At a population of 239, Fontana is Miami County’s smallest city. But what it lacks in size, it makes up for in charm, providing visitors reasons for repeat visits.
The tight-knit community has worked hard to ensure the town’s heritage has been preserved during the last two centuries. The small downtown retains some of the original architecture from when Fontana was incorporated back in 1889. The original Fontana Bank and Fontana Jail still stand; and a former one-room schoolhouse has been renovated and serves as City Hall.
The jewel of Fontana is located along the marshlands that surround Marais Des Cygnes River. Miami State Fishing Lake is more than a well-stocked 101-acre fishing lake. The forest of oak and hickory trees surrounding it is home to a booming white-tailed deer population. Eagle-eyed birders can spot loggerhead shrikes, grebes, great blue herons and even the occasional pileated woodpecker at the park. Primitive campgrounds and docks are available. The lake is operated by the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism and is considered a best-kept secret by local outdoorsman for its secluded location and quiet environment.
Railroad in Fontana
Fontana Welcome Sign
Fontana Fire Station
Fontana City Hall
Families looking for a location for their next potluck or family picnic should consider Fontana City Park as a great hideaway. The park’s shelter house and picnic tables provide plenty of space to spread out in the shade while kids will enjoy the playground.
Fontana Fire Station Park is another great spot to get some fresh air. Picnic tables are available and park visitors can see and touch an antique fire pump well, something firefighters relied on before the creation of fire hydrants.
In the spirit of Midwestern hospitality, Fontana hosts several events throughout the year that are open to the public.
In July, live music is offered in the City Park during the Fontana Community Picnic. The picnic is a favorite for kids for its inflatable water slide and gunny sack races.
To mark Fire Prevention Month the Fontana Fire Department opens its doors to families and children of all ages can tour the building, and enjoy lunch with local fire and rescue crews. Kids will also get an up close at the business of saving lives. Not only will visitors be able to explore the station’s rescue boats, life-flight helicopter, fire trucks and ambulances, they also will get to try out the fire hose and see a demonstration of the “Jaws of Life” in action.
The first Saturday in November the United Methodist Church marks the start of autumn with the Fall Supper. The meal features homemade chicken and noodles, ham and turkey while looking at the changing leaves.
A newer tradition in Fontana is the Family Drive-in Movie Night. A few times a year families can park in the Fontana Christian Church parking lot and enjoy a free movie from the comfort of their cars.