Wa-a-ay before Worlds of Fun, people in Cowtown were looking for novel ways to have a good time. To the rescue came the Heim family, specifically Michael Heim. Of the three Heim brothers, Joseph, Ferdinand and Michael, Michael was the “outgoing, sportsman, host and showman,” the one who dreamed up stuff. His big idea, Electric Park, was opened in 1899 and was not only a tremendous success on its own but a major asset in advertising and selling Heim beer.
…it was so named because it was decorated with electric lights, which were still a novelty to most people. Built adjacent to the brewery, the park included a 2,500 seat theater featuring vaudeville performances, a roller coaster, a merry-go-round, a bowling alley, a German village, a pavilion for dances, and a beer garden with a stage for concerts, at which patrons could always enjoy a refreshing glass or mug of Heim beer piped in directly from the brewery.
Aaah! What a dream, it sounds wonderful today. Plumbing from the brewery directly to the park to bring you freshly brewed beer. Below you can see the Heim Brewery in the center background. Today, it is one of the best preserved historic breweries in Kansas City.
The main, and most novel attraction, though, was the elaborate electric fountain, patterned after one in Paris, in the midst of which young women in gossamer costumes would emerge on lighted pedestals.
During the park’s eight years of operation, it was Kansas City’s favorite place for amusement. So popular was the park that special excursion trains brought people in from all over Missouri and Kansas.
Today just north of the Heim brewery, there is a small park in the east bottoms named Heim Park. Unfortunately, you will just have to imagine what that spot was like when it was the lively, glowing Electric Park.