Blue River, Near 15th Street

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Description: Postcard of the Blue River, Near 15th Street
Subject: Rivers; Blue River
Location: SC58
Collection: Mrs. Sam Ray Postcard Collection (SC58)See finding aid:,36981
Historical Article: The houseboat and river scene pictured on this 1910 post card was titled Blue River, near 15th St., Kansas City.At the time the photograph was taken, dozens of similar boats lay along the shores of the winding Blue river, especially along the west bank between Fifteenth street and Twenty-seventh.The boats, usually homemade, served their outdoor-loving owners as art studios, weekend picnic retreats, summer cottages and, for many, year-round homes. There were few lakes or streams available to Kansas Citians, and transportation was still difficult.Oftentimes a small building or tent was erected on the adjacent bank. The boats were not subject to real-estate taxation, quite an advantage.The deep, clear water made for good swimming and furnished a plentiful supply of perch and channel cat for the fisherman.On sunny spring days there was a lot of activity, with enthusiastic owners painting, caulking cracks and repairing roofs, which were often used for picnics in summer and were fine vantage points to watch the canoe races on the river.Screens had to be in good condition and at night mosquito netting (cotton) was thrown over the beds.Today it is almost impossible to find the Blue from Fifteenth street, for the huge Truman road viaduct and many industrial plants hide the miserable stream.The Blue river is still beautiful further upstream, through Swope park and south of Sixty-third street. The Jackson County court has tentative plans for a 2,000-acre improvement called Blue River parkway which will beautify the river and build an adjacent scenic drive south of Swope park to the Kansas state line.Kansas City StarMay 22, 1971
Barcode: 20000161
Item Type: Postcard

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