Parks and Playgrounds - Early Days of Lakewood
61:3 Lakewood Park
61:4 Lakewood Park (Purchase of Rhodes Property)
61:5 Lakewood Park
61:6 Lakewood Park (Rhodes Estate Condemned)
61:7 Lakewood Park
61:8 Lakewood Park
61:9 Lakewood Park
61:10 Naming of Parks
61:11 Lakewood Park (Opening of Park)
61:12 Lakewood Park (The Park Opening)
61:13 Lakewood Park (Memorial Arch Proposed)
61:14 Park Bonds To Be Issued
61:15 Parks and Playgrounds
61:16 Lakewood Park System
61:17 Comfort Stations And Wading Pools And Tennis Courts Too
61:18 Wading Pools for Kiddies in Madison and Lakewood Parks
61:19 Mayor Presents Plan For Local Park Extension
61:20 Edward Ross Appointed Commissioner of Parks
61:21 Will City of Lakewood Buy Lake Front Land For Public Park?
61:22 Women Ask Council To Appoint Supervisor Of Playgrounds In The Parks
61:23 Plan Lakewood Park Extension
PARKS AND PLAYGROUNDS
EARLY DAYS OF LAKEWOOD - D.A.R. Pg. 64 - 66
In 1815, when Cleveland was granted a village charter, land in the northwest section of Lakewood could be purchased for fifty cents an acre. With the development of the Dummy railroad it became the favorite picnic grounds for those living west of the Cuyahoga River. Ezra Nicholson purchased this property overlooking the lake and extending along the east bank of the mouth of Rocky River. He offered it to the city of Cleveland for a park, but it was refused; and the newspapers made great sport of the visionary who wished to locate a park so far out in the country. When the old Cliff House was erected at the end of the Dummy railroad facing Detroit Avenue and what is now the Nickel Plate Railroad, the promoters tried to develop a family amusement park adjoining it.
Liquor was plentiful at both ends of the Dummy railroad and all along the route. One could quench his thirst at Knoll's under the bridge, at the road house in Clifton Park, or at the Cliff House. The popularity of the park was so great on Sundays that the railroad could not handle the crowd. Many drove out to the picnic grounds, and it was not an unusual sight to see several wrecked buggies on Detroit Avenue on the way to and from the park.
In "Peculiarities of American Cities", published in 1883, (the year the Dummy railroad ceased to operate), Captain Williard Glazier wrote, " There are a number of parks and gardens in the suburbs of Cleveland. The favorite drive, however, next to Euclid Avenue, is across the Cuyahoga and seven miles westward to Rocky River, which flows into the lake between perpendicular cliffs which project themselves boldly into the lake. Here a park has been laid out, and all that art can do has been done to add natural beauties of the place."
Scenic Park was located in Rocky River valley, not far from Rocky River bridge. It was an amusement park and, as liquor was dispensed freely, it became anything but a respectable place. A car, suspended on a cable, carried passengers to the boat house on the other side of the river and back for quarter. Under the Beal Law, Lakewood was voted dry; and, with the exit of liquor, the popularity of Scenic Park waned, so that it no longer paid to operate it.
From then on it was known as Lincoln Park, and in 1917, it was purchased by the city of Lakewood for $43,000. In July 24, 1924, William A. Stinchcomb presented plans for the development of Rocky River, and of Scenic Park's ninety acres which were often referred to as a dump. It is still owned by city of Lakewood, but is under the control of the Metropolitan Park Board.
Robert R. Rhodes, son of Daniel P. Rhodes, purchased part of what is now Lakewood Park from Orvis N. Hotchkiss for a summer home. Some years later, he moved from Franklin Avenue and made his summer residence his permanent home, living there until his death in 1916. In 1918, the City of Lakewood purchased it from the Rhodes estate for $214.500. It is located at the foot of Belle Avenue and contains twenty-three and three - fourths acres. The west portion of Lakewood Park, containing four acres, was purchased in 1928 from Charles Hopkinson for $100,000. The fresh cool air from the lake which prevails throughout the summer makes it favorite picnic grounds. It contains tennis courts and a ball diamond, besides slides and swings for the children.
Madison Park, containing fifteen acres, is on the southwest corner of Madison and Halstead Avenues. It was purchased in 1917 from Fred Zimmerman and John Hahn, and cost $40,222. It contains a branch library and playgrounds.
Wagar Park, on Madison
Avenue at Rosewood and Hilliard Road, was given by the Wagar estate in
1904 for a public library site. It contains one and one - half acres and
is used as a playground.
SOURCE - NEWSPAPER CLIPPING - NO DATE GIVEN (LIBRARY FILE)
Begins to look like business for that bathing beach, for the city is to issue bonds to finance the building of the breakwater off Lakewood Park. Finance Director A.O. Guild made this admission Monday. Councilman H.S. Hart thinks the jetty should project farther into the lake than was originally planned by at least fifty feet.
