Our collection item this week is a program from the grand opening of Fairview Park in 1891. The park is 123 years old this year. As you can see from the program above, the grand opening celebration was a 3 day affair. Each day started out with forming a procession the paraded to the park. A variety of musical entertainment was provided, there was a baseball game each day, and even a lecture by W.M. Beardshear, President of Iowa Agricultural College.
Local businessmen T.T. Henryson, M.O. Marvick, and L.J. Tjernagel were named to a committee to buy the land for the park from Osmund Henryson. With terms secured for the purchase it was up to the committee to raise funds.
"Our first 'stunt' was the sale of some goods that we had gathered from local merchants. Shelf-worn goods and goods that had been invoiced since the Civil War and somewhat out of date." - L.J. Tjernagel
The sale brought in a considerable amount of money. Voting on who was the most popular lady in the community was also in style at that time. Three candidates were voted on. Each vote cast cost 5 cents.
The naming of the park was also decided by casting votes that cost 5 cents each. The three names voted on were Henderson Park, Scandia Park, and Fairview Park. Originally the name Scandia had won by a decent margin. However, the name did not set well with those who had voted for Henderson or Fairview, so the park committee agreed to have a second vote. Many of the old-time politicians in town lobbied for the name of Fairview. When it came time for the second vote, it again cost 5 cents to cast a vote. After the votes were tallied, it was found that the name of Fairview was on every ticket. It was unanimous, the park was named Fairview Park.
-This information was gathered from an article by L.J Tjernagel in the May 21, 1931 issue of the Story City Herald.