PUBLIC PARKS PLAN IN MAKING
Municipal Swimming Pool And A Park in Portion
of Cemetery May Be Urged
An announcement of the full scope of the duties of the recently appointed city park commissioners is expected with the next few days, and that body will probably have some definite recommendations for the City Council at its first meeting in August.
It is known that some of the commissioners are very enthusiastic over the plans for the comprehensive system of parks and playgrounds in this city, and look favorably toward the turning of the old brickyard pond at the foot of Henderson Street into a swimming and wading pool, if satisfactory arrangements with the owners of the property can be made.
Some of the members of the commission are known to favor the use of the south half of the old Greenwood cemetery as a park, and a definite recommendation for that procedure is practically assured in their first report.
A sum of $2500 was set aside in Captain Hawkins recommendations in his full plan for the city improvements, but this proposal was held in abeyance, along with the entire proposal, with the exception of the wood block and Carrollton Avenue paving.
From The Commonwealth, July 11, 1923
CITY PARK PLAN BEING PREPARED
City Engineer Drawing Plans For Converting
Part Of Cemetery Into City Park
With the matter of street paving finished, the attention of City Engineer W. S. Hawkins is now occupied with the preparation of plans for a city park, which was recently authorized buy the City Council with the appointment of a park commissioner.
It is proposed to use the south half of the old Greenwood Cemetery as a playground, and if satisfactory arrangements can be made with the owners of the property, to convert the old brickyard pond at the foot of Henderson Street into a municipal swimming and wading pool.
The portion of the cemetery suggested for use as a park is no longer used as a cemetery, and was formerly the portion of the cemetery used as a burial ground for Negroes. No burials have been made in the cemetery for a number of years, and all but a few of the bodies have been removed from this to other places. It is separated by a wire fence and a street from the other portions of the cemetery, formerly used by white people, and has been left for the past several years to grow up in underbrush.
With comparatively little expense it can be converted into a beauty spot. The usual park facilities will be provided, and a beautiful wading pool for the younger children will be installed. Plans are now being drawn for the wading pool and the laying out of the grounds.
From The Commonwealth, September 19, 1923
FIRST STEPS ARE TAKEN FOR MAKING CITY PARK
At the first meeting of the City Park Commission held at the City Engineer’s office Saturday afternoon, the commission adopted a resolution approving the use of the south half of the old Greenwood Cemetery, formerly a burying ground for Negroes, as a city park, and approved a recommendation to the City Council that an appropriation of not more than $500.00 be made as needed for preliminary work of fencing and clearing the property.
The commission disapproved asking an appropriation or a bond issue for the park, preferring to devote its activities for the coming year in preparing the grounds and preserving the trees on the plot in their natural state.
It is proposed to present the recommendations to the City Council at its next meeting, as asking for the building of a fence, about the whole tract in order to prevent depredations and the waste of trees and shrubbery, and to confine traffic which not cuts an angle through a corner of the plot, to the street which divides the former Negro section of the cemetery from the white section. If the appropriation is made by the City Council, a “kid proof” permanent fence will be put on both the north and south sides of the tract, the former to prevent encroachment on the portion of the white section of the cemetery, and the latter to prevent the staying of youngsters on the railroad track when the park is opened. For the present, only a temporary fence is contemplated on the east and west sides.
During the coming spring and summer, it is planned to fill in the low spots which form a catch basin for water, and probably to raise the entire level about six inches.
Ultimate plans call for a wading pool for children, built on the style of Roman bath of Greek architecture, with a templed pavilion forming a resting place and bandstand.
Members of the commission stated positively, in answer to an inquiry, that they have no designs to an action to the cemetery except the south half, which is separated from the remainder of the cemetery by Leflore Avenue, and that they would disapprove and suggestion that the other portion be included in the park plans.
From The Greenwood Daily Commonwealth, January 7, 1924
PARK PLAN READY FOR CITY COUNCIL
Park Commission Will Ask For A Small Appropriation
To Begin Preliminary Work
The regular mid-month meeting of the city council will be held tonight. A number of important matters are shaping up for consideration but will probably not be ready for action at tonight’s meeting.
