Veterans MEMORIAL Park- The Englishman commeth
Part One :
TIME MARCHES ON AND 1901 FINDS ANOTHER ENGLISHMAN ( AS OPPOSED TO THAT ENGLISHWOMAN) WANTING SOMETHING DONE ABOUT THE PARK!
Dan Brady of Brady’s Bunch Blog did a series of articles on George Wickens and Veterans Memorial Park and they can be found here
George was an “Englishman” born south of London in a town called Basingstoke. Maybe he brought with him the Englishman love of gardens, order, culture, and “class” . Who knows? I would like to think his background had something to do with the fact he “noticed things and did something about them”- Pride Day back in the Day- attributable to George Wickens
“If the suggestions of the board of trade are carried out, Lorain will have regular days set apart each fall and spring as holiday clean-up days. Health Officer Hug, at the meeting last night spoke of the necessity of such a move. “To those who have occasion to pass the alleys and back yards about the city it becomes at once apparent that the conditions are decidedly unsanitary, unsightly and very offensive to aesthetic natures.
AH the precursor of Lorain Pride Day!!!!
ED: NOTE- We could be speaking about TODAY in Lorain- OH GEORGE WHERE FOR ART THOU GEORGE?
Clean-up days was a hobby with George Wickens, and a mighty good one, too, and I think it would be an advisable thing to have the city carry out his suggestions. Clean-up day should become a regular institution each spring and fall.””
The suggestion by Dr. Hug was to be presented as a resolution to Mayor King. ED NOTE: OH NO! I WONDER WHAT GEORGE AND MAYOR KING WOULD SAY TO THE STATE OF MAYOR KING’S HOUSE ?????
In May 1901, Lorain’s Public Square was a weedy, unkempt mess – and George Wickens, the former mayor and now a member of City Council, was unhappy about it. As reported in mid-May in the Lorain Times-Herald, Wickens stated that the park was a disgrace to the city, and he felt that it should be fixed up before the Fourth of July. At Wickens’ urging, a motion was passed by City Council to take money from the park fund to accomplish this goal.
Work began on the Public Square at once. The grass was mowed, and plans were prepared by Chief Engineer Loofbourrow for paths to be built, curving from each corner of the square and meeting at the bandstand in the center.
The soldiers monument and fountain
as it appeared in the J. L. Mott catalog
But Wickens thought something else was needed for the Public Square: a fountain. He began to try to get Jason B. Hoge, a former resident of Lorain (and later a director of the Lake Shore Electric Railway Company) to donate one. Hoge was about to order a fountain when the Lorain Post of the Grand Army of the Republic made it known that they wished to combine the fountain with something they also felt was needed: a soldiers monument.
Mr. Hoge offered to contribute one quarter of the amount of a fountain and soldiers monument costing not more than $1,000. The balance of the sum would have to be raised by the citizens of Lorain and turned over to the G.A.R. for the actual purchase.
It took a summer-long community effort to raise the money, but the fountain was finally ordered from J. L. Mott Company.
Oh Dear George and what do you think they did with your idea?
Part four to be continued…….
Note thanks to Dan Brady for the use of his jpgs.
Entry filed under: a Cow -elle opinion, blogs, Charleston Village, city of lorain, commentary, hell is other people, history. Tags: Charleston Village, City of Lorain, disgraceful, history, Lorain, Veteran's Memorial Park, Veterans Park Lorain, waste not want not, wickens.