Skip to main content

Full text of "Report ..."

See other formats



01(2 0^^ 


by the internet Arch 


in 2015 




DECEMBER 31, 1908 

Compliments of the 

Harrisburg, Pa. 
Telegraph Printing Company 



DECEMBER 31, 1908 


Harrisburg, Pa. 
Telegraph Printing Company 


The term of office of the first Park Commission expired in 
November, 1907, and in connection with the report for the 
third quarter of that year the Commissioners submitted to 
Councils a review of the work done. 

As this review gives a connected, though necessarily brief, 
account of park operations in Harrisburg from the creation 
of the Commission down to the end of 1907, it has been added 
to the annual report presented to the Council for the year 
ending December 31, 1908. 

For the purpose of making the statistics also continuous, 
the figures given in this review have been brought down to 
December 31, 1907, at which date the park year began. 

As showing for the first time in published form the rather 
unusual activities of the Harrisburg Park organization in 
promoting wholesome outdoor sports and recreation, a some- 
what full statement of the 1908 activities has been included in 
the Secretary's comprehensive report. 

The full history of parks in Harrisburg in connection with 
the various commissions preceding the Commission elected by 
Councils pursuant to the Act of 1889 and its supplement, 
the Act of 1901, is given for its interest and that a complete 
record may be thus made accessible. Much care has been 
taken to have these records accurate. 


I Iakrishi'ro Park (Commission. 

Created by ordinance approved October 30, 1902. First 
Coiinnission, elected November 6, 1902 for five years (suc- 
ceeding Daniel W. Gross Park Commission, 1902; Promenade 
Park Commission, 1908; Lincoln Park Commission, 1903, 
Harris l*ark Commission, 1{)()3; Reservoir Park Commission, 
1904), including: 

John Hoffer. 

Charles A. Uisbrow. 

John T. Brady. 

Samuel Kunkel. 

Joseph P. Luce. 

Organized November 12, 1902: 
John Hoffer,* President. 
George G. Kennedy, Secretary. 

F. L. Mulford, Superintendent (elected Aug. 18, 1903). 
George G. Kennedy resigned March, 1904. 
Marion Verbeke elected Secretary March, 1904. 
V. Grant Forrer appointed Assistant to President January, 

I\Iarion Verbeke resigned as Secretary March 1, 1906. 
V. Grant Forrer elected Secretary March 1, 1906. 

Second Commission, elected November 16, 1907, for five 
years : 

William E. Bailey. 
John T. Brady. 
Charles A. Disbrow. 
Henry E. Hershey. 
J. Horace McFarland. 

* John Hoffer resigned December, 1904, and in January, 1905, 
J. Horace McFarland was elected to fill the vacancy. C. A. Disbrow 
was elected President to succeed Mr. Hoffer. 


Park Commissioners' Report 

Organized November 25, 1907. 

Charles A. Disbrow, President. 

y. Grant Forrer, Secretary and Assistant to President. 
F. L. Mulford, Superintendent. 

Harris Park Commission. 

Created and appointments made March 30, 1859, by Act of 

First Commission: W. H. Cleckner, Thomas Worley, Wm. 
O. Zimmerman, T. Allen Hamilton, Beverly R. Waugh, George 
H. Bell, John L. Lingle. 

Last Harris Park Commission: J. Montgomery Forster, 
President; S. C. Haldeman, Secretary ; Lerue Lemer, Charles 
Foster, George H. Bell, John McConkey, W. H. Metzger. 

Two members serving ex officio with the Harrisburg Park 
Commission : 

J. Montgomery Forster and D. C. Haldeman. 

(Mr. Haldeman is treasurer of fund for betterment of 
Harris Park, being interest on $1,000 bequest by Simon Cam- 

Lincoln Park Commission. 

Created 1872, by act of legislature; terminated April 22, 
1903, by act of legislature. 

First Commission: Dr. Wm. W. Rutherford, Calvin C. Bow- 
man, Charles L. Bailey, Benjamin L. Forster, Rudolph F. 
Kelker, Samuel W. Sharry, George Z. Kunkle, Dr. S. T. Charl- 
ton, Hon. John J. Pearson, John McPherson, J. B. Boyd, 
Charles Roumfort, Richard H. Hummel, Dr. E. Franciscus, 
W. 0. Hickok, David Harris, Rev. V. Hummel Berghaus, 
Samuel T. Jones, Henry E. Uhler, John F. Hummel, Valentine 
Egle, Joseph Strouse. 

Promenade Park Commission. 

Created 1873 ; terminated April 22, 1903. 

First Commission: J. D. Cameron, Jacob F. Seller, George 
"Wolf Buehler, Mrs. Mary H. Espy, David McCormick, Wallace 
DeWitt, Gov. J. F. Hartranft, Rev. R. J. Keeling, D. D., Jno. 
B. Cox, Henry McCormick, Mrs. Mary E. Ross, Jacob C. Bom- 
berger, Mrs. Eliza McCormick, Daniel D. Boas, Jacob S, 
Haldeman, G. W. I. Beatty, Henry Gilbert, Francis Wyeth, 

Cihj of Ilarrisburg 


Win. Huehlor, Jit Rov. J. F. Stranahan, 1). D., William Cal- 
der, Janios McK^ormick, Jr., Mrs. Eliza Fj. J. llaldeman, J. V. 
Cresswell, Rev. T. TI. Robinson, D. D., A. J. Ilerr, Mrs. John 
IT. Brij2:^s, Dr. Mortimer O'Connor, Joshua M. Wiostling, 
George W. Hummel, Mrs. John A. Stehley, I. M. Keller, Mrs. 
Allen J. Bucher. 

Reservoir Park Commission. 

Created by ordinance of Councils in 1889. 

The following persons were elected to serve together with 
the Board of Commissioners of the Water and Lighting De- 
partment : 

James McCormick, Mrs. Jacob S. Haldeman, John Hoffer, 
William K. Alricks, W. R. Gorgas, W. J. Calder. 

The Water Commissioners at that time were: 

Edmund Mather, J. G. M. Bay, James D. Saltzman. 

The Commission organized January 7, 1890, and elected 
James McCormick President, and J. D. B. Koons Secretary. 
Of the original members Messrs. Hoffer, Calder, Mather and 
Mrs. Haldeman served continuously. Messrs. Bay and Saltz- 
man were succeeded in 1890 by Robert Baskins and A. G. 
Miles. In 1891 Edward Drinkwater succeeded Mr. Baskins. 
In 1892 George J. Hutton succeeded Mr. Miles. In 1893 John 
A. Affleck succeeded Mr. Drinkwater. George Doehne was 
elected a member of the Commission January 12, 1893, filling 
the vacancy caused by the death of W. R. Gorgas, and on 
March 19, 1894, H. M. Kelley was elected to fill the vacancy 
due to the resignation of James McCormick. John Hoffer 
was elected President to succeed Mr, McCormick. On April 

25, 1891, Willard S. Young was elected Secretary to succeed 
J. D. B. Koons, and when Mr. Young resigned on January 

26, 1894, Mr. George G. Kennedy was elected to succeed him. 

Daniel W. Gross Park Commission. 

Created by ordinance of Councils August 10, 1893; dis- 
solved October 30, 1902. 

James M. Cameron, Casper L. Bigler, Henry B. McCormick, 
Edmund Mather, Henry McCormick, Jr., Col. W. W. Jennings, 
Donald McCormick, George A. Gross, Herman P. Miller, 
Thomas M. Jones. 

DECEMBER 31. 1908 

January 4, 1909. 

To the Select and Common Councils of the City of Harris- 

Gentlemen : In accordance with the ordinance creating 
this Commission, we herewith transmit to you as our report 
the reports made to us by the Secretary and the Superintend- 
ent of the Commission, commending these interesting and im- 
portant documents to your earnest attention. 

