This used to be the cowboy style and rough and ready area. It was founded by Issac McCoy in 1833 by constructing a log building. The area was staged for commerce for the settlers coming through town and needed goods as the last stop before venturing into the prairie. it was a crossroads for the trails going south and west via the north route. At one time, the town had 2,000 people. Now that many fit into a bar on Saturday evening. On remaining structure is Kelly's bar, and it is still "rustic". Wood floors and hasn't been cleaned good for a century, or so.
Westport is and can be a somewhat dangerous place to hang out late in the evening. There are bar fights, and police try to maintain a sense of stability, but it can cause an uprising at any time. I had experienced the problem with drugs and killings on property down there when I managed some retail stores.
John McCoy established West Port along the Santa Fe Trail, three miles south of the Missouri River, in 1833. To supply West Port, he set up the riverside Westport Landing. Westport Landing would change into the Town of Kansas in 1838 and finally, Kansas City in 1850. Westport served as an outfitting station for pioneers heading out on the Oregon, California and Santa Fe Trails and business was good until the Civil War ground migration to a halt. The town became a battlefield in October 1864 when Union force defeated the Confederates of Sterling Price, thus ending the Rebel threat to the Kansas City area. After the Civil War, railroads selected Kansas City as a place where a bridge over the Missouri was built – much to nearby Leavenworth’s chagrin – and business attention centered itself to the north with Westport slumbering. Eventually, Kansas City annexed its parent in 1897. Today, sited just north of the Country Club Plaza, Westport is home to several restaurants and bars and is known as one of Kansas City’s main nightlife centers. One bar - Kelly’s – is set within the oldest building in Kansas City – a store once owned by a grandson of Daniel Boone. The building immediately west of Kelly’s was once a store owned by the Mountain Man Jim Bridger. Across the street east of Kelly’s, the original founder is commemorated in the form of McCoy’s, a popular brewpub.
This striking monument probably has an official title, but I don't know what it is. All three men honored played important roles in the city's development and the opening of the western states for settlement and commerce.
The Santa Fe, Oregon, and California Trails all three went through the Westport area at the spot where this statue is located.
Left to right: Alexander Majors, owner of freight lines opening up trade to the west on all three trails; John McCoy, called "The Father of Kansas City," son of a missionary who platted the land around is West Port trading post in 1833 and became the first postmaster of the city; Jim Bridger, best known as explorer, fur trapper and mountain man who returned to Kansas City farm and operate a store.
It is unusual to see a street in Kansas City's Westport area with few people on it as seen in this photo taken on a Saturday morning. Unique shops and eateries draw people during the day, restaurants and clubs draw crowds at night. When Kansas City celebrates, Westport is jumping.
The old village of West Port was laid out long before there was a town named Kansas City, and was a major supply stop for pioneers and freighters headed for the western frontier.
Now home to the Westport Historical Society, this Greek revival-style house was built in 1855, and sat alongside the Santa Fe Trail.
Open Mondays-Fridays 10 am to 4 pm.