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Shattuck, S. F., et. al (ed.) / A history of Neenah
(1958)

Neenah's parks and playgrounds,   pp. 376-385 PDF (2.6 MB)


Page 376


   NEENAH'S PARKS AND PLAYGROUNDS
 Columbian Park
 IN 1843 the early settlers, many of whom came from the New England
 States, set aside as a village "green" one and six-tenths acres
of
 ground, now known as Columbian Park, still referred to by older resi-
 dents as "The Green." It is interesting to know that our "Green"
is
 older by fourteen years than famous Central Park in New York City.
 This area, in the center of our first ward, has always been a play
 center. It contains two softball diamonds for summer use. The center
 of the park is flooded in winter for ice skating. In the northeast corner
 of the"Green" we find a sandbox and play apparatus for small children.
 Along the west border are two electrically lighted tennis courts, also
 lighted horseshoe courts. An artistic shelter building provides toilet
 facilities, storage and a warm room for skate changing in winter.
 Riverside Park
 To MR. JOHN PROCTOR, more than to any other citizen of his time,
 belongs the credit for municipal ownership of this property. He was
 far-sighted. He believed that "where there is no vision, the people
per-
 ish." The entire point might have been bought for a song, and Mr.
 Proctor urged its purchase by the city, but his argument fell on deaf
 ears. As a compromise, the Council did, in 1872, buy the nineteen and
 one-half acres which we now know as Riverside Park. $4,400.00 was
 paid for the property, and the records reveal that considerable criti-
 cism was leveled against our city fathers for so extravagant a use of
 public funds.
 An eighth grade girl, never dreaming that her expression would find
 its way into print, penned these lines:
 "A more beautiful sight could not be found than the Fox River near
the Riverside
Park on a mild spring day. The hazy atmosphere and the calm rippling water
is
quite bewitching. The river, always the color of the sky, is a heavenly blue,
and the
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