Charged as we are with the duty of reporting to your hon- 
orable bodies, in order that you may be guided in your pro- 
vision of funds for the maintenance of the parks of the City 
of Harrisburg and in your consideration of the many im- 
portant problems arising in the completion of the park system, 
which is an important part of the City's economics, we are 
powerless to inform you as a basis for intelligent action un- 
less the reports submitted are duly read and considered. That 
this be done with convenience to your honorable bodies, and 
that we may also be in a position to respond to the many 
requests from cities whose reports we constantly receive, we 
respectfully urge that this report, with illustrations which 
we can supply for it, be at once separately printed. Its ap- 
pearance two years hence in the annual volume will be of no 
actual use in promoting the consideration of the important 
problems within your charge. 

Park Visits in 1908. 

The year just closed has proved the wisdom of the people 
of Harrisburg, and of Councils as representing them, in fos- 
tering the creation of a park system and in maintaining it as 
adequately as circumstances would permit. Reference to the 
report of the Secretary will show that the total number of 

Ciiy of Ilan ishurf/ 


the park visits diu'in^ the year increased per cent, reach- 
ing the reinarkabh' fij^ur-e of 1 ,()84,-'U)(). This would iridi(;at(; 
that, on the average, every man, woman and child in th(; 
City of llarrishurg has used some portion of the i)arks of 
the city at least thirteen times during the year. (^on- 
rtdently submit that such use has been intluential toward 
public health, contentment and prosperity, and that it pro- 
motes good order and good citizc^nship. 

Completion of the System. 

The year 1908 has brought the park system further toward 
the completion which it is our duty to bring about if possible. 
The reports of the Superintendent and the Secretary will 
show the additions in acreage arising from the acquirement 
of further properties in the Wildwood district. The whole 
park system now includes a total of 707 acres. The acreage 
would be larger, had not unavoidable delays prevented the ac- 
quisition of necessary lands in the Wildwood district. 

Need of Increased AcreyVge. 

The necessity for obtaining additional area upon which the 
people may spread is well indicated when the attendance per 
acre in the Harrisburg parks is taken into account. The 
most used part of the park system is the Front Street Park, 
w^hich has had to carry 21,429 persons per acre during the 
year. Obviously, the cost of maintenance is immensely in- 
creased by the congestion. The Island Playground has car- 
ried 8,784 to the acre — indicative of their popularity. 
Twelfth Street has been most useful, and records the hand- 
ling of 6,091 persons per acre during the year. Reservoir 
Park, our main pleasure-ground, had to take care of 2,971 
persons per acre. While "Wildwood collectively had a large 
attendance, amounting to 11,000, taken by the acre it 
amounted to but 23 persons per acre. It is to Wildwood Park 
that we must look for relief from the park congestion which 
confronts us ; it is to Wildwood Park we must look for justice 
to the west end of Harrisburg, now not properly provided 
with either park, playground or recreation facilities, but 
w^hieh, w^hen we shall have been permitted by the provision 


Park Commissioners' Report 

of funds to arrange for facilities equal to those obtainable on 
the Island and at the Reservoir Park, will give to a very 
large population access to an unmatched recreation ground. 

The interest of the people in the parks was shown most 
forcibly during the year in their largely increased use, as 
above cited. We would respectfully urge upon your honorable 
bodies that the rapid increase in attendance force upon this 
Commission an equivalent increase in maintenance cost. To 
look after the park wants and follow the park use of more 
than a million people a year — park visits having nearly 
doubled within two years — entails upon us immensely in- 
creased work. When it is noted that this vast throng was 
handled with but eight policemen, and at a minimum of dis- 
order, the capability of the park in promoting good order is 
well seen. 

Significant features of the year's park work are given in 
the reports of the Secretary and Superintendent. The ath- 
letic sports feature, as giving beneficial pleasure to vast num- 
bers of people and as attracting visitors to Harrisburg, has 
been fostered by your Commission, and the Island Play- 
ground, with its seating facilities and its recreation pro- 
visions, has been extremely popular. Attention is called to 
the account given by the Superintendent of the endeavors 
made to prevent river encroachment upon the Island Play- 
ground, by the erection of a jetty. 

The Park Nursery. 

We call your attention to the extremely profitable opera- 
tion of the park nursery during the year. This enterprise 
has again shown its utility and value. Planting amounting 
to 52,993 shrubs, worth, at current market prices, $3,324.39 
which we would have had to pay if the plants had been pur- 
chased, was required during the year. The cost to the city, 
under the handling of the park nursery by this Commission 
was $964.47, a significant showing as to the economy practised. 

Need of Additional Funds. 

We respectfully call the attention of your honorable bodies 
to the importance of considering at an early date some definite 

City of Ilarrishurg 


provision of funds for the completion of the; park system. 
Certain important properties remain to be acquired in the 
Wildvvood district, and their value; is not decreasing. The 
connecting parkway to which we are committed, and which 
the city need for many important reasons connected with its 
growth will require expenditures not now within our reach. 
It is respectfully submitted that no wiser expenditure could 
be made than a sufficient one to permit the completion of the 
city of Harrisburg of the work which has been so well begun. 

We w'ould also respectfully present to your attention the 
need for a more liberal maintenance appropriation. The Har- 
risburg Park Commission is the servant of the people, but the 
Councils of the City of Harrisburg are the stewards of the 
money of the people, and if funds are not placed at the com- 
mand of the Commission the parks cannot be adequately pre- 
pared or maintained under the immense traffic put upon them 
by those for whom they were created. It is but proper to 
record at this time the appreciation of the Harrisburg Park 
Commission of the uniform courtesy it has received at the 
hands of your honorable bodies. The Councils and all the 
city officials, including his honor, the Mayor, have been in 
unit in respect to interest in and a helpful regard for the 
parks which benefit all the people. 

The Ensign Fountain. 

A notable event during the year was the dedication of the 
Herman Lee Ensign fountain, now placed at the intersection 
of Derry and Mulberry streets. While this fountain is under 
the charge of the Water Department, it was obtained through 
the intervention of the Park Commission, in connection with 
Ex-Mayor Maurice C. Eby, and its dedication on June 22, 
1908, was an event of no small significance. 

Respectfully submitted. 

Chas. a. Disbrow, 

J. Horace McFarland, 
Jno. T. Brady, 
H. E. Hershey, 
Wm. E. Bailey. 


January 4, 1909. 
To the Members of the Harrishurg Park Commission: 

Gentleman : I herewith submit my report, including the 
financial statement of this department for the calendar year 
nineteen hundred and eight. 

Attendance and Average. 

An increase of 31 per cent, in the total number of persons 
making use of the parks in the year 1908 over that of 1907 
demonstrates that the appropriation by the City of Harris- 
burg for this department and the constant efforts of this 
Commission to extend the park area of the city and to add to 
park attractions were for the general good and were appre- 
ciated by the people of the city. 

The increased attendance of the parks is not shown only by 
the extraordinary popularity of the various athletic fields and 
playgrounds maintained upon the park properties, a direct 
result of the fostering of clean amateur athletics by the Park 
Commission, by furnished facilities, unexcelled anywhere, for 
sports of all seasons. The extent to which the parks are used 
for these purposes is a matter of common knowledge, but the 
popularity of Harrisburg's park system is even more forcibly 
proved by the greater number of persons making use of the 
River Park, Wildwood Park, Reservoir Park and the Park- 
way simply as parks — for breathing places and promenades 
and quiet resting places away from the city's dust, its heat 
and its noise- — and by the fact that more persons attended 
the annual series of free band concerts in Reservoir Park than 
ever before, and this in spite of the circumstance that for the 
latter attraction less money was made available last season 
than in the previous summer. 

The Harrisburg Park System now comprises 707 acres. Of 
these, 27 are playgrounds and 51 acres used for the parkway. 

City of Harrisburg 


Of the total acreage 416 have been purchased, 99 donated, 37 
leased and 155 are in litigation. The following table shows 
the distribution of acreage and the attendance in 1907 and 







ance, 1908. 

ance, 1907. 







