History and background of Schifferdecker Park

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JOPLIN, MO – You may know Joplin’s City Hall has changed addresses a few times.

And even MSSU found a new and improved home on the east side of town.

Schifferdecker Park itself sits on what used to be Joplin’s very own amusement park.

It sat on what’s now Schifferdecker Park, 10 acres of what had been a dairy farm.

It opened as Electric Park, with a wide variety of rides and features.

“So you have three businessmen thought this might be a great idea to create some excitement, something for entertainment for people to do.” Says Brad Belk, MSSU Historian.

They would lease 10 acres on the west side of town, as a future amusement park for Joplin.

“Concession stands and rides and entertainment live entertainment.” Belk says.

That included a roller coast named the Dazy Dazer and another ride called the Lover’s Tub.

It also boasted sideshows, live music, concessions and souvenir stands.

“So this was entertainment from the, the day to day grind of the miners that that went worked in toiled underground, as well as the wives and the and then and the children.” Belk says.

Sometimes called Joplin’s Coney Island, it got its start as electricity gained prominence leading to the name Electric Park.

“One of the things that they had that they really boasted about was this huge tower 96 foot tower that was lit up with incandescent light bulbs so just think about having to change those. But, by hand, are going up the tower, but you could see that I’m sure for miles.” Belk says.

Electric Park lasted just a few years, from 1909 to 1913.

Charles Schifferdecker then donated the land to the city, both the park and neighboring 30 acres.

He asked that it be used as a public park and be known as Schifferdecker Park, which is of course still the name today.

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