The city school board is engaged in preparing its plans for the needed additions to the city’s school buildings, but is authoritatively stated today that these plans are not yet ready for presentation to the council, and will not be until after a further conference with architects who are engaged in designing the buildings. This conference will probably take place tomorrow, it was stated today.
The City Park commission will lay a request before the council tonight asking for an authorization to expend, not exceeding $500.00 under their direction, for clearing the grounds, and for preliminary work in preparing the southern part of the old Greenwood Cemetery for a city park.
From The Greenwood Daily Commonwealth, February 19, 1924
WORK ON PARK BEGINS MONDAY
Old Cemetery Will Be Cleaned Up And Made Ready
For Park Equipment
Work on the proposed city park, which will be located in the south half of the old Greenwood Cemetery, will begin Monday morning under the direction of Capt. W. S. Hawkins, city engineer, according to an announcement made this morning.
The grounds, which lie south of Leflore Avenue and north of the Columbus & Greenville railroad tracks, and west of Gillespie Street, will be fenced and cleared of all underbrush, and put in condition of the improvements, which the city park commission has planned. Work has been delayed until the beginning of the new street paving in order that dirt from the streets may be used in filling in the low places in the park.
The land is now used as pasture for neighboring cows, but will be closed for that purpose after Monday, and all cows pastured on it will be impounded.
Captain Hawkins is requesting that laborers be on the grounds Monday morning, ready to begin work of clearing out fallen and dead trees and cutting the underbrush.
During the present year, the park plans call for simply clearing the grounds and preparing it for further improvements. Ultimate plans provide for a wading pool and pavilion with plenty of playground material.
From The Greenwood Daily Commonwealth, April 30, 1924
READY TO BEGIN ON WADING POOL
Contract For Pool In New City Park Will Be
Let Next Week And Park Opened Soon
All work of cleaning up the city park into which the south half of the old cemetery has been converted has been completed, and with sufficient funds assured for the installation of the wading pool, the park will be opened to the public within a short time.
The former eyesore, over-grown with weeds, is now like a lawn, with grass well cut, and dead trees and underbrush removed. There are plenty of trees left in the park, which covers about three acres of ground, to provide ample shade during the heated part of the day. The contract for the wading pool will be let early next week, and work begun immediately in preparing it for the public use. Numbers of benches have been secured and will be placed about in the park, and tennis courts and playground equipment added as soon as possible.
The park will be lighted at night and the water in the wading pool kept pure and clean.
From The Greenwood Daily Commonwealth, June 11, 1924
Youngsters Enjoyed Wading Pool Sunday
The wading pool in the new city park was greatly enjoyed by a large number of youngsters yesterday. The youngsters splashed and waded to their heart’s content in the few inches of rainwater, which was collected in the bottom of the pool.
The pool will be formally opened on July 4 for the use of the youngsters, when for the first time, it will be filled with water.
The number of kids playing in the few inches of water yesterday is a sufficient indication that the pool will be greatly enjoyed by the kids in large numbers. The pergola at the southern end of the pool will be completed by Friday.
Backstops for two tennis courts have been erected, and work will be started immediately on a bandstand. The park will be lighted with eighteen lights.
From The Greenwood Daily Commonwealth, June 30, 1924
WILL SEEK FUNDS TO FIX UP PARK
Youngsters Are Already Beginning To Use Park
And Regulations Will Be Made
The city council will be asked to pass an ordinance at its next meeting providing a fine for tying cows in the city park and strict enforcement of the law against such action will be made.
Already the youngsters are beginning to use the park despite its neglected condition, due to the lack of funds to provide playground necessities or to complete the wading pool, and with the approach of summer and the preparation of the pool for turning on the water, it will become one of the most popular places in the city.
The tying of cows in the park is generally regarded as a wanton disregard for the rights of others and such action will be heavily punished when the occasion arises.
It has been hoped to manage in some way this year to secure funds to put the park in shape and provide a few things necessary, and the commission is planning to begin work on the matter at an early date.