Front Street, 










Twelfth Street, 










13th and Sycamore, . 








no estimate 


Maclay and Front, . . 


6th and Reel's Lane, . 






Front Street. 

I regret to report that, although persistent efforts were 
made throughout the year to acquire the ownership of addi- 
tional plots of ground along the river bank, there has been 
no donation of land in the year by the holders of these prop- 

This fact is to be deplored. The easy accessibility of the 
river park, paralleling as it does the city along its greatest 
length, has made it the most popular park of the system, as 
is shown by the foregoing figures of attendance. The acqui- 
sition of the remaining privately owned land on the river 
front, that below Paxton street and that between Hamilton 
and Division streets, would enable the department to en- 
hance greatly the value of the Front street properties facing 
the river by making a park 4.31 miles long without other in- 
terruption than the Hardscrabble district. The only other 
break in the park that existed formerly, that at North street 
where the city pumping station blocked the park, was elimin- 
ated this year by the construction of a fill between the build- 
ings and the river's edge, allowing the continuing of the 


Park Commissioners^ Report 

promenade path and the beautifying of the locality by orna- 
mental planting. The river park is thus practically continu- 
ous from Herr street southward to Paxton street, although 
there are four properties south of the Fleming residence still 
privately owned. 

Of the entire stretch, the Commission now has control of 
10,303 feet of river front property. The length of the river 
front within the city limits is 22,737 feet. The Commission 
thus has less than half of the frontage, but the property 
owned is that which is opposite the most valuable portions of 
Front street. No valid reason is given by the owners of the 
remaining plots for their continued private ownership. 

The Parkway. 

Although the development of the encircling parkway will 
benefit the abutting property owners to even greater degree 
than the completion of the river park will the Front street 
property owners, the same regrettable unwillingness to pro- 
mote its completion was manifest in the year past. No addi- 
tional donations were made in 1908. 

Of the 17 miles that will ultimately compose this important 
feature of the park system, IJ miles are now in the possession 
of the city and 9 miles are yet to be required from private 
owners. The remainder is along the river road and through 
Wildwood Park. 

Improvements Needed. 

Lack of protection from the wash of the river current along 
the foot of the bank resulted in serious damage to the River 
Park embankment, considerable earth being washed, under- 
mining the slope and disfiguring the park by making uneven 
the border of the sunken promenade. As a remedy a stone or 
concrete wall should be constructed to safeguard the park 
from further encroachment. It is becoming more and more 
difficult to secure earth for filling out the bank, and the ex- 
pense of hauling it, especially to the central portions of the 
city, is considerable. 

A public comfort station in River Park is needed greatly. 

City of Harris burg 


One situated near the central part of the city would be of 
convenience to thousands. The River Park is the only park 
in the city that is not provided with retiring rooms for men 
and for women, but they are needed there more than at the 
other parks, because it is the most used. Such a convenience 
could be constructed below the brink of the embankment, 
possibly beneath one of the river bridges, and would be in- 
conspicuous and unobjectionable. 

Drinking fountains should be installed at points along the 
River park and at the Twelfth Street Playgrounds. 

Numerous vacant and unused lots in all parts of the city 
afford easy means of extending the beneficial playground 
system. At these points in different localities remote from 
the more elaborately equipped recreation places the installa- 
tion of simple and inexpensive apparatus such as see-saws, 
swings, sand-boxes and giant strides would be the means of 
pleasurable and healthful exercise of thousands of children, 
with the added advantage that they would be under the watch- 
ful eye of the park officer. The Park Commission in es- 
tablishing these recreation places would thus not only further 
its policy of fostering out- door exercises and amusements 
but would promote the health and comfort of many children, 
as well as of parents who could be freed of worry if their 
children were known to be safe at a department playground. 

Additional baseball diamonds are needed. The demands 
for permits to play baseball in the parks last year was greatly 
in excess of the supply of available places, even though some- 
times a single diamond would be made to accommodate seven 
full games in a day, starting at 6 A. M., when night-turn rail- 
road men played, and continuing till 7.30 P. M., the close of 
the Sunday School League games. Partial relief from the 
scarcity of diamonds will be effected in 1909 by the opening 
of additional land in Wildwood ParK, but others will still be 
needed. If ground could be leased for this purpose or secured 
free of cost for use through the season, the Commission could 
do nothing to please a greater number of persons than by es- 
tablishing and maintaining baseball fields for public use, sub- 
ject to the regulations of the department. 


Park Commissioners' Report 

The employment of playground instructors would add 
greatly to the efficiency of the department's out-door athletic 
and gymnastic facilities and apparatus. Under the intelli- 
gent direction of a man skilled in physical exercise and gym- 
nastics the youth of the city would be developed systematically 
and the general health of the community improved thereby. 
At the Twelfth Street Playground especially, where the ex- 
tensive open air gymnasium, even without an instructor, has 
greatly improved conditions of health in a locality where 
formerly there was much ill-health and physical deficiency, 
the employment of such a skilled man would be of immense 
benefit. That the use of the apparatus there has already 
benefited the youth of the district is shown by reports of in- 
surance companies that the rate of mortality in the region is 
decidedly lower than formerly. 

Every musical instructor who has ever led an orchestra or 
a band in the band stand at Reservoir Park has complained 
of its acoustic properties. Sound, they say, is interfered with 
and does not properly reflect from the stand, so that it can 
be heard over a much smaller area than it would be under 
correct conditions. A new shell for the use of the musical 
organizations is an imperative necessity, and would be warmly 
welcomed by the tens of thousands of persons who attend the 
concerts every year. 

Athletics and Sports. 

The greatest activity prevailed throughout the year in out- 
door sports on the park system's fields and grounds. Begin- 
ning with the first of the year, skating, field sports, track 
athletics, baseball, golf, swimming, rowing, tennis, basketball 
and football were engaged in, in season, by thousands of men 
and women, boys and girls. All these sports were played on 
excellent fields and grounds, with apparatus and facilities 
supplied in part by the Commission, without charge to play- 
ers or spectators. Increased interest in all sports except foot- 
ball was manifested by a larger number of games played than 
in any other year. 

The big formal contests and series of competitions inau- 

City of Harrishurg 


gurated in 1907 were repeated in 1908 with increased number 
of competitors, more spectators and greater interest. They 
have now become fixtures upon the athletic calendar of Har- 
rishurg and its vicinity and through them this city is becom- 
ing a center of amateur athletics. 

The first of the scheduled events was the second annual 
Pennsylvania High Schools track and field meet, at the Island 
athletic field, May 16. Next were the first annual track and 
field sports of the Pennsylvania Intercollegiate Athletic As- 
sociation, which brought athletes here from eleven colleges of 
the State in the biggest athletic meet ever held in Harrishurg. 
Eight thousand people attended these games. Six other track 
meets were held, including the annual dual and inter-class 
meets of the two local high schools and the first annual meet 
for the students of the city grammar schools. Four thousand 
boys and girls attended this event, the first ever held here. 

The City League of Amateur Baseball Clubs, formed in 
1907, was reorganized on April 6, 1908, and had a successful 
season. A series of eighteen games for each club was played 
between April 18th and September 5th. 

The universal revival of interest in tennis was evident here. 
The courts are more popular than ever, and the second annual 
tournament on park courts, held from July 25th till August 
20th, had 103 entrants. 

The second annual water carnival on the Susquehanna river 
on Labor Day drew entries for the swimming events from 
among the best athletes in the country, including C. M. Dan- 
iels, the famous world's champion, and other metropolitan 

The Harrishurg Park Golf Club was organized May 15th 
by the players on the Reservoir Park links and tournaments 
were held at frequent intervals throughout the season. This 
organization was self-supporting from its very beginning and 
is the only athletic organization using public park facilities 
that has this enviable distinction. A similar organization 
could be and should be formed by the tennis players, who 
would benefit greatly by it ; the baseball league also ought to 
become self-supporting. 


