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Situated along the Missouri River, the city of Sugar Creek is in both Clay County and Jackson County. The community was named for a creek lined with sugar maples that ran through the city. Prior to its settling by European-Americans, the area that became Sugar Creek was home to the Osage people. The Lewis and Clark Expedition camped on an island in the Missouri River opposite the current location of the city in June of 1804. During the mid-19th century, the area was a point along the river that served as a port to receive supplies for early pioneers heading west. It became known as Upper Independence Landing, then Wayne City Landing. In 1850, the railroad joined Wayne City to nearby Independence. Then, from the 1890s to the 1930s, a resort known as Fairmount Park was located there, including a hotel, theater, carnival rides, a roller coaster that was at one time the world’s largest, and a recreational lake. A street car brought tourists from nearby Kansas City. Standard Oil bought land at the northern part of the city in 1903, where they built an oil refinery that attracted several new immigrants from Eastern Europe. The Sugar Creek Improvement Association was established after World War I, arranging for the installation of street lights, setting the city limits, and finally petitioning for incorporation as a city in 1920. In the 2000s, the oil refinery, which by then had been acquired by BP America, was the subject of lawsuits relating to pollution at the refinery, which had been closed in 1982. Sugar Creek is situated along the southern banks of the Missouri River, immediately adjacent to Independence, to its south.



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