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Four lighted brick stanchions, a 1914 gift that continues to mark the entry to Marion’s Central Park, were among the items listed in an ode to the park written 100 years ago this week by Record editor E.W. Hoch.

From 100 years ago

An ode to Central Park

Central Park is Marion’s greatest material asset. Strangers universally admire and commend it. Tourists pronounce it the finest camping place between the oceans. The writer, in all his travels in 35 states, has never seen a town so highly favored.

The Park is not only a fine resort, but it is a radiating centre of civic pride. That Marion is a remarkably clean, well-kept, pretty town is due largely, don’t you think, to the silent but potent influence of this Park?

Several thousand dollars should be spent every year to add to these attractive influences, for all wise town builders, these days, are recognizing, more and more, the commercial value of well-kept parks.

Much has been done by the city, societies and individuals to add to its charms. That pretty central flower bed and vase was put in by the Choral Union. The beautiful, modern brick electric light pillars at the two Main street entrances were the gift of the Thimble Club. The similar stone ornament we owe to ex-Mayor Josiah Good.

Mrs. Rogers mothered several entertainments to help construct permanent walks, the cement bride, etc. Ex-Mayor Charlie Jones is entitled to much credit for the fine improvements about the spring, the retaining wall, the drive way, and walks.

Two beautiful imported linden trees (the only ones I know of in the county), the fountain and the lily pond (which need to have lilies in it and should have now) and monuments to Dan S. Lindsay, formerly Park Commissioner, now deceased.

The Dawn Club has often adorned the Park with flowering plants in beds and vases. Much voluntary labor has been done in the park by many citizens. We ought to revive the “working bees.”

All this is fine. But there’s an unlimited chance for churches, clubs, societies, fraternal orders, Bible classes, and generous private individuals to add other permanent attractions.

The ravine west of the Federated church should be tiled and filled and a children’s play ground established there. A wide walk should be constructed from the central vase to Mr. Good’s ornamental pillar (the original design). The old channel should be cleaned out and deepened south of the spring and converted into a beautiful little lake, spring-fed. The driveway should be paved.

The good work already begun by Mayor McIntosh of leveling the drainage in the south part should be continued, trees set out, etc. Part of the old channel should be partly filled and given a sunken garden effect.

Oh, countless things can be done to make the beautiful Park still more beautiful. And all these things could easily be done if some organized effort were made to do them.

Why shouldn’t some or all of the organizations named herein undertake some of these or other improvements for they are merely suggestive.

—E.W.H.

Last modified May 26, 2021

 

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