Park Commissioners' Report 

Public spirited and generous men made possible all these 
out-door events in the year excepting golf. These citizens not 
only promoted the various games and meets, but they person- 
ally made all arrangem.ents, secured money for the trophies 
through the liberality of contributors but made up deficits 
where necessary and managed the events themselves when 
they took place, all without benefit whatever other than the 
pleasure their activities afforded them. 

The newspapers of the city, with similar public spirit, pro- 
moted the games by unusual efforts to give them all the help- 
ful publicity possible. 

The two big track and field meets and the City League 
Amateur baseball games were managed by the permanent 
Harrisburg Track Athletic Committee. The other events 
were promoted by special committees. 

Following are detailed accounts of all activities held under 
the auspices of the Commission: 

Second Annual Pennsylvania High School Track and 
Field Meet, May 16th, City Athletic Field, Island Park. 

The Harrisburg Track Athletic Committee, which pro- 
moted the first of the big meets in 1907, for Central Pennsyl- 
vania high schools, extended its scope in 1908 to include all 
high schools of the State with the exception of those of Phila- 
delphia and Pittsburg. The schools that competed, in the order 
of their performance, with the number of points won by each, 
are as follows: 

Reading, 58 ; Harrisburg, 19 ; Wilkesbarre, 18 ; Steelton, 
13; Pottstown, 6; Carlisle, 2; Harrisburg Technical, 2; 
Canton, 1 ; Middletown, 1, and York, 1. Altoona and Ber- 
wick did not score. 

The individual winners and their records were as follows: 

High jump, P. Jones, H. H. S., . . 5 ft. 3% in. 

880 yard run, L. Dewees, Reading, .2 min. 10 4/5 sec. 

12 pound shot, G. Haman, Reading, .38 ft. 10 in. 

1 mile run, L. Dewees, Reading, .5 min. 1/5 sec. 

12 pound hammer, . . Carr, Wilkes-Barre, . . 122 ft. 10 in. 

City of Harrishurg 


440 yard dash, C. Stauffer, Reading, .55 sec. 

120 yard low hurdles,W. Davies, Reading, . 17 sec. 

Broad jump, Jones, H. H. S., 19 ft. 8 in. 

220 yard dash, H. Maurer, Steelton,.24 sec. 

1 mile relay, Leven, Ferguson, Huf- 

ford, Stauffer, of 

Reading, 3 min. 52 2/5 sec. 

100 yard dash, H. Maurer, Steelton, .10 4/5 sec. 

The attendance was 4,500. The contestants numbered 137. 

A handsome shield, to be contested for annually till one 
school has won the meet four times, when it will become the 
property of that school, was given to Reading for its victory. 
For the individual winners of first, second and third places, 
gold, silver and bronze medals of handsome design were pre- 

440-yard run, Pennsylvania Inter-collegiate games, Island Play 
grounds, May 30, 1908 


l^ark Commissioners' Report 

First Annual Track and Field Meet, Pennsylvania Inter- 
collegiate Athletic Association, May 30th, City 
Athletic Field, Island Park. 

Eight thousand persons attended the first annual track and 
field meet, of the Pennsylvania Intercollegiate Athletic Asso- 
ciation on May 30th, morning and afternoon. 

Pole Vault, Pennsylvania Inter-collegiate Games, May 30, 1908, 
Island Playgrounds. 

One hundred and seventy-five athletes, representing eleven 
colleges of the state, fought for points and made records that 
in some cases compared more than favorably with the records 
of the Eastern Intercollegiate meet, held the same day in Phila- 

The colleges stood as follows : 

Carlisle Indians, 52i/^; Lafayette, 35; Western U. of P., 
18 ; Penn. State, I6I/2 ; Swarthmore, 15 ; Dickinson, 11 } 

City of Ilarnshurg 


Lehigh, 2; Washington and Jefferson, 2; Gettysburg, 1; 
Grove City and Muhlenberg, no score. 

The records for th(^ events of the meet were as follows : 

Event. Winner anel School. Recorel. 

1 mile run, W. F. Goodwin, La- 
fayette, 4 min. 36 4/5 sec. 

440 yard dash, E. Moore, Carlisle, . . .51 4/5 sec. 

120 yard hurdles, . . .F. Schanandors, Car- 
lisle, 15 4/5 sec. 

100 yard dash, G. M. Schaeffer, La- 
fayette, 10 sec. 

2 mile run, L. Tewanie, W. Hunt 

Carlisle, 10 min.l3 3/5 sec. 

880 yard run, G. J. Bradford, 

Swarthmore, 2 min. 4 sec. 

220 yard hurdles, . . .D. A. Herrick, Lafay- 
ette, 25 2/5 sees. 

220 yard dash, G. M. Schaeffer, La- 
fayette, and H. H. 
Bubb, Penn. State, .22 3/5 sees. 
16 pound shot, W. M. Hess, Dickin- 
son, 39 feet, 4 ins. 

Pole vault, C. Mitchell, Carlisle, .11 feet. 

High jump, J. Thorpe, 6 feet. 

Broad jump, H. G. Lee, Lafayette, .21 feet. 

Discus throw, F. Van Doren, W. U. 

P., 113 feet, 6 in. 

For the winning of the meet, the Carlisle Indians became 
owners of a large sterling silver loving cup, purchased by^ 
the members of the Harrisburg Track Athletic Committee. 
The committee also gave prizes to individuals, gold, silver and 
bronze medals, besides paying the hotel bills of the teams. 
These expenses were paid by funds raised from generous 
local firms and citizens who contributed liberally to a general 
fund for both the school and college meets. 

The members of the Harrisburg Track Athletic Committee, 


Pay^k Commissioners' Report 

220-yard hurdle race, Pennsylvania Inter-collegiate games, Island 
Playgrounds, May 30, 1908 

a permanent organization that also has control of the city 
Amateur League, are as follows : 

Dr. Chas. B. Fager, Jr., Chairman; Geo. W. Kehr, Secre- 
tary; R. G. Cox, Treasurer; H. L. Bowers, Recording Secre- 
tary; Ross A. Hickok, B, Ed. Finnegan, John Miller Bon- 
bright, Rev. S. W. Herman, Benj. W. Demming, W. 0. Hickok, 
III, A. H. Hull, C. S. Davis, Vance C. McCormick, John Y. 
Boyd, W. R. Douglas, V. Grant Forrer, Wellington G. Jones, 
James A. Bell, George W. Hill, Francis J. Hall, B. F. Myers, 
III, Dr. Harvey F. Smith, F. L. Mulford, John Fox Weiss, 
E. C. Taggart, Mercer B. Tate, Rev. J. Stockton Roddy, J. 
Montgomery Trace. 

City of Harrishurg 25 


Referee: W. 0. Hickok, III, Yale. 

Judges of Track Events: Vance C. McCormick, Yale; R. G. 
Cox, Princeton; Rev. J. Stockton Roddy, Princeton; Robert 
W. Dunlop, Illinois. 

Official Scorer: John Miller Bonbright. 

Marshall: B. W. Demming, State. 

Announcer: Mercer B. Tate, Lehigh. 

Assistant Announcers: Jas. A. Bell, Harrisburg Board of 
Trade ; Scott S. Leiby, Franklin and Marshall. 

Assistant Scorers: Robert Black, Princeton; Wm. R. Doug- 
las, The Patriot ; Wellington G. J ones, Harrisburg Telegraph ; 
B. F. Myers, Jr., Star-Independent. 

Inspectors: V. Grant Forrer, Harrisburg Park Commission; 
Dr. C. B. Fager, Jr., U. of P.; J. C. Johnson, Bucknell; Wil- 
liam S. Long. 

Starter: W. W. Morgaridge. 

Timers: Dr. Harvey F. Smith, Bucknell, Starter; C. Ross 
Boas, E. G. Irvin, Steelton ; W. A. Neal, W. W. Morgaridge. 