Just when work will begin is not known - but it will not be soon enough so that all the people - and that includes former Councilman C. Sharp Stevens and his famous resolution providing for a $ 500,000 natatorium - may jump this summer from the huge concrete dock into the cooling waters of Lake Erie.
Engineer E.A. Fisher
figures the cost of proposed jetty at $ 38, 250.
LAKEWOOD PRESS - - OCTOBER 11, 1917 Pg. 1
Lakewood's proposed park system may have for its nucleus one of the prettiest spots in the suburbs, a tract of 27 acres, high above Lake Erie on a bluff at the foot of Belle Avenue. The tract is the old Robert R. Rhodes estate. Rhodes died in February, 1916, and by the terms of his will, his daughter - in - law, Mrs. William Castle Rhodes, was to occupy the homestead for a period of two years after his death. The son, William, died before his father.
Lakewood voters will be asked at the next election, next month, to vote an issue of $300,000 bonds for park purposes. The present plan is to spend $ 250,000 of this sum for purchase of the estate. The Chamber of Commerce has obtained an option from the trustees of the estate for the purchase at that price. The other $ 50,000 would be used in converting the grounds into a park.
Little work would have to be done in the converting. A supply of benches, picnic tables and a pavilion would make it a park as it stands. Winding drives cover almost the entire estate; massive oaks, beeches and buckeyes rear up from lawn stretches and provide ideal picnic shelters; rustic bridges cross a lazy little creek which winds through the grounds; the creek drops 20 feet under one bridge in a miniature Niagara. At the westerly end of the grounds is a 40 ft. square hedge, enclosed garden, which was the apple of William Rhodes eye, and in which are an aquarium, stocked with gold fish, all sorts of small flower beds separated by grass walks and a number of garden seats.
A shale and rock cliff drops sheer 50 feet to the lake. There is no beach and no stepped approaches to the water from the grounds.
Robert Rhodes was president
of the United States Coal Company, and the Peoples Saving Bank, and a director
in numerous banks and corporations. His sister was Mrs. Mark A. Hanna,
LAKEWOOD PARK (PURCHASE OF RHODES PROPERTY)
LAKEWOOD PRESS - NOVEMBER 22, 1917 Pg. 1
The city council, at its regular meeting last Monday evening, hastened to carry out the mandate of the people relative to the purchase of the Rhodes property for park purposes.
Councilman Palda presented a motion authorizing the director of public works and the director of law to obtain an option on the property running to March 15, 1918, in order to safeguard the city's interest in the property pending the completion of the necessary legislation and the sale of the bonds.
A resolution authorizing the sale of bonds in the sum of $ 300,000 for park purposes was passed by the council, $250,000 for the purchase of the land and $50,000 for improvements. Councilman Palda raised an objection to the wording of the resolution. He inquired of the director of law if the resolution was not so worded as to prevent the use of any part of the $50,000 for improving Scenic, Wagar or the Madison Avenue park lands. He said that a part of the money should be used in making these lands available as parks for the accommodation of people living near them. The law director stated that in his judgment the resolution was broad enough to authorize the use of the money on any or all of these properties as council might direct. Thereupon the resolution was adopted, all members of the council concurring.
This resolution is the
first step in the proceeding to acquire the Rhodes property, which, it
is the hoped, will soon be open to the people as a public park.
LAKEWOOD PRESS - JANUARY 3, 1918 Pg. 3
Lakewood's council may refuse to purchase for park purposes the lake front property of the Robert R. Rhodes estate at the price stated in the option given by the Citizens Saving and Trust Company, trustee.
Law Director Curren in a report to be made to the council Friday night will say the option, though addressed to the city of Lakewood was taken by the city of Lakewood Chamber of Commerce without the concurring action of any municipal official. The price named in the option for the twenty - five acres in the property, which lies between Lake Avenue and Lake Erie at the foot of Belle Avenue, is $ 250,000.
Curren says he finds that on April 20, 1916, W.S. Hyden W.L. Robinson and Charles E. Peglar, as appraisers, valued the property at $ 110,000 and that is placed on the duplicate for 1917 at a valuation of $ 125,300.
Curren will recommend
that before closing a contract for the property, the city ascertain that
is receiving full value for its money and he suggests that if necessary
the land can be appropriated and the price fixed by a jury.
LAKEWOOD PARK (RHODES ESTATE CONDEMNED)
LAKEWOOD PRESS - JANUARY 24, 1918 Pg. 1
The city council at its meeting on Monday evening adopted an ordinance to condemn the Rhodes property for park purposes, instead of purchasing the property as had been proposed for $ 250,000.
