In the last few years, I’ve heard all kinds of stories about wild parties in Klaus Park, but I never got the word of them when I was growing up. From what little research I’ve done, it sounds like the land, like North County Park, South County Park and the VA Hospital site were all party of the County Farm at one time.
Considered for multipurpose building
A May 20, 1984, Missourian story by Mark Bliss said the land was being considered a possible site for the Cape Girardeau multipurpose building. County Court Presiding Judge Gene Huckstep said he had been contacted by several individuals about the possibility of the county offering a neutral site for the building which would eliminate a battle for the site between proponents of the Drury Development Corporation site south of Howard Johnson Motor Lodge along I-55 and the Bertling-Sprigg Street site (which is where the Show-Me Center was eventually built).
The park is relatively undeveloped. I’ve seen runners on the unpaved trails, and Missourian photographer Laura Simon shot some beautiful photos of fat bike (that’s the tires not the riders) riders in the park this fall. I missed the bikers, but DID see lots of hickory nuts on the ground.
Old jail site
The story also mentioned something else I’m going to have to research. “The County Court presiding judge ruled out the old jail site, across the interstate from Klaus Park, as a multipurpose building site because it contains only 23 acres. The building committee has indicated that a site of 30 acres is needed.
“In addition, Huckstep said, ‘we feel that the jail site is committed to a veterans home.'”
I never knew there was a jail located in that area.