Photographer: Robert B. McFarland. 

Clerk of Course: George W. Kehr, Princeton. 

Assistant Clerks of Course: George W. Hill, Gettysburg; 
Harry Alexander, Y. M. C. A. ; C. C. Dunning, Dickinson ; 
H. L. Bowers, Porter Hammond, St. Lukes. 

Contributions amounting to $872.50 for defraying expenses 
incidental to the inter-scholastic and inter-collegiate track 
and field meets, were given by the following: 
Central Pennsylvania Alumni Association of Yale University. 
Central Pennsylvania Alumni Association of Princeton Uni- 

University of Pennsylvania Alumni Association of Central 

Lehigh University Alumni Association of Central Pennsyl- 

Lafayette College Alumni Association of Central Pennsyl- 

Dickinson College Alumni Association of Central Pennsyl- 


Park Commissioners^ Report 

Gettysburg College Alumni Association of Central Pennsyl- 

Franklin and Marshall College Alumni Association of Central 

Pennsylvania State College Alumni Association of Central 

Harrisburg High School Alumni Association. 
Harrisburg High School Athletic Association. 
Steelton High School. Witman-Schwarz Company. 

Harrisburg Bridge Company. Jackson Manufacturing Com- 

Pettit & Company. 

E. G. Hoover. 
George A. Gorgas. 
H. A. Chayne. 
Bernard Schmidt. 
Donaldson Paper Company. 
Dives, Pomeroy & Stewart. 
Hoerner's Corner. 

W. C. Farnsworth. 
R. V. Fairlamb. 

F. B. Musser. 
John T. Brady. 

J. V. W. Reynders. 
S. K. Hamburger. 
H. S. Calvert. 
W. B. McCaleb. 
Capital City Artificial Limb 

Lochiel Hotel. 
Dickert 's Restaurant. 
T. H. Hamilton. 
A. P. Dare. 
D. L. Kiester. 

Harrisburg Man'f'g & Boiler 

Landis Restaurant. 
H. Gilbert & Son. 
Grand Hotel. 
C. H. Lloyd. 
J. H. Kelberg. 
Harrisburg Board of Trade. 
A. D. Bacon. 

J. Horace McFarland Com- 

E. Z. Gross 
W. A. Laverty. 
G. W. Himes. 

J. H. & M. S. Butterworth. 
W. M. Ogelsby. 
Harrisburg Cycle & Type- 
writer Co. 
A. B. Dietrich. 

Harrisburg Automobile Com- 

Miller Bros. & Baker. 
Holmes Seed Company. 

F. E. Musser. 

City of Harrisbury 


First Annual Track and Field Meet for Grammar Schools,. 
City Athletic Field, Island Park, June 3, 1908. 

Six of the City's grammar schools were represented in the 
first annual track and field meet for students of those schools, 
held on the Island track and field, June 3rd. They were the 
Forney, Camp Curtin, Webster, Stevens, Harris and Lincoln 
Buildings. The scores were as follows: 

Forney building, 29 points ; Camp Curtin, 18 ; Webster, 8 ; 
Stevens, 4 ; Harris, 1 ; Lincoln, 0. 

A crowd, the most enthusiastic of the season, of 4,500 boys 
and girls gathered for these games and for the next meet an 
entry list of many additional young athletes is expected. The- 
records were as follows : 

Event. Winner and School. Record. 

100 yard dash, Hall, C. C, 11 1/5 sees. 

220 yard dash, Benner, F., 24 3/4 sees. 

440 yard dash, Stauffer, C. C, 61 3/5 sees. 

880 yard run, Herman, C. C, 2 min. 32 4/5 sees. 

High jump, Matter, F., 4 feet, 6 3/4 ins. 

Broad jump, Hain, W., 16 feet, 11 1/4 in, 

8 pound shot put, . . .Devine, F., 38 feet, 1/4 in. 

8 pound hammer 

throw, Devine, F., 124 feet, 9 inches.- 

120 yard hurdles, . . .Cashman, F., 21 sees. 

Pole Vault, Matter, F., 7 feet. 

The Grrammar School Meet was planned and managed by 
James B. O'Dell. 


Ten of the strongest non-professional baseball teams in 
this part of the state composed the City Amateur Baseball 
League for its second season. The Foundry & Machine Works ^ 
team finished in first place, with a percentage of .889, having 
won sixteen games and lost two. A handsome loving cup, 
offered by the A. J. Reach Company, New York City, was 
presented to the winners at a public meeting in the Board 
of Trade Building that was attended by a large number of 


Park Commissioners' Report 

persons interested in sport, besides nearly all the players of 
the League. The presentation was made by Mr. George W. 
Kehr, chairman of the Baseball committee of the Harrisburg 
Track Athletic Committee. The Hon. Robert Snodgrass made 
the address of acceptance for the Foundry & Machine team. 
To each member of the winning team was awarded a hand- 

Base Ball Diamonds, Island Playgrounds 

some watch-fob, with a gold miniature baseball pendant, suit- 
ably inscribed. These prizes were the gift of the Hon. Yance 
C. McCormick. 

During the baseball season 862 scheduled games were played 
on park diamonds, 172 different organized teams competing. 
These games were distributed among the several athletic 
fields as follows: 

City of Ilarrishurg 


Island Athletic Field (4 diamonds) 

Twelfth Street Playground (1 diamond) . 
13th & Sycamore Streets (1 diamond) . . . . 
Wildwood Park (1 diamond) 



In addition to these games, for each of which a permit en- 
titling the teams to the use of a diamond was obtained from 
the Secretary's office, there were many games played between 
times without permits. The Island diamonds were used es- 
pecially by skilled teams and thousands of spectators were 
attracted to the grounds in the course of the season, seeing 
good sport without charge of admission. Among the teams 
contesting were fourteen from out of the city. They were 
the following: 

Conway Hall, Carlisle; Camp Hill, Dauphin, Enola, Hum- 
melstown, Lemoyne, Middletown, Marysville, Rutherford, 
Rockville, Reading, Steelton, Wormleysburg and York. 

The second annual water carnival, with boat races, canoe 
races and swimming matches, was held on the Susquehanna 
river, between Mulberry and State Streets on Labor Day, 
September 7th. Eighteen thousand spectators were attracted 
to the river front by the events. There were 110 contestants, 
among them such well known expert swimmers as George 
South, N. Y. A. C; John H. Reilly, Townsend Park High 
School, and T. H. Whittaker, Philadelphia, champion of the 
A. A. U, in short distances. 

On account of the low stage of the water, considerable 
difficulty was experienced in laying out a course for the boat 
races. For the swimming races, which of necessity had all 
to be straightaway down stream, it was impossible to hold 
longer races than 440 yards, a quarter mile. 

The river itself was crowded with craft of all sorts 
throughout the day, while the embankment was filled with 
spectators. A procession of illuminated and decorated boats 

Water Carnival. 


Park Commissioners' Report 

Mile Boat Race, Water Carnival, Labor Day, 1907, 
SiiscLuehanna River 

was scheduled for the evening and a great crowd gathered 
for this spectacle but the number of persons who appeared 
with boats to enter the competition was disappointingly small. 
Increased interest in the evening event must be shown here- 
after by boat owners or it cannot be made a part of the pro- 
gramme. The several contestants that did enter showed what 
could be done in the way of making a beautiful appearance 
and a long parade of such craft would be as interesting a 
feature as any of the daylight events were. 

The results were as follows : 
% mile row boat, single, won by H. Lindsay, 6 min. 55 sec. 
440 yard swim, C. J. McFadden, 5 min. 14 sec. 
100 yard swim, boys under 16 years, Albert Keys, 1 min. 19 


1/4 iiiil^^ canoe race. H. Lindsay and U. Sourbeer, 2 min. 6 sec. 

City of Harrishurg 


100 yard tub race, C. J. McFadden, 1 min. 43 sec. 

