Friday, August 24, 2012

Harrison Park - August meeting

The speaker for the afternoon, Richard Thomas, was introduced by John Harrison. John drew members’ attention to the numerous books Richard has written outlining history of this area in particular.

Richard entertained the meeting with a power-point presentation of Owen Sound’s past, buildings, shipping, etc., many of which came from the J.J. James collection, dating back to the 1920’s. He noted that Harrison Park was originally known as “Harrison Pleasure Grounds”, and that this is the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the park. The area was actually located in Derby Township.

When the City of Owen Sound wished to purchase the park from the Harrison family, the area was valued at $10,000.00, however eventually the matter was settled by a “gift purchase” from the family, and the City actually paid $5,000.00. Many of the magnificent trees we enjoy throughout the park were planted by members of the Harrison family.

The park boasts one hundred and four campsites, a restaurant, bird sanctuary, laundry, heated outdoor pools, waterfront, dumpstation, trails (included a ski-hill), tennis courts basketball court, ball diamond, bandstand, a cairn commemorating the slaves who came to this area via the Underground Railway, and many more attractions .

John Harrison also elaborated on many points of interest, filling in the family’s involvement with the Park from the beginning.

The next meeting is Wednesday, September 19 in Meaford.

Thanks to Bonna Rouse for her notes on the meeting. Photos by Janet Iles

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