The council was of the opinion that the price set by the trustees of the property in the option to the city is entirely too high and that it can be secured for a much lower figure through appropriation proceedings.
Later in the evening the mayor suggested that inasmuch as the Chamber of Commerce was interested in securing the land for park purposes it would ""make the chamber feel good" if the council took the matter up for discussion with the chamber. The mayor further stated that the option price fixed a new and higher value for lake front property and if the city were compelled to pay that price the valuation of all lake front property should be correspondingly increased for taxation purposes.
The council by motion instructed the mayor to present the question to the Chamber of Commerce at its next meeting on February 5.
After further discussion the council decided to invite the park committee of the chamber and the public generally to discuss the question next Monday evening at the city hall at which time the park committee of the city council will have the matter under consideration.
The trustees of the Rhodes
estate take the position that is now to late to discuss the question of
price; that the approval of the bond issue last November by the people
carried with it the authority to purchase the property for the price fixed
by the option and that the money so voted by the people can be used for
no purpose other than the purchase of the land in question.
LAKEWOOD PRESS - JANUARY 31, 1918 Pg. 1
Many members of the Lakewood Chamber of Commerce, including President Brewster and Secretary Bethel, participated in the public hearing on the question of buying the Rhodes property for park purposes.
Mayor Cook explained the position of his administration. Ha said he was not opposed to buying the property, but believed the price was too high. He stated that he interviewed the trustees of the Rhodes estate and sought to get a lower price, but this was refused. Mr. Cook admitted that the option was for $250,000 and that this price was generally known by the voters of Lakewood when they approved the issue of bonds for the purchase of the property.
Mr. Cook said that he gave the subject of price no attention during the campaign and that he had no idea that the price was out of proportion to the value of the premises. He said that it was on the tax duplicate $148,000, and had been appraised by real estate men in probate court proceedings at $110,000, both figures being far from the option price of 250,000.
Rev. Brewster, speaking for the Chamber, said the chief object is to secure the land, and the question of price should not be permitted to endanger that purpose.
He said that he was not conversant with the negotiations which resulted in the taking of the option by the president of the Chamber, and added that there could be no question that Judge Lieghly, then president of the Chamber, took the option with unquestionable motives and for the sole purpose of securing the land for park purposes.
Mr. Bethel, secretary of the Chamber, expressed his views, as did also Mr. Logan Coffinberry, Clayton Tyler, Mr. Bartholomew and Mr. Jackman.
The meeting was presided over by Mr. Gormsen, chairman of the park committee.
All of the members of the council were present and each stated he wanted to carry out the will of the people, but also desired to save money, if possible.
Mr. Cook also stated that appropriation proceedings have been started and that land on one or both sides of the Rhodes property might also be appropriated for park purposes.
A further discussion
of the matter will be heard by the Chamber at its meeting next Tuesday.
LAKEWOOD PRESS - FEBRUARY 7, 1918 Pg. 1
Chamber of Commerce members last Tuesday evening listened to Mayor Cook's explanation of the course of his administration in reference to the acquiring of the Rhodes property for park purposes. His remarks followed the line of argument of his speech to the city council recently on the same subject.
He said that while the Chamber presented to council and city officials an option on the property for $250,000, he personally felt that the price was too high, but he did not want to oppose the bond issue or express an opinion on the price for fear of incurring the ill will and possible opposition to his election of the members of the Chamber. He said he believed that most of the candidates for office felt the same way and that they, too, were fearful of expressing any opinions as to the price because they might be considered as opposed to the purpose of the property.
Continuing, Mr. Cook said that recent sales of Lake Avenue property do not justify the high price asked for the Rhodes property, ans that the property is on the tax duplicate for one-half of the amount asked and was appraised in probate court proceedings for $110,000. The city's option on the property expires March 15, but Mr. Cook said he thinks the appropriation suit will have been decided before that time. If the court should fix a price higher than the option the city could assert its rights under the option and consequently the city has much to gain and nothing to lose by this suit. Mr. Cook said the trustees of the property charge the city with sharp practice in this matter and added that maybe it is sharp practice.
Judge P.L.A. Leighley, of the court of appeals, former president of the Chamber, took the floor for the property, read communications between the trustees of the Rhodes estate and the Chamber. He stated that the question of the price was discussed by the Chamber, that men familiar with land values had approved the price, that he with other members of the Chamber laid the matter, including price, before the council. He said: "I do not like the insinuations and innuendoes now being made by city officials with regard to the option. Nor can city officials claim truthfully that they did not know the option price. I do not care whether you buy the land or whether you do not; I am through with the transaction."