Poling contest, Fred Hartz (% mile), 8 min. 44 sec. 

4 mile motor boat race (scratch) G. M. Oves, 29 min. 54 see. 

220 yard swim, J. Emanuel, 1 min. 34 4/5 sec. 

% mile row boat (doubles) A. R. & S. B. Shrauder, 5 min. 

30 sec. 

Special 100 yard swim, G. South, N. Y. A. C, 57 sec. 

4 mile motor boat race (handicap), E. L. Ensminger, 34 min. 

31 sec. 

100 yard swim, C. J. McFadden, 1 min. 7 2/5 sec. 

Committee of Arrangements. 

George "W. Kehr, Chairman; Y. Grant Forrer, Secretary 
Treasurer; F. L. Mulford, A. J. Simms, E. Chas. Ensminger, 
Chas. F. Etter, Cloyd McFadden, Gilbert Oves, A. P. Dinta- 
man, W. 0. Hickok, 3rd, Harry Lindsay, Uriah Sourbeer, 
John J. Keffer, Jr. 


Referee: A. J. Simms. 

Judges: Wm. R. Douglas, Wellington G. Jones, B. F. Myers, 
Jr., Yance C. McCormick, Dr. Harvey F. Smith, Robert W. 
Dunlop, John Miller Bonbright. 

Timers: W. W. Morgaridge, Wm. Strouse, Mason D. Pratt. 

Starter: Chas. E. Etter. 

Clerk of Course: Y. Grant Forrer. 

Inspectors: James A. Bell, F. L. Mulford. 

Marshals: E. Chas. Ensminger, Wm. C. Fisher, Harry 

Announcers: Mercer B. Tate, B. F. Blough. 
Measurer: John J. Keffer, Jr. 
Handicapper: W. O. Hickok, 3rd. 

Prizes valued at $127.55 and $89.00 in cash were donated 
by the following: 

Harrisburg Hardware Com- Gilbert M. Oves. 

pany. John Pyne. 

Dives, Pomeroy & Stewart. Keller's Drug Store. 


Park Commissioners' Report 

The Globe Clothing House. 
J. H. Boher. 
Weaver & Hubley. 
Herman Marks & Son. 

D. Bacon & Company. 
Jerauld Shoe Company. 
John Kelley. 

W. P. Denehey. 
W. R. W. Pound. 
R. V. Fairlamb. 
Bowman & Company. 
Sides & Sides. 

E. G. Hoover. 
George A. Hutman. 

J. Harry Messersmith. 
Rothert & Company. 
George W. Harry. 
Hutchison & Schell. 
Herman Astrich. 
Vance C. McCormick. 
Peoples Bridge Company. 

Joseph L. Shearer. 
E. Z. Gross. 
John A. Rose. 
Henry Gilbert & Son. 
Hub Clothing House, 
Einstein's Dry Goods Store. 
J. C. Herman & Company. 
C. E. Bair & Son. 
L. "W. Cook. 

Compton's Hardware Store. 

J. Tausig's Sons. 

Harvey Miller. 

C. Ross Boas. 

Burns & Company. 

Smith & Keffer. 

George W. Kochenour. 

Al. Simms. 

Robert McCormick. 

James McCormick. 

J. Horace McFarland Co. 

Harrisburg Bridge Company, 


An increase of 13,647, over 50 per cent., in the number of 
bathers was the remarkable feature of the season of 1908. 
An additional floating bath house, with twenty-four dressing 
compartments, was put in service at the foot of the Island 
Athletic field, where the first one, with twenty compartments, 
was located the season before. The old float was stationed 
at Front street and Reel's Lane for boys of the upper end 
of the city. The attendance was as follows: 

1908. 1907. Increase. 

Island Park, 20,559 15,563 4,996 

Front Street, 8,651 8,651 





City of Harrishurg 


Eighty-five per cent, of the boys who made use of the swim- 
ming places were under sixteen years of age and boys no older 
than six, watched by their parents from the shore, were 
numerous. A great many boys learned to swim under the 
expert instruction given by the attendants employed by the 
Park Commission to watch over the bathers and to take care 
of the Park property. The swimming hours were from 9 
A. M. till sun- down. 

Bathing suits were furnished free to those boys who had 
not their own. Of the 319 suits furnished free for use this 
year, 169 were new. Mr. George W. Bogar and Mr. A. Car- 
son Stamm each contributed a dozen of these, and the re- 
mainder were purchased by contribution amounting to $51.91^ 
made by the following : 

\Y. S. Tunis, Jacob Eckinger, R. C. Neal, Jr., Vance C. Mc- 
Cormick, Robert W. Dunlop, W. L. Gorgas, Pranldin Suydam, 
W. Seel, A. Koenig, John M. Delaney, Samuel Kunkel, Milton 
H. Plank, C. Nauss. 


On the twenty-one tennis courts maintained by the Com- 
mission, 22,300 players disported themselves in the season. 
The most important event was the annual tennis tournament 
for the championship of the city, beginning July 25th and 
continuing till August 21st. At some of the matches in the 
tournament the galleries rivaled in size the crowds that 
watched the baseball games. Gold and silver medals, pur- 
chased by contributions amounting to $52.00 were awarded 
the winners. The contributors were as follows. 

George W. Reily, James B. Bailey, Francis J. Hall, W. B, 
Hammond, John M. Delaney, John Y. Boyd, J. Wesley Awl,. 
Jr., Henry McCormick, Jr., Vance C. McCormick. 

The following committee arranged and conducted the ten- 
nis tournament: 

Gilbert M. Oves, Chairman; Martin M. Keet, Secretary; 
George W. Hill, Thomas T. Cook, Thomas M. Kelker, G. Por- 
ter Hammond, Harry A. Alexander, Daniel S. Graeff, V. Grant 

34 Park Commissioners^ Report 

West Tennis Court, Reservoir Park 

The gold or championship medals were won by the 
following : 

Ladies' singles, Miss Elizabeth Groff. 

Ladies' doubles, Miss Groff and j\Iiss Ruth Walzer. 

Mixed doubles, Miss Groff and George W. Hill. 

Men 's doubles, Thomas Kelker and William McCreath. 

]\Ien's singles, William jMcCreath. 

Runners up, silver medals to the following: 
Ladies' singles, i\Irs. Harry A. Forney. 
Ladies ' doubles. Misses Bess Holmes and Caroline Nicholson. 
]\Tixed doubles, IMiss Ruth Walzer and G. M. Oves. 
]\[en's doubles, Arthur A. Hull and George W. Hill. 
Men's singles, Thomas M. Kelker. 

City of Ilarrishurg 


Band Concerts in Reservoir Park. 

Ninety-three thousand, five hundred persons attended the 
seventeen band and orchestral concerts that were given in 
Eservoir Park in the annual series of free concerts sustained 
by public subscription. Two of the concerts were compli- 
mentary, one given by the Commonwealth Band and the other 
by the Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra. 

Looking across Reservoir, Showing Band Concert Crowd 

There was a decrease in the fund contributed in the last 
season. A more general response to the appeal for contribu- 
tions for this w^orthy cause is necessary if the annual series 
of concerts is to be kept up to the desired standard of quality 
without reducing the number of concerts. Much credit is 
due to those who, through their liberality, provided so many 
persons with healthful and helpful diversion, but there should 
be more contributors. The afternoon concerts are held on 
Fridays, when most business places are closed down, and the 


Park Commissioners^ Report 

evening concerts never took place on Saturdays when the 
stores were open in deference to the business interests of the 
city. Trade was therefore not adversely affected and more- 
over the opportunity was afforded the store workers on their 
half-holidays to enjoy excellent entertainments without cost, 
undoubtedly fitting them to do better work on the succeeding 
Saturday workday. On account of these concessions to busi- 
ness and benefits derived by the stores by the weekly concerts, 
it appears that there should be a more general and liberal 
response by mercantile and industrial concerns to the annual 
appeal for funds to maintain these concerts. 

