Capaha and Arena Parks

Historic Preservation Class SeMO 04-08-2014Tuesday was a fun day. I got to speak to Dr. Lily Santoro’s Local Techniques in History class at SEMO. I brought along Carla Jordan from the Altenburg Lutheran Heritage Center and Museum in case the kids got rowdy. As it turned out, they were a very attentive group: the laughed where appropriate and were somber where appropriate. I hope they enjoyed the experience as much as I did.

I promised the group I would keep providing links to the subject matter they had been assigned, so here are stories about Arena and Capaha Parks.

Capaha Park Lagoon

Capaha Park Lagoon SwimmersCapaha park has many different facets, so I’ll break pieces of it apart. The lagoon is in more-or-less the center of the park. It was one of the first places I fished by myself. Except for one monster crappie I caught to win a rod and reel in a fishing contest, my results were mostly unremarkable.

Capaha Park Pool

Capaha Pool 07-11-1967

The Capaha Park pool was THE place to be in the summer months. Wife Lila and her best friend were lifeguards there. When the pool was razed, they shared some powerful memories. She had a tear in her eye the first time she came back to Cape and saw it gone.

 Capaha Baseball

General Park stories and photos

 Arena Park

SEMO Fair Round Up Arena Park was best known for the District Fair, stockcar races, animal exhibits and the train.


5 Replies to “Capaha and Arena Parks”

  1. My school bus to Jr.High was on the corner of Capaha Park and Broadway, across from Wescoat’s service station below the hospital. One morning, arriving there after heavy rains during the night, we found the lagoon had overflowed. Many fish of all kinds were still alive, flopping around in the outfield of the little league diamond. Several of us ran around before the bus arrived, tossing fish back into the pond.

  2. I worked for the Park’s Department one summer during high school and had to drag myself there by 7 a.m. each morning to raise that beautiful flag. By end of the summer I knew every inch of the place and used the information on numerous occasions. For what exactly shall remain a mystery known only to one other.

  3. About 1962 a group of my North Sprigg friends and I decided we were old enough to be real fishermen. So we got up at 4:00am and headed to Capaha with what ever gear we could find. One issue was that we didn’t have enough bate. We discovered that at that hour there were all kinds of insects congregated on Broadway under the street lights. So we were crawling around on our hands and knees in the middle of Broadway catching “bugs” when office Crites of the CGPD happened on the scene. When we saw a car coming we moved to the curb until it had passed but in this case the car was Crites and he stopped with the most puzzled look on his face. “What in the heck are you kids doing at 4:30 in the morning crawling around in the middle of Broadway?” When we told him he liked to died laughing. “OK, but hurry up and watch for cars.” Keeping with the tone set by Walter, the results of our fishing trip in the number of fish caught and fried shall remain a mystery known to only 3 others. In the number of participants I’ve got you by two Walter, does that make us kinky?

  4. Mike, good to hear your story from a much simpler time for all of us. I laughed thinking how if you superimposed the facts on 2013, the four of you would probably be in a foster home because of negligent parents. How is that in those days, the only requirement on a summer day was “Be home for dinner.” We roamed the entire town on our bikes. I can remember riding from our home on Sunset out to Dennis Scivaly Park for some reason with no fear of danger from any source. I miss those lazy, hazy days.

    Regarding the actual fishing, my guess is that you guys filled the stringer and I know you did it with that smile on your face. Best regards to a friend from the class of 1968.

  5. We road our bikes from McGreggor’s store on N Sprigg to the entrance at Trail of Tears had our Bologna sandwich and road back. Bend Road was a narrow two lane backtop all the way to Trail of Tears. Drivers would give us room unless there was on coming traffic and then we would get off the road completely into the grass and weeds on the side. Our parents knew where we were going and said exactly what you just mentioned. “Be back before dinner”.

    Hope things a going well for you Walter, take care. “68”

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