Archive for Monday, March 29, 2010

Update: High-tech aerial image of Lawrence reveals location of historic Woodland Park

March 29, 2010

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LiDAR image of the historic Woodland Park. The image reveals the location of the park's horse racing track, which confirms that the location of the park was indeed at the east end of 12th Street.

LiDAR image of the historic Woodland Park. The image reveals the location of the park's horse racing track, which confirms that the location of the park was indeed at the east end of 12th Street.

We received some very interesting feedback from readers at the Kansas Water Office regarding our story on the mystery of Woodland Park.

They've passed along a "LiDAR" image of the historic Woodland Park. (LiDAR — or Light Detection And Ranging — is an optical remote sensing technology that measures properties of scattered light to find range and other information from a distant target, typically using laser pulses from a plane.)

Debra Baker at KWO read the article and remembered that a coworker, Tina Rajala, had spotted an anomaly in a LiDAR of East Lawrence that looked like a race track. She sent the story link to Tina and here's the response she receieved:

Deb: This LiDAR image was collected in 2006 by Douglas County (it was part of a 14-entity contract with the USGS to collect LiDAR along the Kansas River corridor). The GIS department for DG County has the original data; as does the Data Access and Support Center. I got this image from Ingrid Landgraf at the USGS in Lawrence. It definitely supports the article's location of the Woodland Park, and the Daisy Dozer, as north of 12th St and Prospect Ave. Thanks for sharing the article! Tina

Comments

Kelly Anderson 5 years ago

That is one of the coolest things I have ever seen. Amazing!

overthemoon 5 years ago

Wow. Very Cool. This sort of heads together is exciting!

And I knew Tina way back when in Hash hall!!

md 5 years ago

I have used a detector several times on this site,The track is easy to spot,I also found an cement drain with a boys name on it and if I remember right,1910 was also on it.

Control 5 years ago

I can't wait until I frame this up!

average 5 years ago

The creek through the middle is not a natural feature. It was a channelization of the natural drainage for the bermed railroad track. It follows the south side of the ATSF tracks, and then crosses under them just northeast of the cemetery, going toward the river. Presumably when the racetrack was in operation the drainage of that part of town was to the west of the fairground. I'm guessing the channelization happened after the 1950s floods, when the rest of the fairgrounds ruins were razed.

I'm also interested in the streetcar tracks. In east Lawrence, they ran on Mass from 23rd (Breezedale) to 7th, then east on 7th by the Santa Fe (Amtrak) station, south on New Jersey, east on 13th, and then ended on Prairie Ave. You occasionally still see bits of track peek through on N.J. or 13th. I don't have a confirmation, but knowing other streetcars, my guess is that the random circle of pavement north of 12th and Prairie is roughly the end of the streetcar track. A turnabout circle and possibly a yard for waiting. This might then be where most would have entered the fairgrounds.

BTW - The Brook Creek neighborhood south of this area mostly has houses from the 50s and later (post-flood). But, it had been divided up and there were houses there from the 1910s. They weren't originally part of the city. The lots were originally subdivided and sold by the streetcar/electric company. The streetcar provided convenient access to downtown, and gained a captive market in the process. A 'streetcar suburb'.

bearded_gnome 5 years ago

very interesting indeed.
kudos to everybody including Average and other posters.

funny how a community could "lose" something like that, but good we could find it again.

broddie 5 years ago

on a side note, the area around 11th and Haskell used to be heavily forested just south of the tracks. There were several squatter shacks, an old boxcar, an abandoned 1940s steam shovel, and an old pickup truck that had been there so long that a tree had grown up through the engine compartment. People were actually living there all year round in the boxcar. I took some pictures there around 2001 or 2002, before they cleared the area to make way for some new industrial buildings.

gneiss_guy 5 years ago

If you look at the Feb. 15, 2002 aerial photo in Google Earth Historical Imagery, you can see the same horse race track in the trees.

gneiss_guy 5 years ago

If you look at the Feb. 15, 2002 aerial photo in Google Earth Historical Imagery, you can see the same horse race track in the trees.

geekyhost 5 years ago

Wow - this is really interesting. I'd been to that park and heard it had once been part of this. How cool to see all the evidence put together.

LogicMan 5 years ago

Really cool. Too bad that coaster, remainder of the park, race track, and trolley are gone. They would be excellent tourist/historic/amusement draws to town.

Time to rebuild?

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