In the intermissions of the last ten concerts, pictures and 
reading matter of educational and instructive nature were 
projected upon a screen by stereopticon lantern, loaned by 
the J. Horace McFarland Company, which also provided 
many of the picture slides. The slides prepared by the Penn- 
sylvania State Museum for educational purposes were also 
used. The notices directed the attention of the people to 
details of local park work little known to them and asked them 
to call upon their councilmen for support. 

A statement of the concert fund, with the names of the 
contributors, to whom the thanks of the Commission are due,. 

is as follows : 

Balance, 1907, $190 49 

Affleck, John A., 10 00 

Astrich, Herman 5 00 

Awl, J. Wesley, Jr 5 00 

Bailey, William E., 10 00 

Bay, J. & G. IM., 5 00 

Bell, T. A., 2 00 

Ben Franklin Association, 5 00 

Benitz, C 1 00 

Bergner, C. H 5 00 

Black, John 5 00 

Blough, B. F 5 00 

Boas Estate, D. D., 10 00 

Boas, C. Ross, 5 00 

Boll, Charles S 5 00 

City of Harrishurg 37 

Boyd, James, $10 00 

Bowman & Company, 10 00 

Brady, John T., 10 00 

Brandt, J. Austin, 5 00 

Bretz, H. M., 2 50 

B. of R. T. Lodge, No. 42, 5 00 

B. of R. T. Lodge, No. 127, 5 00 

B. of R. T. Lodge, No. 383, 5 00 

B. of Rwy. Trainmen, 5 00 

Bushnell, W. H., 5 00 

Buttorff, H. Y., 5 00 

Cameron, J. M., 5 00 

Care, R. Sherman, 5 00 

Case, E. W., 5 00 

Cash, 0. K., 5 00 

Central Construction & Supply Company, 5 00 

Central Iron and Steel Co., 25 00 

Central Penna. Traction, 800 00 

Chayne, Horace A., 5 00 

Cocklin, Dr. C. C, 5 00 

Cooper, E. N. & Co., 5 00 

Compton's Hardware Co., 5 00 

Cornplanter Tribe, 1. 0. R. M., 5 00 

Crossman, J. Heron, 5 00 

Crow, Wilmer, 1 00 

Darby, W. F., Steelton, Pa., 5 00 

Dauphin Conclave, I. 0. 0. H., 5 00 

Diehl, Clark E., 2 50 

Dill, 1. W., 5 00 

Disbrow, Chas. A., 5 00 

Donaldson Paper Co., 10 00 

Downes, Prof. F. E., 5 00 

Dunkle, S. F., 5 00 

Eaton, J. F., 5 00 

Eby, M. C, 5 00 

Eddy Valve Co., Waterford, N. Y., 10 00 

Einstein's Dry Goods Store, 5 00 

Ellenberger, Dr. J. W., 5 00 

38 FarU Commissioners' Report 

Evans-Burtnett Co., $5 00 

Fishburn, S. A., Penbrook, 10 00 

Fisher Bros., 5 00 

Forney, H. J., Penbrook, 5 00 

Fox, John E., 5 00 

Fraim, A. H., 2 00 

Freeburn, H. H., 2 00 

Garverich, Chas. A,, 5 00 

George, Dr. C. T., 5 00 

George, Wm. J., 5 00 

Gilbert, M. & Son, 10 00 

Gohl & Bruaw, 5 00 

Gorgas, George A., 5 00 

Hain, Dr. Galen, 3 00 

Haldeman, D. C, 5 00 

Hall, Francis J., 5 00 

Hammelbaugh, D. D., 5 00 

Hammond, W. B., 5 00 

Harlacker, J. C, 2 00 

Harrisburg Republican Club, 10 00 

Harrisburg Transfer Co., 5 00 

Hefflefinger, E. A., 2 00 

Herman, J. C. & Co., 5 00 

Hershey, C. W., 5 00 

Hershey, D. U., 5 00 

Hershey, H. L., 5 00 

Hershey, H. E., 5 00 

Hickok, Ross A., 5 00 

Hickok, W. 0., 5 00 

Hoerner, W. M., 5 00 

Hoffer, John, 10 00 

Hoffer, John, Jr., 5 00 

Hoffman & Wilson, 10 00 

Hunter, Forrest, 5 00 

Jennings, William, 5 00 

Jerauld Shoe Co., 5 00 

John Harris Lodge, 193, K. of P., 5 00 

Kauffman's Underselling Store, 5 00 

City of Harrisburg 39 

Kelley, H. M. & Co., $5 00 

Knisely, A. G., 5 00 

Knox & Meckley, 5 00 

Kunkel, C. A., 10 00 

Kunkel, Samuel, 10 00 

Lalance-Grosjean Mfg. Co., 5 00 

Lamberton, J. M., 5 00 

Lingle, C. S., 5 00 

Lloyd, C. Howard, 5 00 

Lutheran Social Union, 5 00 

Manning, "W. H., Boston, Mass., 5 00 

Marks, H. & Son, 5 00 

McAllister, Dr. J. B., 10 00 

McCormick, Donald, 10 00 

McCormick, H. B., 10 00 

McCormick, Jas., Jr., 10 00 

McCormick, Robert, 10 00 

McCormick, Vance, 10 00 

McCulloch, S. N., 5 00 

McFarland, J. Horace, 10 00 

McCulloch, J. N., 5 00 

Mcllhenny, "W. A., 5 00 

Melick, J. P., 5 00 

Mitchell, E. B., 10 00 

Moeslein, Ferdinand, 2 50 

Montgomery, Jos., 5 00 

Morganthaler, J. L., 5 00 

Nauss, C, 3 00 

Neiffer, Lewis M., 5 00 

Nissley, J. C, 5 00 

Oenslager, Ross, 5 00 

Oglesby, W. M., 5 00 

Olmsted, M. E., 5 00 

Order Rwy. Conductors, Division No. 143, 5 00 

Patterson, J. E., 5 00 

Reily, G. W., 5 00 

Rettew, C. v., 5 00 

Reynders, J. V. W., Steelton, 10 00 

40 Fark Cofnmissioners' Report 

Rhodes, J. E., $5 00 

Rhodes, Dr. C. M., 5 00 

Roddy, Rev. Stockton, 2 00 

Rodeiihaver, J. W., 2 00 

Royal Arcanum, No. 499, 3 00 

Saul, M. F.„ 5 00 

Scheffer Estate, Theo., 5 00 

Schmidt, Bernard, 5 00 

Shope, Geo. F., 5 00 

Smith, F. A., 5 00 

SoUenberger, D. S., 5 00 

Stackpole, E. J., 5 00 

Stamm, A. Carson, 5 00 

Steever, W. F., 2 00 

Stouffer, Chas. A., 5 00 

Stroh, C. C, 5 00 

Globe Clothing House, The, 10 00 

Thomas, Al. K., 5 00 

Troup, J. H., 10 00 

United Ice and Coal Co., 25 00 

Weiss, John Fox, 10 00 

Wierman, T. T., 10 00 

Wharton, R. M. H., 5 00 

Wildman, Augustus, 5 00 

Witman-Schwarz Co., 5 00 

Wittenmeyer Lumber Co., 10 00 

Woolworth's 5 & 10 Cent Store, 1 00 

Worden, James H., 5 00 

Total receipts, $1,928 4^ 

Total expenditures, 1,926 30 

Balance, $2 19 

May 30, Commonwealth Band, $132 50 

June 19, Harrisburg S^anphony Orchestra, 120 00 

City of Harrishurg 41 

June 25, Harrisburg Telegraph, stamped 

envelopes, $27 50 

June 25, A. Reeder Ferriday, for printing 

circular letters soliciting contributions, . 3 25 

June 25, Ringgold Band, with extra men for 

''A Day At the Circus," 204 95 

June 25, D. U. Hershey, supper and lodging 

for Ringgold Band, 25 00 

July 4, Commonwealth Band, 132 50 

July 10, Citizens Band of Steelton, 112 00 

July 10, D. U. Hershey, supper for Citizens 

Band of Steelton, 13 00 

July 17, Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra, . 125 00 

July 25, Commonwealth Band (afternoon 

only), 59 00 

July 28, Commonwealth Band (evening 

only), 59 00 

July 31, Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra 

(with soloist), 135 00 

August 7, Commonwealth Band, 118 00 

August 14, Harrisburg Symphony Or- 
chestra, 120 00 

August 21, Commonwealth Band, 115 00 

August 28, Citizens Band of Steelton, 112 00 

August 28, D. U. Hershey, supper for 

Steelton Band, 14 50 

;September 4, Commonwealth Band, 77 00 

September 7, Commonwealth Band, 132 50 

September 11, Zembo Band, 75 00 

September 17, J. Horace McFarland Co., 
reading slides used in connection with 
lantern pictures, 13 60 

