Friday, June 27, 2014

#110: Fairground Park

Another place on my 'places that I never existed' is Fairground Park, which is located in North City. And not to biased, is also located in a bad neighborhood. This is by no means for me to pick on any class or race. As little as I go out there, I stay the most careful. If you do go there, you will probably believe the place looks more imposing than inviting. However, many family get-togethers and reunions are held here during the nice days of the year. The place has such a rich history that its a perfect example to tell a curious person what its like when things go to bad. See, this was once the site of the annual Agricultural and Mechanical Fair (held from 1856 to 1902). People came from all around the country to be at this place. Remember, this was before St. Louis' peak at the World's Fair. Speaking of which, it closed down for that reason as the park was probably going to be used for other purposes. 

Today, there are many enjoyable things to do at the park. Trails for walking and biking, basketball courts, and ball fields.  

  • The park goes way back to 1856 as a privately-owned unit by the St. Louis Agricultural and Mechanical Association. It was used
  • During the Civil War, the park was used as a Union encampment, which was known as Benton Barracks. 
  • By the 1880s, it was converted into a horse-racing track (The St. Louis Fair and Jockey Club), which of course, was used for gambling. The track was closed in 1905 as an anti-gambling politician, Joseph W. Folk, was elected Mayor of St. Louis. 
  • Became a public park 
  • A zoo was also once here, as a bear pit that once existed is still visible today.
  • Once considered a site for the Saint Louis Zoo.
  • Neighborhoods O'Fallon, Fairground, Greater Ville and Vandeventer surround the area. 
  • Fairground Park is 132 acres.
Right side of the cake

Fairground Park on FB
Wikipedia link
Park on St. Louis city website

3700 Fair Avenue, ST. LOUIS, MO, 63107
Cake artist: Dan Jaboor

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