The Lamont City Park has an interesting history. What began as a worthless
piece of property was transformed into something special the entire community
could be proud of. In the beginning it was very wet, prone to flooding, had
no trees, and had several stagnant ponds and bogs. It was known as Waite's
pasture, used as a cow pasture by the Waite family. After the railroad came
through town in 1886 the town began to grow at a very fast pace. What was
once a small village scattered about soon became to grow more centralized
around the rail road depot. Waite's pasture soon became a huge eye sore on the
edge of a fast growing beautiful little town. Discussions were held for several
years with the Waite family and city council on what to do with the property.
A deal was finally reached with the Waite family in 1909. The city purchased
the property and received the deed on September 14, 1909.
The idea at the time was for this property to become the town's second park
referred to as Central Park. In the spring of 1910 the dirt from excavating the
basement of the new Farmers Savings bank building was hauled by volunteers to the
property to fill in low spots. The momentum for the new park was short lived. Due
to lack of funding and volunteers progress on the park was stopped. The property
sat idle for some time and became a dumping ground for the local citizens creating
an even bigger eyesore than ever before. A local citizen by the name of Mary Kyle
became dedicated to turning this eyesore into a beautiful park. Mary worked
tirelessly going from business to business and reaching out to citizens to raise
funds and find volunteers to turn this property into something the town could be
very proud of.
Ed Durham and Harley Burgins provided labor and scrappers and Mary's
husband, Lowry Kyle who owned the Livery provided teams of horses. Several dozene
local men with shovels also joined and the grading process on April 1, 1912. By
May 1st the grading was completed and the first trees were planted. A dozen trees
were planted by Seymour and Frank Whitney. A fundraiser was held at the Lamont Gem
Theater on Saturday May 18, 1912 with five showings of the Titanic disaster. The
first showing began at 2:30pm and the last at 9:30pm. All proceeds, a total of
$50.00, went toward landscaping of the new city park, now referred to as St. Mary’s
Park. Several more fundraisers were planned by Mary Kyle through out the summer.
Over the next couple of years improvements to the landscape of the park continued
including cement sidewalks completed by Wm. Adams, more dirt was hauled into the low
areas and more landscaping was done. On November 11, 1915 the Lamont city council
approved erecting a Soldiers monument. The monument would be built on the south side
of the creek west of the bridge. The monument was to be surrounded by a cement foundation
55x30 and would extend into the street. Inside the cement foundation would be flower
beds and cement walk ways. Geo. Kreussel and Company secured the bid for $745.00. Work
began immediately to ensure its completion before cold weather and the arrival of the
monument. The monument arrived and was set in place the first part of December. By the
summer of 1916 the location of the monument had proven to be a poor one. With it extending
into the street it created a hazard and also limited the ability to widen the street.
In October Geo. Kreussel was hired to build in the park on the north side of the creek
a new foundation similar to the previous one. H.C. Ehrke assisted by W. McIntosh of
Manchester was hired to move the monument to its current location.
Over the recent years several changes have taken place to the park. A picnic shelter
and playground equipment added, and the outer foundation of the soldiers monument removed.
The name St. Mary’s Park was gradually replaced by The City Park.