From The Greenwood Daily Commonwealth, April 28, 1925
KIDDIES ENJOY WADING IN POOL
Only Feature In Greenwood’s City Park Is Thoroughly
Enjoyed After Being Filled With Water
The wading pool in the City Park opened Saturday, and the kiddies put in Saturday and Sunday enjoying the pool. The pool will be kept open during the summer with water changed often enough to insure its’ being clean and sanitary for the kiddies’ enjoyment.
The wading pool is as yet the only feature of the city park, which was opened last summer. Development of the park has been handicapped by the utter lack of funds, and the wading pool, installed by public subscriptions, secured by a committee appointed by the Kiwanis Club, is the only attraction.
It is hoped that some method of securing funds can be selected and that the park may be fitted up during the coming summer.
From The Greenwood Daily Commonwealth, May 25, 1925
WILL ASK FUNDS TO FIX CITY PARK
Public Will Likely Be Asked To Help In Completing
Plans For Finishing City Park
Renewed interest in Greenwood’s small city park will likely result in an effort to raise sufficient funds to keep the grounds clear of grass and weeds, and provide a minimum of playground equipment for the use of the children, who daily swarm the park to splash in the wading pool.
If possible, a small number of lights will be strung in the park in order to make it available at night, and an occasional concert from the boys’ band will be requested.
Under plans being matured at present, it is stated, the funds desired will be sought from popular subscription, and it is thought that enough may be secured to carry out at least a portion of the original ideas concerning the layout and equipment of the park.
From The Greenwood Daily Commonwealth, July 6, 1925
WORK TO BEGIN ON FIXING PARK
Mowing Will Be Done Tomorrow Benches Will Be
Built Around Trees and Courts Laid Out
With the addition of new members of the City Park Commission, plans are shaping up for getting the park into good shape for use, and preliminary steps have already been taken toward carrying out some of the plans.
The entire park will be mowed and trimmed up beginning tomorrow or Monday, and a contract for placing circular benches around some of the trees has been let. As rapidly as funds can be secured other improvements will be made and equipment added.
It is intended to outfit the tennis courts, and add considerable playground equipment, such as swings, etc.
The commission is functioning without funds, it is stated, and has secured the cutting of the weeds and grass without cost, and is incurring the expense of the benches, in a belief that a later drive for funds will care for that expense.
The park wading pool is being used daily by a great number of youngsters who splash about in its cooling waters. As yet, however, the wading pool is the only attraction and someone without permission has taken all of the benches donated by citizens last year.
Some difficulty has been encountered in keeping cows from being tied in the park, but a rigid enforcement of the recently passed ordinance, prohibiting the tying of stock in public grounds, is expected to break that practice as too expensive.
From The Greenwood Daily Commonwealth, July 10, 1925
WORK IS BEGUN ON PARK PLANS
Benches And Tennis Courts Will Be Placed In Park
During The Next Few Days
The installation of circular benches for the City Park is assured by a donation received by the City Park Commissioners yesterday, and plans for further additions to the park are being made.
The benches will be erected next week, and at the same time, the tennis courts will be outfitted and placed in condition for play. Last summer, the Parent-Teacher Association erected the backstops, which are in good condition, which will be utilized under the present plans.
W. D. Baugh, local welder, will construct several swing sets for donation to the park, and the swings will be erected in a short time.
Lights were authorized last year, and places for the lights will be designated so that the park may be available for use at night.
From the Greenwood Daily Commonwealth, July 11, 1925
MAKE PROGRESS ON WORK IN PARK
Youngsters Enjoyed Clear Water In Pool Yesterday
And Absence Of High Grass And Weeds
With the cutting of grass Saturday and the cleaning out of the wading pool, work of fitting up the city park is progressing satisfactorily today.
The bottom of the pool was scrubbed Saturday and fresh water put in for use of the kiddies over Sunday and numbers of them found relief from the heat yesterday in splashing in the pool. The water in the pool will be changed daily so the youngsters may have clean, fresh water for their sports.
During the present week, several circular benches will be placed around the trees and the tennis courts made ready for use. The benches, which disappeared from the park, have been located and will be taken back to the park today or tomorrow.
