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Original Wenonah Park Plan in 1909.
Located foot of Center Ave. between Water St. and River Front, Bay City, MI

This plan was published in the Bay City Tribune on Sunday, August 15, 1909. The Wenonah Park was conceived as a part of the planning for the former Wenonah Hotel, which opened on November 8, 1908, and was located directly east across Water Street from the park. In order to establish the new park, several businesses had to be relocated and buildings demolished. This delayed the opening of the park as properties had to be condemned and an agreeable price with each property owner. The park is believed to have opened in 1910.

Note: The the text is small and hard to read, therefore, the numbering system was added to identify key features of the park.


(Click image to enlarge.)
Wenonah Park Plan 1909

The plan above appeared in the Bay City Tribune newspaper on Sunday, August 15, 1909, with the following caption:

When the park commission gets through with the new park on the river front, it expects to turn over to the people of Bay City a park that for natural beauty will not be excelled by any park in the country. It must be remembered that simplicity is an essential where the beauties of nature are concerned, and in promising a park of beauty, the park commission does not expect to draw forth from an admiring populace the polysyllabic adjectives that adorn a circus poster. Wenonah park is to be a place where a citizen of Bay City may go with his wife and children; sit down upon the grass, or lie there, if he wishes, fill his lungs with fresh air, and rest. He is to let his gaze rest upon the quiet, soothing green of Nature and, if he wishes, he may permit his children to play on a short strip of sandy beach that is to face the river. True, temples, marble shafts, costly pogodas and bronze statues will not be seen, at least at first. There is hope that some of the wealthy citizens of Bay City will some day place in the park, as a gift to the people and for the perpetuation of their names among the future citizens, those things that have been donated for public use in other cities.

The above cut shows the general plan of Wenonah Park. The park will be surrounded on all sides, except the river front, with shrubbery and trees. The three sides will be terraced giving an ampitheater effect, with opening towards the river. On the river front will be left a strip sandy beach, the sand dumped there being of the variety commonly called "black sand." The foliage will include trees and shrubbery -- white ash, prickley ash, lindens, red maple, horse chestnuts, Virginia creepers, sugar-maples, buckthorn, honey suckles, Norway maples, elms, Thunbergs barberries, Rosa wich, hybrids, Hall's honeysuckle, Rosa atrigara, Bella Allida, black and several other varieties of flowering fast growing and hardy flora.

The main drive way will extend in a curve beginning at Sixth street and terminate at Fifth. This will have a walk along its entire length separated from the road, however, by shrubs. Two foot walks will lead from the oposite sides of Center avenue giving that four four entrances for persons on foot and two for motor and carriages. The roadway at its center will be seven feet above the "level" floor of the ampitheater-like enclosure and the terraces will be arranged with a view complying with Nature's work. Fifth and Sixth will run through to the docks, they being bordered with shrubbery and trees, and on the Sixth size furnishing a space for turning; the way extending around a clump of white ash.

Images of Original Park. Park


1911 view of park after park opened.

1930s of parking area off Water St.


View of Eddy Pavilion added in 1916.


Original park included this "turn around" on Sixth St. Wenonah Hotel back right.

Images of Present Park.

View of river front.


Park now features a Ring of Friendship Fountain with a bandshell and restrooms at the northend.

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