Title: Cliff Drive

Description: Postcard of Cliff Drive

Historical Article: The postcard mailed from Kansas City to Independence, Kan., July 7, 1915, pictures a long line of motor cars and their passengers on Cliff Drive, where they stop for a breathtaking view of the broad Missouri River valley and Clay County, north of the river.

Cliff Drive, when it opened in 1900, was regarded as one of the most famous in the world. It wound over and around the bluffs skirting North Terrace Park (now Kessler Park) for 3-1/2 miles from Woodland on the west to Belmont on the east.

Cliff Drive runs along the face of the lofty and precipitous bluff which overhangs the Missouri River bottoms, the sides of the cliff having been hewn away to provide a level floor for the roadbed...The bluff rises sheer above the drive on one hand and falls away abruptly on the other, wrote a Kansas City Star reporter.

The park was a wild place in 1897 but landscape architect George Kessler was attracted by the fine views it afforded of the wide Missouri Valley to the north.

The cost of the drive to the city was $750,000, a tidy sum at the time. It was proudly visited by Kansas Citians and many from out of town. Originally, for safety's sake, automobiles were prohibited on the drive. Visitors came by horse-drawn vehicles or walked.

The identity of the delegation pictured is unknown, but many such tours, both local and from out of town, were conducted when Cliff Drive was opened to automobiles.

The card was published by the Southwest News Co. of Kansas City.

Kansas City Times
September 21, 1984

Author: Ray, Mrs. Sam (Mildred)

Item Type: Postcard

Collection: Mrs. Sam Ray Postcard Collection (SC58)
See finding aid: http://localhistory.kclibrary.org/u?/Local,36981

Location: SC58

Local Subject: Streets; Cliff Drive

Digital Format: JPEG

Barcode: 20000616

Repository: Missouri Valley Special Collections, Kansas City Public Library, Kansas City, Missouri

Rights: Reproduction (printing, downloading, or copying) of images from Kansas City Public Library requires permission and payment for the following uses, whether digital or print: publication; reproduction of multiple copies; personal, non-educational purposes; and advertising or commercial purposes. Please order prints or digital files and pay use fees through this website. All images must be properly credited to: "Missouri Valley Special Collections, Kansas City Public Library, Kansas City, Missouri." Images and texts may be reproduced without prior permission only for purposes of temporary, private study, scholarship, or research. Those using these images and texts assume all responsibility for questions of copyright and privacy that may arise.