KANSAS CITY’S FAIRMOUNT PARK: 1892–1936.

FairmountPark[Book: John M. Olinskey, Debra Topi & Leigh Ann Little – 2012 – 18x25cm – 232 Pages – Few B&W photos]. Full title: “Kansas City’s Fairmount Park 1892-1936 ~ Carnival ~ Electric 1 & 2 ~ Fairyland Forest ~ Swope ~ Troost ~ Winnwood & Washington Parks.” Did you know that Mount Washington Cemetery was once an amusement park called Washington Park? Also, that one of the first airports in Kansas City was once Fairmount Park? In the 1880s Kansas City was a boom town and was referred to in the newsprint of the day as the “New Chicago.” Fairmount Park was home to: cafes, concessions, skating rink, the Fairmount Hotel… as well as amusement rides such as: Giant Dipper, Mountain Speedway, Jack Rabbit, Merry -Go- Round, Circle Swing, Toboggan Slide and more. ANDY SHINE’S RATING: Good.

  • Derek Sailors

    Wow, talk about both loving a book and thrilled to death when I am done. That would be this book. In the dozens of amusement park related books I have read this is by far the most detailed. That is one thing I really liked about it but at the same time, the detail involved went so much beyond the amusement parks in the area and it spends more time that I would have liked on the general history of the Independence/East Kansas City/Sugar Creek area in the 1890’s into the 1930’s. On the positive side, I did like the layout of the book. Each year of the park’s history is a new chapter. I also liked the way the book has short chapters. I also enjoyed the length and font size of the book. Also, the great detail was incredible and way beyond what you could imagine would even be possible considering how long ago this was. Another aspect of the great detail was knowing exactly where certain attractions were once located. I do like detail but at the same time that was the book’s downfall as well. If you read this book only wanting to read about the defunct parks that once operated in KC then you will not be happy. Literally half the book goes into great detail on the history of this area including schools, businesses, factories, transportation, Prohibition, etc. Way more than most people would care about. Another huge downfall is the lack of photos. All things considered I would rate this book a 7/10.