Former Councilman Palda stated that he sympathized with Judge Leighley in his position, for the present attitude of city officials could not do otherwise than cast some reflection, however unintentional and undeserved, on the good judgement of the former president of the Chamber. He said it was also unfortunate for the city to get the reputation of indulging in sharp practices. Too much emphasis should not be placed on the valuation set by the appraisers in probate court proceedings, he said, for the reason that so many matters really foreign to the intrinsic value of the property are taken into consideration, neither should tax values be taken seriously for every one knows that much depends on the capacity or incapacity of appraisers in judging values and many properties in Lakewood are taxed at about 50 per cent of their real values.
The president of the
Chamber inquired if the members desired to make any expression of sentiment
for the guidance of the city administration, but the members declined to
take any action.
LAKEWOOD PRESS - FEBRUARY 21, 1918 Pg. 1
Director of Law Curren informed the council that the suit to appropriate the Rhodes property for park purposes is set for trial on March 4th next and that his department is ready for it.
He stated that a large
number of witnesses would be on hand to testify for the city.
NAMING OF PARKS
LAKEWOOD PRESS - JUNE 20, 1918 Pg. 7
Lakewood parks received official names at the last meeting of the city council on Monday night. The New Lakeside park at the foot of Belle Avenue, known as the Rhodes property, which the city has just taken over by the payment of the appraised price of $214,000, was christened Lakewood Park, a proper and fitting name for the city's biggest recreation center.
The name of Scenic Park
was changed to Lincoln Park. The names of Wagar Park and Madison Park respectively,
were confirmed on the official records.
LAKEWOOD PARK (OPENING OF PARK)
LAKEWOOD PRESS - JUNE 27, 1918 Pg. 1
There will be one interesting official act on the program of the Fourth of July at Lakewood Park. This is the turning over the keys of the park to the city by the representative of the executors of the Rhodes estate. A suggestion has to come to us that meets our most unqualified approval and will, we believe, meet the approval of the entire community of Lakewood.
All concede that the Lakewood Chamber of Commerce, as an organization was mainly responsible for the plan that is consummated this week in the formal transfer of the property. Its members worked hard to create public sentiment in favor of the purchase of the Rhodes property and they worked hard to influence a favorable vote on the bond issue that was approved by the electors last November. But the man who worked the hardest and who, more than any single individual in Lakewood was responsible for the new park is Judge P.L.A. Lieghley, who was at the time president of the Chamber of Commerce.In season and out of season he worked for the new park and his influence was potent with members of the organization of which he was the head as well as with the majority of the citizens of Lakewood.
The suggestion is this: Judge Lieghley should receive for his distinguished and civic service some official recognition on the day when the new park, for which he is responsible, is formally opened next Thursday. When the keys of the Rhodes property, symbolic of the transfer of ownership are handed over by the representatives of the Rhodes estate, they should be handed to President S.A. Brewster of the Lakewood Chamber of Commerce and by him given to Judge Lieghley, the former president; after which they will be turned over to Mayor B.M.Cook, representing the municipality.
A more fitting recognition
of an unselfish and effective bit of public service could not be conceived
on this occasion. Let's all join in paying this tribute to Judge Lieghley,
the father of Lakewood Park, making it a part of the official Fourth of
LAKEWOOD PARK (THE PARK OPENING)
LAKEWOOD PRESS - JUNE 27,1918 Pg. 1 AND 8
The twenty - five acres
of land on the lake front has been set aside for all time as the great
recreation center for the people of Lakewood. The old R.L. Rhodes property,
which the city is taking over at the cost of $ 214,000, is an ideal park.
Later will come improvements. Under present conditions it may be several
years before this beautiful spot by the lakeside is developed to its full
capacity as a park. But the big thing, the securing of the property itself,
with its high lake bluffs, its handsome old residence, its beautiful spots
of meadow, lawn and grove, has been accomplished.
LAKEWOOD PARK (MEMORIAL ARCH PROPOSED)
THE LAKEWOOD PRESS - JAN. 6, 1919 PAGE 1
The members of the Chamber of Commerce on Soldiers' Memorial and Reception are making most ambition plans. At the meeting on Friday night it was proposed that the memorial to be erected in honor of the Lakewood men who fought in the great world war shall be in the form of an arch to be located at the Belle Avenue entrance of Lakewood Park at an estimated cost of $25,000. Plans will be considered at another meeting of the committee tomorrow night to start subscriptions for the raising of the money.
The committee will also arrange for a reception and banquet to be given the returning soldiers and sailors in the near future.
The members of the committee
are: E. G. Guthery, chairman; Henry M. Calvert, Captain Walter E. Pagan,
E.N. Fairbanks, Captain Edward Dyble.