From The Greenwood Daily Commonwealth, July 13, 1925
SCOUTS BUILD HOUSE IN PARK
The Boy Scouts are erecting a clubhouse in the City Park, which will be used exclusively by the Scouts as a meeting place. Scouts are displaying their ability in doing the work themselves under the direction of Scout Master Morgan Ferrell.
From The Greenwood Daily Commonwealth, July 23, 1926
BOY SCOUTS AID CITY PARK WORK
The Boy Scouts have taken the city park in charge, and are looking after its upkeep in splendid manner. The scouts have drained the pool, and are keeping it filled with fresh water. Arrangements have been made for the cutting of the grass, and other improvements will be made by the scouts.
The boys have just completed their clubhouse in the park, at a cost of approximately $110.00, and have taken the soft drink stand and moved it near Leflore Avenue, which they are using as a means of providing funds for paying for their clubhouse. Heflin Jacks and Clifton Hemingway are in charge of the stand, which is selling soft drinks, candy, etc.
From The Greenwood Daily Commonwealth, August 27, 1926
SCOUTS CONDUCT PARK POP STAND
The Boy Scout Troop is now conducting a “Pop Stand” in the City Park. The stand has been moved alongside of Leflore Avenue for the convenience of the public. The profits from the stand are being applied toward the expense incurred in the building of a ‘hut’, erected by the scouts in the park. The scouts hope to pay for the building through the proceeds of the stand.
From The Greenwood Daily Commonwealth, September 1, 1926
GREENWOOD ZOO NOW IN MAKING
J. H. Morgan, Street Commissioner Plans
Animal Exhibit For City Park
A zoo for Greenwood!
That is the plan of J. H. Morgan, commissioner of streets, and the first steps toward the realization of the idea have taken with the presentation of a baboon to the city from Hemmer’s Garage.
The baboon was on exhibit in the city park Sunday afternoon and some two thousand people visited the park.
Mr. Morgan plans to obtain other animals as rapidly as possible, and add them to the collection. He expects to use, if possible, the steel cells from the old county jail to house the animals as the collection grows.
In his plans for the zoo, Mr. Morgan feels that from a small start, a worthwhile collection of animals may be secured, remembering that the Memphis Zoo, now one of the most complete in the south, had its small beginning from one cub bear which once was a mascot of the Memphis baseball team.
The city park was set aside several years ago, but little has been done with it in recent years. The Kiwanis Club raised some $1200 for a wading pool in the park, and this proved popular with the youngsters for a time, but lack of funds to keep it clean caused its gradual abandonment. Mr. Morgan is planning during the present summer to turn the wading pool into a lily pond, and the Garden Club is planning to plant flowers and beautify the park as a part of its year’s activities.
From The Greenwood Commonwealth, March 11, 1930
More Additions Are Made To Zoo
Several new animals have been added to the city zoo. J. H. Morgan, street commissioner, who started the zoo, announces this morning, and the collection of animals is rapidly growing.
The zoo has become a popular place, and thousands of visitors every day spend some time in the city park watching the animals.
From The Greenwood Commonwealth, April 12, 1930
Loon Added To Zoo
The latest addition to the Greenwood Zoo is a “loon”, or Great Northern Diver.
The bird was captured at Leflore by Jack Artkinson after the storm Thursday night.
The loon is a habitant of the far north and how the bird got into this section is a mystery to Mr. J. H. Morgan, who declares that he believes the loon escaped from some zoo and was carried into this section by the wind.
From The Greenwood Commonwealth, May 10, 1930
CITY PARK WORK IS PROGRESSING
Greenwood’s city park is being rapidly placed in condition by the city’s street forces for the summer months.
The former wading pool has been deepened and turned into a lily pool. This change was made because of the difficulty of keeping a growth out of the pool which made the bottom too slick for safety of the children.
The lily pool will be arranged by the ladies of the Greenwood Garden Club who will also undertake a general campaign of beautification of the park, and from the membership of which will be selected a park commission.
Several places in the park are being filled in. The old houses of the zoo are gone, and tennis courts have been erected for the use of the children.
Several years ago lights were strung through the park, and it is hoped this year that the summer program of band concerts may be given in the park.
From The Greenwood Commonwealth, April 30, 1931
City Park, Greenwood, MS., circa 2009.
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