Have you ever wondered why until the 68th Street project fixed it, the intersection of Robinhood Drive (where the Northwoods Apartment are) and Bryan Avenue (the old rusted bridge that flooded all the time) with Waukomis Drive was so skewed and offset? Or why before the new NW 72nd Street was built, the only way to get from Gladstone to Platte Woods was to take the rickety and disjointed Bryan/Linden Road route to Overland Drive?
Did you know that in the heart of the Line Creek Valley, the town of Miltonwood was platted in 1922. If you look at the original plat below and the very simple aerial today with the plat outlined, you can see where the old horse and buggy street right of ways were simply paved over without any changes to the geometry of the road. One of the interesting things is the new NW 72nd Street was actually platted and used for some time as the Barry to Parkville Road. Since the Loundmouth is a geek and doesn't need any excuse to get lost in the woods, I posted some Panoramio pictures showing the old road bed. Miltonwood existed long before J.C. Nichols ever thought about Brookside. So when people ask where I live, it's no longer the Northland, it's a small northern suburb of Miltonwood, Missouri.
The Waukomis Drive/Green Hills Road Reconnaissance Survey for potential historical resources prepared for the City by Historic Preservation Services, LLC in conjunction with TranSystems Corporation had a little write up on Miltonwood which is excerpted below. This report was available and discussed during the public meetings held for the project.
Real estate speculator George Maxwell began acquiring land along Kansas City-Barry Road at the southern end of the project area around 1900. By 1907, he owned most of the southeast quarter of section 17 and 200 acres in the east half of Section 20, including an extensive frontage along Kansas City-Barry Road. The Ogle Atlas published that year shows two houses on this property and identifies Maxwell as a “dealer in farm lands.” The city directory locates his offices in the Hall Building at 9th and Walnut Streets in downtown Kansas City.
By 1919, George and Elizabeth Maxwell sold 210 acres to Willis and Minnie Munger. This parcel included most of Maxwell’s 1907 acreage, specifically the 200 acres in Section 20, and 10 acres in Section 17 lying south and west of Kansas City-Barry Road in Section 20.21 The Mungers platted their land as the “Miltonwood” subdivision on November 20, 1919.22 The plat established Milton Drive (the modern diagonal alignment of Waukomis Road) and included several other streets such as Spring Street (now Northwest 70th Terrace) and Bryan Avenue, as well as Vista Avenue, Valley Road, and Highview Avenue, all of which are west of the current project area. Flanking these new roads were large lots, typically ranging between 5 and 7.5 acres in size. The plat also recognized a small parcel along the county road that the Maxwell’s conveyed in 1911 as a school lot. Later maps identify it as the Line Creek School.
Three years later, the Munger Investment Company filed an Amended Plat of Miltonwood. The amendment subdivided many of the larger tracts to create smaller lots of generally two to three acres.23 Subsequent amendments further subdivided individual parcels within Miltonwood.
In the years following World War I, the Munger Investment Company, headed by Willis R. Munger, developed many of Kansas City’s early exurban residential enclaves. His projects included additions on the fringe of Kansas City, such as Petaluma Heights near 31st Street and Blue Ridge Road and the Santa Fe Trail addition in the Rosedale Section of Kansas City, Kansas. Following the opening of the Armour-Swift-Burlington Bridge linking Kansas City and North Kansas City, Munger anticipated Kansas City’s suburban expansion north of the Missouri River. In addition to platting Miltonwood in Platte County, the Munger Investment Company also created the communities of Claycomo and Maple Park in Clay County.24
21 The Ogle Map identifies G. W. Ultch as the owner of the remaining 132 acres in Section 17 at this time.
22 “Plat of Miltonwood,” 27 December 1919, book 3, Page 7, microfiche no. 1280, Platte County Recorder of Deeds, Platte City, MO.
23 “Amended Plat of Miltonwood,” 3 January 1923, book 3, page 11, microfiche no. 14736, Platte County Recorder of Deeds, Platte City, MO.
24 “Death of W. R. Munger,” Kansas City Star, 23 September 1925, Mounted Clippings File, Special Collections, Kansas City (Missouri) Public Library.