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Mt. Washington Park, Swan Lake
Mt. Washington Park, Swan Lake
TitleMt. Washington Park, Swan Lake
DescriptionPostcard of Swan Lake in Mount Washington Park
Historical ArticleTwenty-acre Swan Lake in Mount Washington Park was one of several large bodies of water in Kansas City at the turn of the century. Most of these lakes are gone today, and even locating their sites is nearly impossible.

Swan Lake was filled with the sparkling waters of Rock Creek, at the eastern city limits. Willard E. Winner, who owned 2,400 acres west of Independence and was president of a street car line serving the park, built a dam in 1887 which formed the rustic lake, used for swimming and boating. Birds and wildlife, including white swans, were numerous.

The park was the largest in Missouri at the time. Musical shows, such as Pinafore, were performed from the deck of a ship tied to the dock, with the audience sitting on chairs on the grassy bank. There were the usual park rides and picnic tables scattered through the trees.

In 1900 at the park's closing, about 400 acres of the park were purchased by the Mt. Washington Cemetery Association, formed by a group of prominent Kansas Citians. Swan Lake was part of the cemetery holdings but was later filled in and landscaped. George E. Kessler was the landscape architect for the cemetery association.

The seven-acre Winwood Lake in rural Clay County on the Kansas City-Clay County Interurban Railway also was a popular spot, visited by as many as 10,000 on a Sunday afternoon in 1913. It is filled in today for the roadbed of I-35.

For 36 years Fairmount Park's eight-acre lake furnished summer fun and water sports for Kansas Citians. It was located north of the present U.S. 24 near Independence on Arthur Stillwell's airline interurban from Kansas City to Independence. Today the lake is gone. A baseball diamond and suburban homes cover the site.

Electric Park's big lake just east of 46th and the Paseo, with a large floating dock for swimmers, a fountain with living statuary, boats and canoes, is now the site of the Village Green apartment complex.

The post card was published in color by the Southwest News Co. of Kansas City and was printed in Leipzig, Germany.

Kansas City Times
August 21, 1981

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