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Roanoke Park, Roanoke Roadway
Roanoke Park, Roanoke Roadway
TitleRoanoke Park, Roanoke Roadway
DescriptionPostcard of Roanoke Roadway in Roanoke Park
Historical ArticleRoanoke Roadway is pictured on a 1911 post card, with two derby-hatted gentlemen in their new roadster.

The same photograph is shown in the published 1910 report of the board of Park Commissioners and designated Roanoke Park. (Publishers of the post card add Penn Valley Park to the post card caption, an error, according to James G. Shoemaker of the park board. Penn Valley Park was nearby, but never part of Roanoke Park.)

The original Roanoke district was patented in 1833, but passed to the McGee family in 1837. This included all the land between the present 35th and 39th Streets and Holly and Broadway.

In 1882, when the area was still outside the city limits of both Kansas City and Westport, the district became a well-known fairgrounds and pleasure park. The Kansas City Interstate Fair was incorporated and the organization bought 92.3 acres of the land for $39,277.

Stockholders of the fairgrounds were well known Kansas Citians: A. B. H. McGee, J. M. Ford, Emil Werk, T. B. Bullene, Simeon B. Armour, F. Esslinger, Wallace Pratt, E. H. Webster, Kersey Coates, William R. Bernard, A. M. Allen, S. F. Scott and Ira Harris.

Fairs were held in the area through 1885. Old newspaper ads for the fair included the following: General admission, 25c, Grandstand (for the races) 25c more. Street cars and trains every 30 minutes.

The Roanoke Investment Company bought the fairgrounds in 1887, paying $606,337 for the land, providing a sizable profit for the fairgrounds stockholders. The area then became a residential neighborhood of attractive homes, many built of native stone. Hughes Views of 1901 has pictures of several.

Roanoke Park, at Roanoke and Valentine Roads, the 36.04-acre city park, was acquired through gifts from the Southlands Land & Improvement Co. and others who had caught the spirit of conserving nature's beauty before it became marred, and of the resulting enhancement in value of nearby property according to the park board's 1914 souvenir booklet.

Today, built into the rugged bluffs, ravines and limestone crags are a wading pool, tennis courts, baseball diamond, comfort station, the Westport-Roanoke Community Center and 1.34 miles of roadway.

Kansas City Times
September 22, 1978

AuthorRay, Mrs. Sam (Mildred)
Item TypePostcard
CollectionMrs. Sam Ray Postcard Collection (SC58)
See finding aid: http://localhistory.kclibrary.org/u?/Local,36981
Local SubjectRoanoke Roadway
Roanoke Park
Digital FormatJPEG
RepositoryMissouri Valley Special Collections, Kansas City Public Library, Kansas City, Missouri
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