PARK BONDS TO BE ISSUED
THE LAKEWOOD PRESS - MAR. 6, 1919 PAGE 1
Lakewood will sell $15,000 more park bonds in order to recoup the park fund. By a vote of the citizens two years ago a bond issue of $300,000 was authorized for park purposes. An issue of $215,000 was made last year to buy the Rhodes property, but these bonds were not sold in the open market. They were accepted by the Rhodes estate, with the understanding reached with the government that no part of the bonds should be put on the market while the war was in progress. The government discouraged all bond issues for public improvements last year, insisting that only bond issues that could not be avoided should be permitted. This restriction was made in order to give the government first chance in selling Liberty Bonds and war saving stamps to the public.
If $15,000 park bonds
are sold, this will enable the city to build up its park fund and make
some minor improvements in the new Lakewood Park and in other city parks.
At the present time there is practically no money whatever for the maintenance
of the parks. There is no present plan to issue the balance of the $300,000
bonds for park purposes until more vital necessities are met.
PARKS AND PLAYGROUNDS
SUBURBAN NEWS AND HERALD (JULY 17, 1936)
In 1922 the spirit of play in the streets combined with the growing automobile traffic motivated the members of Lakewood Women's Club to provide supervised playgrounds for children during the summer vacation. These women raised $1,000 by subscriptions in the community, and this money was used to operate playgrounds on the Board of Education property and the Public Parks.
The years of 1923 - 1924 - 1925 a similar plan was followed with the exception that an appropriation was made from the treasury of the municipality. In the meantime laws have been enacted by the general assembly of Ohio permitting communities to vote special levies for Recreation purposes. In a joint meeting of the Board of Education and City Council it was decided that the Board of Education would submit such a levy to the voters in the November election in the amount of 1 - 10 of a mill and then Public Recreation in the community would be in the hands of the Board of Education.
The Lakewood voters approved this levy and George E. Bickford of Kenosha, Wisconsin was employed as Dirctor of Public Recreation, assuming offices on June 1, 1926 and served in this capacity until 1930. Upon his resignation Miss Sophie T. Fishback was approved to fill the vacancy. Miss Fishback's resignation became effective December 31, 1935. The special Recreation levy was defeated by a few votes in the November 1935 election, but was Resubmitted to the voters in a special election held February 4, 1936 and approved for the two year period. Charles A. Foster was Director of Recreation May 1st, 1936.
The money derived from the Recreation levy is used for children's activities. Adult activities such as Community Center classes and Adult Athletic leagues have been promoted on a self supporting basis. Children's activities are now promoted year round instead of just the summer vacation period.
During the years of 1926 through 1932 eight playgrounds were in operation at eight play fields with two or three playground supervisors at each play field.
In 1934 Play Schools were started on a fee basis at five different playgrounds. These schools were conducted for six weeks periods during the summer.
Summer of 1936 Play Schools were operated in all 10, play fields or in all of the elementary schools. These schools were operated from 9 to 12 noon and for children under the 4th grade with the enrollment of 1500 children. This has been one of the most successful activities that the Recreation Department has ever sponsored.
The swimming pool in under the direction of the Recreation Department evenings during the school year and full time during the summer vacation period. The swimming pool is operated on a self - supporting basis.
Community Centers started in 1928 and were in the seven different school buildings at night. Classes for adults were organized on a self - supporting basis. The following activities were conducted in these buildings: Men's Gym Classes
Women's Gym Classes
In 1931 to 1933 a Day Camp on Wheels was organized on a self- supporting basis. Children enrolled and met at the Board of Education in the morning and the bus transported the children at various places of interest throughout Cuyahoga County.
In December 1933 Recreation Hall, formerly Wilson School, was opened. This building was discontinued in 1935 because of lack of funds to operate it. Various organizations in the city of Lakewood furnished rooms and the rooms were for meetings, classes and clubrooms. Building was opened five nights a weeks and was free to everyone to use. At least a dozen activities were carried on at all times. The following are some of the services of the Department of Public Recreation:
1. Assists in planning parties picnics, and hikes.
2. Furnishes equipment for picnics.
3. Conducts picnics for Lakewood organizations
4. Conducts 10 play schools, 5 full time playgrounds, and 2 full time baseball centers for boys
5. One day a week at Kiwanis Lodge Camp.
6. Sponsors 20 baseball teams, 75 basketball teams, 10 hockey teams in connection with the City Ice $ Fuel Ice Rink
7. Conducts various athletic tournaments.
8. Conducts a community center program during the winter season.
In the spring of 1930 an Athletic Commission of 5 members was appointed which was to be a Committee of the Board of Education to serve in an advisory capacity to the Board of Education on Amateur Athletics. Policies of this Commission was first to run as inexpensive athletics as possible in order to get as many individuals - men, women and children playing the game; and to run clean and well organized leagues.
