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Fairmount Park, Bathing Scene
Fairmount Park, Bathing Scene
TitleFairmount Park, Bathing Scene
DescriptionPostcard of Bathing Scene at Fairmount Park
Historical ArticleThe Bathing Scene, Fairmount Park, Kansas City, Mo. postcard, in black and white, pictures an early eight-acre amusement park lake, emptying in Sugar Creek, at the eastern city limits.

Today no trace of it remains. Homes, streets and the Sugar Creek ball park occupy the old 50-acre park site, masterminded by Arthur E. Stilwell, Kansas City railroad builder in 1897. He figured the park would bring business to his Independence Air-Line interurban street cars. Fairmount was a stop on the line's route to Independence.

The usual concept of amusement parks wasn't allowed in the earliest days of the park. It was not all fun and games. Eight cottages with no cooking facilities were for rent. Patrons ate their meals in a large dining hall, and the crowd, which included people like William Jennings Bryan, James A. Reed, Walton Holmes, and local Kansas City social figures, expected quality entertainment.

Shakesperean stock, Swiss Bell Ringers, aerialists, stirring band music, a nine-hole golf course, zoo, giant dipper rides, racing and horse shows were some of the attractions.

Loula Long made her riding debut here, when still a girl in braids. (Fairmount's horse shows were forerunners of our present American Royal shows.)

Some of those visiting the park stayed a week in the cottages. Others came for the day by interurban. Others drove horse and buggy for the day.

In later years swimming and boating were the popular pastimes. The big body of water was fed by Cusenbury's springs in a day before construction of the big man-made lakes and dams in Missouri and Kansas.

The postcard was published by Mrs. W.F. Smith, Fairmount Park, Kansas City, and was printed in Germany about 1910.

Kansas City Times
May 22, 1987
AuthorRay, Mrs. Sam (Mildred)
Item TypePostcard
CollectionMrs. Sam Ray Postcard Collection (SC58)
See finding aid: http://localhistory.kclibrary.org/u?/Local,36981
Local SubjectParks
Fairmount Park
Digital FormatJPEG
RepositoryMissouri Valley Special Collections, Kansas City Public Library, Kansas City, Missouri
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