Arts and Culture
Municipal Park is the biggest park in Carthage. Federal Work Project, also known as depression-era WPA funding, developed the property in the 1930s. The Carthage Municipal Pool, the pool house made from native Carthage Stone, several shelters, and the entry stones and walls off Route 66 showcase the historic elegance of traveling the Mother Road.
Named after an umpire Carl Lewton, Carl Lewton Stadium, also known as Rock Stadium, is still used today. The Rock Stadium was also part of the Federal Work project and was built as an outdoor amphitheater with WPA funds in 1937-1938 and converted to a ballpark by 1942. Fieldstone rocks form the stadium's outer structure for a sturdy build, matching some of the shelter pillars in the park and the wall surrounding the Golf Course. The famous Kansas, Oklahoma, and Missouri KOM League played here for seven seasons after World War II. Future All-Star players Mickey Mantle and Stan Musial played in their youth. The stands have chairs built into original to the structure. The chairs display the players' names, such as Mantle's and Musial's that use to play in the stadium from back in the 1930s. View a historical slideshow of our Rock Stadium.
Kiwanis Kiddieland, on 2000 Oak Street, is just south of the east entrance of Municipal Park. It is the part of the park that Bill Barksdale ran with the Kiwanis Club. The mini-amusement park has rides suited for little kids looking for a bit of thrill for only fifty cents per ride. Built in 1948, Kiddieland includes vintage rides that allow parents to join their kids if needed. The train is a feature of the mini-amusement park that gets a lot of attention with the quarter-mile oval track, and there are five additional rides and an old-fashioned, hand-painted carousel the kids can enjoy. The regular operating hours are weekends from Memorial Day to Labor Day, except in severe weather.
The Big Playground sits near Kiddieland and the north entrance to Municipal Park. The playground is spread out between several shelters with access to restrooms.
The center of the park holds the skating rink; It was built as a dance hall in the late 1930s and continues to make memories. Jasper County Fairgrounds and a beautifully maintained 18-Hole Carthage Golf Course on Route 66 are just up the hill. The Carthage Municipal Pool is operated by the Fair Acres Family YMCA. The pool season runs Memorial Day through Labor Day. The pool hours: Monday through Saturday noon to 6 pm and Sunday from 1 pm to 6.m. Hours may vary due to weather. There is no charge for Fair Acres YMCA Members. Public rates: 3 and under are free; kids 4 to 15 are $2, and ages 16 and up are $3. Private party rental rates start at $200 for any evening from 6 pm to 8 pm. Contact Brad Clark at the YMCA to book a private party at Carthage Municipal Pool.
The Carthage Saddle Club manages the Saddle Club Arena on the south end of the park. During the summer months, large rodeos will come and use the arena, which draws in a large crowd for the park. Carthage Stampede is a famous rodeo that comes here annually. Animal Clinics train area youth at the arena before the County Fair each year.
Hallam Field sits in front of the Saddle Club Arena. A small utility field is used for adult softball and as a practice field for both youth baseball and softball. Plans are in the works for additional development of the small area.
Hallam Playground equipment is next to the field with swings, a slide, merry-go-round, and a small zip line for the kids to play on.
The University of Missouri Extension Center owns the green Exhibit Building near the Fairgrounds. The contact for the Extension Building is 417-358-2158 for reservations and additional details. Currently, due to COVID 19, that building is not being reserved until further notice.
Carl Lewton “Rock” Stadium
Carthage Golf Course
Carthage Saddle Club
Hallam Utility Ball Field
Jasper County Fairgrounds