The following Amateur Athletic sports were to come under this Commission: Baseball, Basketball, Hockey, Tennis, Rifle Leagues and any other amateur athletic sports there was a demand for.
This commission comes under the Department of Public Recreation of Lakewood Board of Education and the Director of Recreation serves as Secretary and Treasurer of this organization.
1930 we started out with 17 base-ball teams and 23 basketball teams.
1931 there were 46 baseball teams and 42 basketball teams.
1932 there were 72 baseball teams and 76 basketball teams.
1933 there were 104 baseball teams and 76 basketball teams.
1934 there were 142 baseball teams and 85 basketball teams.
1935 there were 197 baseball teams and 80 basketball teams.
1936 there were 200 baseball teams and - basketball teams.
In addition we have had Hockey and Rifle Leagues.
This steady increase in baseball, we believe, is due to the policy first set forth. About 70% of our leagues are softball. More time has been spent in building up the softball because we have had the facilities for it. Our hardball facilities have been improving from year to year along with our hardball program. Our entire amateur baseball program at the present time is built to its capacity for the facilities that we have. The plan for the year 1937 is to increase our facilities and enlarge the baseball program.
The Department of Public Recreation operates under 1/10 of a mill levy which was voted on by the people every 5 years. Money derived from this is to be used for the promotion of children's activities such as: playgrounds, play schools, swimming pool.
Amateur Athletics is self supporting. No money from Lakewood tax payer is used for any of these activities. This money is raised by small entrance fees from teams, and also from Amateur Baseball Day and Special Nights at the Lakewood Elks Field. We have been fortunate to make money each year to support this program and we are getting ready to put on the Amateur Day Drive. This day must produce $2,000.
The Amateur Day program will be held on Sunday, July 26 at the Harding Stadium and Lakewood Elks Field. An attractive program of baseball from 11:45 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. will be staged. Tickets have been distributed to all players in the City of Lakewood. 30,000 tickets have been distributed. We ask the cooperation of the people of Greater Cleveland in any way that you can in helping to make Amateur Day a success.
The class AA Softball league and the Girls' Softball league that will play at Lakewood Elks Field under the floodlights are likely the fastest softball teams in the state of Ohio. The Bloomer Girls' team of 1935 competed at the National Tournament in Chicago and won the 1935 World's Championship. This team again will compete in the National Tournament this year.
Signed, Chas. A. Foster
Director of Recreation
LAKEWOOD PARK SYSTEM
BY EDWARD A. WIEGAND MAYOR OF LAKEWOOD AND DIRECTOR OF CITY PARK SYSTEM.
(This article on "Parks and Playgrounds" is written by our Mayor, who has the direction of the Lakewood Park System in charge.) Editor's note: Lakewood needs more public playgrounds where the development of athletics and outdoor entertainment may be provided. An active, constructive and permanent policy of park and recreational facilities ought to be adopted. Administrations frequently change and the park system suffers because of failure to carry out the plans of preceding park management. The increasing population requires a park program continued over a period of years. Therefore, a Lakewood Park Committee of a permanent nature, composed of ten or twelve representative citizens, chosen from agencies working for the betterment of Lakewood should be formed to make a comprehensive study of the need and problem, which, if formed would make possible by investigation, study and a frequent report of recommendations a developed program for years to come. This suggestion is made in order that the people of Lakewood may have the best possible plan for an ideal park system within our own boundaries. The City of Lakewood has a total of 114 acres devoted to park uses divided as follows: - Wagar Park - 2 acres Madison Park - 15 acres Lakewood Park - 25 acres Lincoln Park - 72 acres
WAGAR PARK because of its small area does not allow of the freedom possible in other parks. It could more appropriately be termed a play ground for as such it is used intensely. At present it has tennis court, horse shoe courts, volley ball court, and playground equipment such as teeters, swings, etc. Plans are under way to install a comfort station, add a tennis court, and some additional playground equipment.
MADISON PARK up to the present time can also be classed as a playground, as it is not adapted for picnic use. Its playground activities can be developed to greater extent because of its greater area. The north half is entirely given over to playground equipment, the southerly half has a fine baseball diamond. In the winter, part of the north half is given over to ice skating. Plans are drawn and approved by Council for a combined shelter house and comfort station, and for a wading pool, and umbrella sheds, and some additional play ground equipment. Shelter is much needed because there is no shade on the entire tract.
LAKEWOOD PARK is one of the finest picnic and recreation spots in Cuyahoga County, because of its location on the Lake and its many magnificent shade trees. This park has several groups of playground equipment; tennis and horse shoe courts, and in the winter a fine skating pond, to which a shelter house has been added. A fine foot bridge has also been added, which permits crossing over the creek conveniently and safely. We are planning a wading pool and one or two tennis courts, and if the funds will permit we should erect at least one and possibly two shelter houses so that in rainy whether shelter will be provided for picnicers.
