NORTH KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Mostly surrounded by Kansas City, Missouri, FOX4 featured the town of North Kansas City for this Zip Trip.
The town sits on the Missouri River in Clay County and is home to just about 5,000 residents. The founding of “Northtown” as it’s sometimes called goes back over 110 years.
“Well, you gotta go back to the turn of the century. Back then, this side of the river was just farmland,” educator and longtime resident Bob Hiatt said.
“The only way you could get to this side was through ferries, but unfortunately, this area would flood frequently.”
Because of that dangerous flooding, developers built a levee system along the river in 1910. If you drive over the Heart of America Bridge today, you’ll see a large levee, and that’s what makes North Kansas City possible.
“Otherwise, during the 1951, 1993 floods, this area would have been underwater,” Hiatt said.
A man by the name of Willard Winner started the idea of founding the town officially, and later got a partnership with Armour and Swift meat packing plants, and the Burlington Railroad, to develop this side of the Missouri River.
“But the first and most important thing they had to do was to build a bridge. So that’s when they started building around 1909, 1910, and it was finally finished in 1911. The “ASB Bridge,” which stood for Armour, Swift, and Burlington.”
If those names sound familiar to you, here’s why.
“If you come to Northtown today the three major streets are Armour, Swift and Burlington,” Hiatt said.
The town was officially founded in 1912. Residents began moving in and a year later, the North Kansas City School District was born. North Kansas City and the rest of the “Northland” really began to grow over the next three decades.
Today, the North KC community is fueled by not only lifelong residents, but newer ones too, and also some younger businesses giving it some new life, partly in thanks to the re-birth of a growing population of downtown KC just across the river.
“It’s the variety of things you can do in a single day, you know, you can come down here, check out some amazing local breweries. I think the secret’s kinda out on that now,” resident and outgoing River North District board treasurer Joe Gauer said.
That and more, making North Kansas City a perfect spot, for your next “Zip Trip.”
“Especially for those that live in downtown Kansas City. You’re five minutes away from great places to eat, and have fun,” Hiatt said.
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