What readers had to say about our Secrets of the City

Our March issue investigated some of Kansas City’s best-kept secrets, including the cancelation of a play at Shawnee Mission East High School following a disturbing double murder and the little-known observation deck on top of City Hall downtown. We were surprised and humbled by the response: The story was shared thousands of times on Facebook, and some local shops sold out of print copies.

Along with a little blowback over our coverage of local speakeasies—at least one wasn’t quite as legal as it could have been—we received an outpouring of thanks and shared memories about lost treasures like the Zambezi Zinger. Here’s what readers had to say.


“About the cave in Roanoke Park: When I was at Volker Elementary School, I remember a couple of teachers told us that the cave in Roanoke Park eventually led to another opening just across State Line, which was only a few blocks away. Prior to the Civil War, Missouri was a slave state and Kansas was a free state. Abolitionists from Missouri would help runaway slaves using this cave.”— John L. Herrera 

“Rickey Road hasn’t been the same since the street lights went up about ten years ago.”— Ryan Wayman  

“Why do they call it Sauer Castle? It’s a Victorian house or maybe a mansion but not a castle and looks nothing like one.” — Derek King

“The residents near Sauer Castle have been fighting with the property owners for years trying to get him to start restoration. Unfortunately, he has no desire to do so and refuses to sell to anyone who would like to undertake the project.” — Kimberly Peffermann

“The giant chickens and cows were at a research facility right by the Sauer Castle. You also left off Tiffany Castle.” — Bruce Payne

“Anybody see the giant chickens and cows? Was a huge wives tale at Shawnee Mission East High School in 1978. Found the lab and ten-foot fence; still looking for the cows and chickens!” — Ron Maxon

“They left off the underground railroad in KCK.” — Maggie Lee

“The cave was sealed in the 1950s or earlier. I used to play there, and there were stories about it then. It was not opened. The park had a wading pool in it.” — Dixie Lee Stephens Hope

“Creative, unique articles like this are what the team at Kansas City magazine totally excels at creating. They nailed this. Well done! Love!” — Jenny Vergara  

“We went to [Parque De’ Cafe in the nation of Columbia] and rode the old Zambezi Zinger. My daughters rode it together, and right when their car was at the top of the spiral, a big rainbow appeared behind them. It is a fabulous park, landscaped with tropical plants and coffee bushes.” — Philip Thornton 

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