LINCOLN PARK has been of no benefit since its purchase, except as a dump. However, in the agreement made with the Metropolitan Park Board provisions have been made whereby not only a bridge and roads will be provided for, but also a recreational field developed, and maintained on the bottom, which is quite level. The plans include provisions for boating, and for ice skating in the winter. This comprises everything we have, and to what extent we intend to develop the parks and playgrounds.
It has been said that a small park should be provided for the southwest section of the City. If that is deemed wise then no time should be lost, as the only property available is what is known as the Coffinberry Woods, which I believe is partly in Cleveland. It has also been often said that the City should acquire at least part of the Hopkinson property on the west of Lakewood Park. That, I believe, would be costly and some time in the future.
Very truly yours, E.
A. Wiegand, Mayor.
COMFORT STATIONS AND WADING POOLS AND TENNIS COURTS TOO
THEY ARE PLANNED FOR LAKEWOOD AND MADISON PARK BY COUNCIL
Comfort stations and wading pools for Madison Park.
Wading pools and more tennis courts for Lakewood Park.
That's the present plan of Mayor Ed. A. Wiegand and the members of the city council. And the plan will make a decided hit with the kids and also with their elders.
The pools will give more downright pleasure to the youngsters than anything in the playgrounds. And the cost won't break this city by a long shot.
"Wait until the sweltering days come," said one of the employees in the Park Department. "Then you'll see more fun than a box of monkeys, for there'll be 9,000 kids in the pond - all at one time. Their antics will be the joy of life. Yes, let's have the pool without loss of time, for school's out and the kids are restless. "And so are their mothers."
Plans are just about perfected by City Engineer E. A. Fisher and work on the projects will soon be underway, thought Mayor Wiegand.
More lights are to be put up at horse pitching court in Lakewood Park, so that the players may pitch their heads off day and night.
"What's the use living if you can't have a little fun?" asks Councilwoman Olive B. Kirk.
"No earthly use, " mused
Councilman Fred M. Branch, when he was asked about the scheme to dig holes
and fill 'em up with water.
WADING POOLS FOR KIDDIES IN MADISON AND LAKEWOOD PARKS
JULY 31, 1924
AFTER THOROUGH INVESTIGATION ITS FOUND WAGAR PARK IS TOO SMALL
City Engineer Ed. A. Fisher has submitted his wading pool plans to Mayor Ed. A. Wiegand and to the members of the rules and ordinance committee of the Lakewood City Council, Messrs. C. A. Heidloff and H. S. Hart.
Two pools will be established in Madison Park and one in Lakewood Park.
After looking over Wagar Park, it was decided by the city officials not to have one there at this time, they believing that the park is too small in acreage. It may, however, be decided later to have a pool there, if provision can be made for a piece of additional ground.
So, you kiddies of that neighborhood do not be cast down, as you are not as yet officially out of the running.
"No time will be lost in getting work started when all of our plans have been fuly worked out," said the mayor.
Just what kind of pants our boys are to wear," remarked Councilman Heidloff, "will be hard to tell, but its a sure shot that none will reach below the knees, when the lads make a run and jump into the cooling waters.
"Mrs. Olive B. Knirk, our worthy councilwoman, will know more as to how long the dresses of the girls should be when they tip - toe into the pools. I'm pleased that the boys and girls of Lakewood are to have this kind of summer sport."
MAYOR PRESENTS PLAN FOR LOCAL PARK EXTENSION
BREAKWATER, BEACH, BATHHOUSING FACILITIES ARE SUGGESTED _________
SHOW DRAWINGs __________
FORESTER WALTON DRAWS PLANS FOR COUNCIL
Mayor Wiegand presented for council's approval Monday night a plan to beautify Lakewood Park and provide for a breakwater, beach, bathhouse, and a lake - front speedway to connect with the similar plan proposed by City Manager Hopkins of Cleveland.
The plans were made by City Forester Ralph W. Walton, landscape engineer, who estimates that the completed project will take more than five years time.
The improvement is planned for the present Lakewood Park, which has an approximate lake frontage of 950 feet.
PLAN LAKE BOULEVARD
Included in the proposed development in the extension of Edgewater drive to provide a new east and west thoroughfare, and construction of a 100-foot speedway that would be built in the lake in front of Lakewood Park and would serve also as a breakwater, forming a lagoon for bathing and boating in the summer time and skating in the winter.
This speedway would be an important unit when the lake front boulevard, which Cleveland proposes to build from Edgewater to Gordon Park, is extended west to Rocky River, where the park board has a large reservation.
Mayor Wiegand and members of the council and members of the council are confident that Cleveland, Lakewood and the Metropolitan park board eventually will co-operate in extending the lake front speedway to Rocky River.
