When was South Park land donated to Park District?

The large shelter house in South Park was built in 1917, and a band stand was added two years later The park, which was 50.5 acres when it opened in 1895, now is 135 acres. | H-W Photo/Matt Hopf
By Herald-Whig
Posted: Sep. 6, 2017 9:55 am

I would like some history on South Park. When was the land donated to the Park District? When were the shelter house, bandstand and tennis courts built? How many acres are there?

According to "People's History of Quincy and Adams County, Illinois," South Park was open to the public on May 18, 1895. The park, which is between Eighth and 12th streets, was annexed into the city of Quincy in June 1896.

The Quincy Boulevard and Park Association, a predecessor of the Quincy Park District, persuaded the Illinois General Assembly to approve legislation 1895 that would allow municipalities to levy a park tax for parks after voter approval. In 1895, the association received public approval for a one-mill tax.

This allowed the district to move forward with land purchases, including South Park.

A 1996 article in The Herald-Whig said the original 50.5 acres of land were purchased from Judge B.F. Berrian in April 1895 for $19,500. An additional 2-acre parcel was bought about the same time. Berrian donated 4 more acres in June 1896. Additional land was acquired, and by 1915, the park had nearly 125 acres, purchased for about $43,000. Today, the park has 135 acres.

The large shelter was built in 1917. The bandstand, according to a 1997 article in The Herald-Whig, was built in 1919. Tennis courts in South Park date to 1935 as part of a Works Progress Administration project during the Great Depression.

This year, the Park District resurfaced the lower loop of South Park as part of ongoing maintenance projects in the district. The upper loop was resurfaced last year.

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