Elm Ridge Race Track was short lived

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By Michael Bushnell
Northeast News
Nov. 3, 2010

Titled “Elm Ridge Driving Park,” this week’s card shows the Elm Ridge Race Track.

Only in operation from April 28, 1904 through late in 1906, the Elm Ridge Race Track was located a block east of the Paseo between 59th and 63rd streets. The original operators of the track chose the site carefully because of the rolling hills and sweeping vistas.

The track compared quite favorably to many of the “finer” tracks in the country. A state ban on gambling led to the early demise of the track only two years following its initial opening. Following the closing, Elm Ridge was operated as an automobile and motorcycle-racing venue.

In 1912, 10 prominent Kansas Citians each plunked down about $6,000 each to charter the new Blue Hills Country Club to be located on the grounds of the old Elm Ridge Race Track.

Soon the new club had more than 600 members.

The ninth and 18th greens occupied the area where the grandstand and paddock were originally located. The original clubhouse was enlarged and redesigned for golfers rather than horse enthusiasts. The club operated in this location until 1962, when the Bushman Company purchased the land to develop the Metro Plaza Shopping Center and office buildings. The Blue Hills Club then moved to a location just east of State Line Road and 120th street.

The message on the card reads, “Where there will be held an old fashioned fair this fall. We’ll go. Paul.” It was sent to Miss Rose Dierks, Armour and The Paseo, Kansas City, Mo., On May 24, 1907.

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