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Cowboy singers and poets to perform in Peabody City Park

The site of the Peabody City Park has attracted cowboys, horses, and the entire population of the local agricultural community since the early 1870s.

The park has always hosted varied gatherings and social events. Peabody Historical Society is bringing back the cowboys and their music at 5:30 p.m. Saturday.

Cowboy grub will be served and the seating provided by the 1930s Work Progress Administration program will be utilized. Another park improvement, the new shelter house by the Locust Street gate, also will be used.

Step back in time and enjoy what the community has to offer.

Cowboys Benny Holtsclaw, Jack Griffith, Mike Flavin, Mike Leonard, and Virgil Lewis will provide trail songs and ballads of the old west. Nancy Lewis and fluffy, the Wonder Dog, will bring back a sample of entertainment of old.

The Marion County Agricultural Society held the forerunner of today’s county fair at the park, even before they were able to host the State Fair of 1885.

Trotting horses were especially popular and caused the one-half-mile racing track to be built in 1876. People got together to watch the horses, listen to patriotic speeches, and enjoy picnic lunches.

The city bought the 22-acre area in 1902. By 1907, a landscape gardener was hired and the park was planned, looking much as it does today. Thousands of trees were planted, various clubs added furniture, swings, and even a lake was begun. The early day Chautauquas were held in a large tent with weeklong programs and huge crowds.

For more information, contact Carmen South at (620) 983-2512.

Last modified Aug. 4, 2011

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