand colored cards such as this view of the Swope Park Lagoon, up to the modern Chrome style postcards available today on thousands of postcard racks all over the country.
Bernstein flourished during the Linen postcard era of the late 1930s through the mid-1940’s when postcards were printed on a linen weave card stock and featured vividly colored views of Kansas City landmarks. During this period, Bernstein published a series of postcards showing roughly 120 different views of scenic Kansas City areas and downtown buildings and landmarks.
This hand-colored postcard shows the Swope Park Lagoon and Boat House, circa 1912. The lagoon was formed by rainfall and watershed after a dam was built at one end of an old dry ox-bow in the Blue River in 1908 as part of George Kessler’s grand design for Kansas City Parks. The waters of the river at one time flowed through the U-shaped bend. Later it became a deep, dry ravine when the river changed its course during a flood.
The old boathouse served for 37 years before costly upkeep and repairs made it necessary to build a new boathouse in 1949. Swope Park as a whole was part of more than 1,300 acres purchased by Col. Thomas Swope in the late 1890s and donated to the city to be used as a public park. At the time, it actually lay roughly 4 miles south of the existing city limits. However, on the day the new park was christened, Mayor James Jones declared the day a civic holiday. More than 18,000 people attended the gala grand opening of the park, including the reclusive Dr. Swope, who was spotted in his buckboard prior to the ceremonies riding down a secluded road through the woods in the park.
The boathouse had four corner turrets, shown here with American flags flying and featured a palatial, pillared front porch, complete with deck chairs and a view of the rental boat fleet on the water. It was completed shortly before the publication of this card in July 1912.

Comments are closed.

  • A Dime and the Dinky

    July 26th, 2017
    by

    This week, in place of our weekly Historic Postcard feature we publish the third of a four-part series of short […]


    The Alleys of Childhood

    July 12th, 2017
    by

    Northeast News July 5, 2017 This week, in place of our weekly Historic Postcard feature, we begin a four-part series […]


    City Hall once stood at the City Market

    July 5th, 2017
    by

    By Michael Bushnell Northeast News June 21, 2017 In 1889, when cattle, pigs and all manner of livestock still roamed […]


    Hahatonka an oasis from city life

    June 28th, 2017
    by

    By Michael Bushnell Northeast News June 21, 2017


    A grand old flag with a grand old history

    June 21st, 2017
    by

    By Michael Bushnell Northeast News June 21, 2017 During the American Revolution, a number of patriots made flags for our […]


  • Early 1900s school site is now interstate interchange

    June 14th, 2017
    by

    By MICHAEL BUSHNELL Northeast News June 14, 2017 This view of The Paseo, between 15th and 16th streets, looks north […]


    retorts illustrated bryan stalder

    June 14th, 2017
    by

      Northeast News June 14, 2017


    River trade diminished near turn of century

    June 7th, 2017
    by

    By MICHAEL BUSHNELL Northeast News June 7, 2017 “Boats on the river at the foot of Main Street, Kansas City, […]


    From packing meat to packing heat

    May 31st, 2017
    by

    By MICHAEL BUSHNELL Northeast News May 31, 2017 Patrick Cudahy started in the meat packing business as a carrying boy […]


    The ‘most beautiful’ steel bridge

    May 24th, 2017
    by

    By MICHAEL BUSHNELL Northeast News May 24, 2017 In 1936, the American Institute of Steel Construction selected the Hurricane Deck […]


  • What’s Happening

    Northeast Newscast Episode 20 – KC Museum’s Anna Marie Tutera on it’s temporary new space and construction planning

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News This week on the Northeast Newscast, managing editor Paul Thompson invites Kansas City Museum Executive […]

    Neighbors offer a helping hand in storm cleanup

    By Abby Cambiano Northeast News After 60 to 70 mile per hour winds and rain battered the area last weekend, […]

    A Fly-Along With KCPD’s Helicopter Unit

    By Michael Bushnell Northeast News  Criminals who decide it’s a good idea to run from Kansas City Missouri Police Officers […]

  • Local Weather