TO EXTEND BELLE
The Lakewood plans also provide for extending Belle Avenue north to connect with the proposed speedway.
In Lakewood Park a memorial garden, conservatory, tennis courts and concealed automobile parking space are planned.
Mr. Walton's plans were referred to the council as a committee as a whole, the mayor, and city engineer. Approval of the United States Army engineers for the proposed change lake front also is necessary.
Mayor Wiegand pointed out that the process of filling in for the lake speedway would be economical, providing a temporary dump which the city needs.
The Speedway would be
ten feet above the water level so that spray would not interfere with traffic
and would help shore conservation, Mr. Walton pointed out.
EDWARD ROSS APPOINTED COMMISSIONER OF PARKS
Mayor Hill announces the appointment of Edward Ross as Commissioner of Parks and Public Works. Mr. Ross lives at 1630 Clarence Ave. and has been interested in Lakewood's developments for many years.
When interviewed, Mr.
Ross stated it will be his pleasure to devote a great deal of time and
attention to the recreation features for the children in all parks owned
by the city and to improve, as far as the park fund will permit, where
improvement has been slighted. Mr. Ross will serve without compensation.
WILL CITY OF LAKEWOOD BUY LAKE FRONT LAND FOR PUBLIC PARK?
CHANCE TO ACQUIRE TWO PARCELS; WILL SOON BE TOO LATE TO BE HAD
There are two parcels of land that the city of Lakewood may buy for park purposes.
But will Lakewood let the chance go by?
It likely will.
For lake front land is dear, as money counts.
But some day Lakewood people will kick themselves for not taking advantage of this opportunity - an opportunity that never again will present itself.
On the east of Lakewood Park - the city's beautiful and popular playground - a piece of land is offered the city council at the market price from a realtor's estimate.
On the west of Lakewood Park there is also a strip of land that can be bought - a strip that Councilman Harry S. Hart has had his councilmanic eye on for months. He knows how valuable that parcel would be if acquired by the city and joined to the present part.
Bond issue! That's the solution as to the finances.
But will the people vote yes?
Those who look to the future of this town will. Those who care only for the present and a few pennies will vote no.
And they are the stamp of citizens who will always go against anything that affects their wallets to the extent of a dime.
Some day some man of wealth will buy these two parcels of land on the short of Lake Erie.
And then Lakewood may whistle.
And Lakewood will have
just what it has now - twenty or thirty acres and no more.
WOMEN ASK COUNCIL TO APPOINT SUPERVISOR OF PLAYGROUNDS IN THE PARKS
Mrs. E. H. Fishman and Mrs. W. G. Waitt, representing the Federation of Mothers' Clubs in Lakewood visited the Lakewood Council Monday night and requested that an appropriation be made for a supervisor of playgrounds in the Lakewood Parks. Mrs.Fishman stated that the matter was called to the attention of the council last Summer but on account of shortage of funds no action was taken and in the opinion of the persons interested in the plan it is important that proper supervision be provided for children playing in the parks.
The matter was referred to the council committee having in charge appropriations for the coming year.
The committee also requested that some arrangement be made to provide two or more skating ponds in various parts of the city. The request called for an explanation by the engineer who stated that plans had been considered for skating ponds in Wagar and Madison Parks, but it has been found difficult to prepare the land so that the water will not run away before it freezes. The expense in connection with the preparation of a skating pond was estimated at $300 or more, and Mayor A. O. Guild explained that if we were to have skating ponds in all parks of the city the council must make financial arrangements to care for the same as there is no money in the funds available for the purpose.
Councilman Gormsen suggested
that as the city already owns property in Rocky River Valley, where there
is plenty of water in the winter that arrangements might be made to construct
a skating pond there, and it will not be necessary for the city to pay
for the water used for the purpose, and the only expense be the preparation
of the pond. The matter was referred to the Mayor and Committee on Parks.
PLAN LAKEWOOD PARK INSPECTION
TUESDAY, JANUARY 19, 1926
COUNCILMAN TO MAKE TOUR FOLLOWING DRAFTING OF PLANS OF IMPROVEMENTS.
Lakewood councilmen will inspect the site for the proposed waterfront park, plans for which were submitted at the council session Monday night, during the next two weeks, so that they will be able to discuss the half - million - dollar project at the next meeting, February 1, it was announced Tuesday.
The park plan was prepared
by R. W. Walton landscape engineer, under a resolution passed five months
ago and is for the improvements of the present Lakewood Parks.
TEXT ILLEGIBLE FOR EIGHT LINES OF ARTICLE
... also would serve as a breakwater, would be an important unit in the boulevard which Cleveland plans to construct along its lake front.
Return to Local History Files Main Page