The History of Genesee County, MI
Chapter XXIX
Parks & Boulevards

Online Edition by Holice, Deb & Clayton

 

PARKS AND BOULEVARDS.

Flint until 1906 gave very little, if any, attention to parks and boulevards., At that time there were two small parks, the First Ward park and Hamilton Park, located on Detroit Street.

During the years 1905 and 1916, J. D. Dort presented to the city plans for an elaborate park and boulevard system, as prepared by Warren H. Manning, of Boston, one of the best known landscape architects of the country, provided that its new charter then under way, would create a park commission for the purpose of developing and carrying our as far as practicable this new system of parks and boulevards. This plan was accordingly accepted by the city and became a part of the new charter in August 1906.

Thus came into being for Flint a system of parks, to be connected with boulevard drives and parkways, which might eventually mean as much to the city as the elaborate systems which are the show places of many of the larger cities, particularly in the East. The Manning system embraces all land seemingly of but little value and available along the banks of the rivers and ravines throughout the city, following the Flint River to the north limits of the city; thence along Gilkey Creek ravine from the Flint River to the Thread Lake, along the southeasterly part of the city skirting the shores of this lake to Thread Lake Park; thence westerly to the Deming Road; then to the Fenton Road following the bluffs to the intersection of Thread and Swartz Creek; thence westerly to the grounds of the school for the deaf. From this point, it is probable it will follow the roadways to the westerly side of the Glenwood Cemetery, and from there it will connect with the boulevard skirting the westerly and northerly shores of the Flint River in the extreme westerly part of the city.

Much of the land required for this work has already been secured by gift, extending on both sides of the Flint river above the Saginaw Street bridge, continuing to the Hamilton Avenue bridge, also a considerable distance along the easterly bluff of the Gilkey Creek, and, with that which is now under negotiation, will extend from the Flint River to Howard Avenue, which will carry the boulevard to the banks of the Thread Lake. There are also included several pieces of land in the southwesterly park of the city, along the northerly bank of the Flint river, and in the westerly part of the city.

 

Much attention has also been given to acquiring land for parks, which now consists of the following:

Oak Park

About six acres

Dort School Park

About four acres

Water Works park

About eight acres

Willson Park

About three acres

Athletic Park

About five acres

Thread Lake Park

About twenty acres

Woodlawn Park

About six acres

Fourth Ward Park

About two acres

Kearsley Park

About six acres

Crapo Island

About two acres

Together with the First Ward and Hamilton Parks originally owned by the city

Making a total area of one hundred and fifteen acres.

 

The development of these places has been hampered by the lack of funds, the park board being able to compete but a few of the parks and only the preliminary work along the boulevards. However, public interest is being aroused tot he necessity of completing these parks for the welfare and recreation of the public, especially for those who are unable to seek employment elsewhere. This increasing interest becoming evident with the city authorities as well, the allowance cor 1916 was much more liberal and will thus enable the park board to make considerable headway in this work.

It will no doubt require the untiring work and patience of the park board for some years to complete the work, but Flint will ultimately have a system of drives and breathing spots, together with amusement parks, which it can well be proud of and to which it could in future years add other drives into the surrounding country along the elevations overlooking Flint, which are most beautiful and attractive.

 

OFFICERS OF THE FLINT PARK BOARD.

The Flint Park Board was created in August, 1906, consisting of the following members:

Walter Hasselbring

.

Term Expired 1908

Dr. F. L. Tupper

.

Term Expired 1909

Fred W. Brennan

.

Term Expired 1910

George E. Pomeroy

.

Term expired 1911

Dr. F. D. Clarke . Term expired 1912

Walter Hasselbring

Re-appointed

Term expired 1913

Dr. F. L. Tupper

Re-appointed

Term expired 1914

Horace C. Spencer

Re-appointed

Term expired 1915

George C. Pomeroy

Re-appointed

Term expired 1916

Dr. C. B. Burr

Appointed to fill vacancy by Dr. F. D. Clarke's death

Term expired 1917

Patrick R. Doherty

.

Term Expires 1918

George E, McKinley

.

Term expires 1919

Horace C. Spencer

Re-appointed

Term will expire in 1920 (Resigned)

Charles S. Mott

.

Term expires 1921

George E. Pomeroy

Re-appointed

Term expires 1920

Present Members--Dr. C. B. Burr, president; C. S. Mott, Treasurer; G. E. Pomeroy, Secretary; George E. McKinley, Patrick R. Doherty.

 

History of Genesee County, Michigan, Her People, Industries and Institutions
by Edwin O. Wood, LL.D, President Michigan Historical Commission, 1916

Transcribed by Holice B. Young

HTML by Deb

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