1905 was an up and very
down year for Sugar Creek, while it was the beginning of
thirty years of more fun for Fairmount Park. For Sugar
Creek, the year started off on a positive note. On
January 15 Judge Albert Allen married Andrew Markham to Mary
Cabay. It was the first marriage in Sugar Creek.
Later a new church was built in the area of Putnam and High
Streets. On Monday, December 18 the Examiner sent one
of their elitists to Sugar Creek. He made it official,
the Bohunks were gone, the definition of a Bohunk being a
skilled or unskilled foreign loser. From 10 busy
saloons and many houses of pleasure, the boom town was
reduced to two or three not so busy watering holes.
Half of the wooden commercial buildings on Fairmount Avenue
were already deserted, while the refinery continued to
There was also talk of
building a cement plant downstream from the refinery.
Cements plants needed power, petroleum and rock, which was
of unusual quality and quantity.
On Thursday, May 18,
construction of another oil refinery for the area was
announced in the newspaper. $1,000 an acre was
reportedly paid for 90 acres. The venture capitalists
were The Producers Refining and Fuel Company, an
independent and enemy of Standard. Located east of the
Blue River to Rock Creek, north of Mt. Washington cemetery
to the river. Intended to compete with Standard oil of
Sugar Creek. Will they never learn.
Meanwhile, Fairmount Park
was having a second Grand Opening. Thousands spent
opening day on Sunday, May 28, at the new Fairmount
Park. Fifty new boats, 1000 brand new bathing suits
and many new attractions greeted the city folks, like a Ferris
wheel and merry-go-round. Admission was free
and for a nickel you could ride to the park from anywhere in
the city, thirty three more cars were added as the day
progressed. The lake hadn't been fished in three
summers and was pristine, the lawns were immaculate.
Cusenbary Springs free water was now operated by an
The main feature was a
one-legged man who coasts down a 100 foot incline in an
automobile twice a day. Zimmerschields Band of 25
played two concerts a day at 3 and 8 p.m. Vaudeville
was back featuring a comedy act called The German Fifth
by Rapier and Knopp. Singers, hoofers, magicians,
pugilists and devices called the Funagraph and Terriscope.
On June 8 the Fairmount
Lake claimed its first victim. An 18-year old
Independence youth named Lloyd Highman drowned within the
ropes in 10 feet of water.
The Fourth of July was
especially popular as park records were broken. The
Standard Oil refinery had a huge impact on the tax base of
the county, increasing it by $1,172,065.56. Standard
paid $1,200 in taxes for 1904 but this year would pay
several times as much. Is it any wonder that there is
a Dairy Queen where there was supposed to be a competitor to