Total, $1,926 30 


The Harrisburg Park Golf Club was organized May 15th. 
In its first season it was extremely active, doubling the num- 


Park Commissioners' Report 

ber of players upon the public links in Reservoir Park and 
becoming entirely self-supporting. Its membership included 
professional and business men, young and old, rich and poor. 
There were fourteen charter members, while at the close of 
the season there were sixty-five. The Commission has con- 
trolled the basis of election to membership in this club, with 
the result that any male of good moral character, not under 

Golf Course, Reservoir Park 

17 years of age, is accepted, upon payment of nominal dues. 
In at least one other Pennsylvania city, the publicly-owned 
golf course is rigidly controlled by an exclusive private club. 
Ours is completely public. 

Several formal tournaments were held in the summer. 
Teams representing the Harrisburg Park Golf Club and the 
Country Club of Harrisburg played a set of three matches, 
the park club winning two of them. Each of the two clubs 
won on its own grounds and the tie was played oif on the links 

City of Harrishurg 


at Bonny meads Farm at the invitation of Mr. John Y. Boyd. 
Matches were played also with the teams of the York Country 
Club and the Berkshire Club of Reading, at the Reservoir 
links and return matches at York and Reading. 

Club tournaments for members only began in June and 
were held weekly into October. Toward the close of the sea- 
son there was an open tournament for any player in Harris- 
])urg or its vicinity. 

Numerous prizes and trophies were awarded. They all 
were bought by the club, without aid from outside sources. 
The club spent also $130.70 to improve the club house on 
the links, to equip it with locker room and bath house and 
$140.97 was spent by the club to improve the links and main- 
tain them in first class condition. The season closed with a 
banquet by the members of the club. 

The organization of the club is as follows : President, W. 
Darby; Vice-President, R. G. Cox; Secretary and Treasurer^ 
V. Grant Forrer ; Executive Committee : Dr. W. R. Batt^ 
George P. Deacon, Charles H. Bergner, Rev. Rene H. Wil- 
liams, Wilbur Morse and William H. Nell. 

Fifty-four different teams used the Commission's football 
fields in the Fall. There were four fields : two on the Island ^ 
one at Thirteenth and Sycamore, and one at Sixth street and 
Reels Lane. The latter plot was given to the Commission for 
use during the football season absolutely without cost, by the 
agent of the real estate. Eleven teams from out of town 
played. They were the following: Camp Hill, York, Car- 
lisle, Steelton, Penbrook, Middletown, Millersburg, Wormleys- 
burg, Enola, Hummelstown and Lykens. 


Summary of Contributions. 

Track meets, . . 


Band concerts, 
Water carnival 


ParA; Commissioners' Report 

Bathing suits, $60.41 

'Tennis, 52.00 

Total, $3,025.46 

Of the total noted above, $2,839.41 represents cash and 
^$186. 05 value of prizes donated. 

Park Attendance in Detail. 
The subjoined tabulation shows in detail the enormous at- 
tendance and use of the parks in 1908 : 

Heservoir — Totals. 

Sundays, 64,300 

Other days, 85,050 

Golf, 3,800 

Tennis, 14,800 

Concerts, 93,500 


'Twelfth Street- 
Tennis, 2,000 

Baseball, 8,000 

Skating, 13,000 

Gymnasium, 15,000 

Other uses, 29,000 


IFront Street — 

Water carnival, 18,000 

Sundays, 147,500 

Other days, 383,000 

Bathing, 8,651 


Parkway — 

Sundays, 13,600 

Other days, 19,200 


IVildwood, 11,000 11,000 

Island Participants. Spectators. 

Tennis, 5,000 

Baseball, 20,000 55,200 

Track, 2,500 20,000 

Football, 2,500 5,000 

City of Harrisburg 


Participants. Spectators. Total. 

Basketball, 1,000 

Bathing, 20,559 


Thirteenth and Sycamore — 

Baseball, 4,700 13,500 

Tennis, 500 

Football, 2,000 500 


Sixth and Reel's Lane — 

Football, 1,200 800 2,000' 

Statement of Improvement Account for the Calendar. 

Year 1908. 

January 1st to December 31st, 1908. 

General, $821.31 

Reservoir, 14,652.00 

Front street, 900.71 

Island, 1,311.00 

Parkway, 310.00' 

"Wildwood, 8,220.12 

Cameron and Paxton, 30.20 


Statement of Improvement Account from March 23, 1903,.. 
TO December 31, 1908. 


Reservoir Park — ■ 

Land, $59,762.00 

Improvement, 33,955.83 

Maintenance, 15,693.53 


Front Street — 

Improvement, $13,658.14 

Maintenance, 3,409.56 


46 Park Commissioners' Report 

Twelfth Street- 
Land, $10,000.00 

Improvement, 7,911 . 96 

Maintenance, 1,308.61 


Second Street and State Street — 

Improvement, $4,945.33 

Maintenance, • 700.71 


Wildwoocl — 

Land, $29,383.52 

Improvement, 3,209.64 


Island (including Nursery) — 

Improvement, $3,797.22 

Nursery, 4,366.49 


Maclay School Grounds — 

Improvement, $278.17 


Parkway — 

Improvement, $11,500.33 


Cameron and Paxton — 

Improvement, $30.20 


Tools, supplies, expense, engineers 

and salaries, $20,778.83 



Statement of Improvement Account from March 23, 1903, 
TO December 31, 1903. 

Improvement loan, $250,000 . 00 

1903 sundry receipts, $5 . 00 

1904 sundry receipts, 60 . 29 

City of Ilarrishurg 


1905 sundry receipts, $174.75 

1906 sundry receipts, 7 . 26 

1907 reimbursement by Board of 

Public Works, 15,000.00 

1908 refund owing to overcharge for 
benches, 8.00 


Total receipts, $265,255.30 

Total expenditures, 224,690.10 

Balance, $40,565.20 

Statement of Maintenance Account for the Calendar 

Year 1908. 

January 1, 1908, to December 31, 1908. 

Reservoir, $6,121.74 

State Street, 206.26 

Twelfth Street, 1,417.11 

Front Street, 2,737.52 

Island, 8,621.39 

Parkway, 1,015.05 

Wildwood, 445.64 

Thirteenth and Sycamore, 353.66 

Contingent, 1,713.16 

Salaries, 3,429.60 



Balance from 1907 appropriation, $1,398.41 

Appropriation 1908, 25,040.00 

J. T. Brady, grass plot maintenance, etc., 2.93 

Sale of iron, 1.80 

Locker Rent, 41.56 

Sale of celery, 8 . 09 

Sale of wood and hay, 30 . 11 


Fark Commissioners^ Report 

Net proceeds from sale of seats for track meet, 

May 30th, $307 90 

Refund for money advanced for bathing suits,. . 44 63 

Sale of benches, 6 50 

Duct rental, 10 00 

Total receipts, $26,891 93 

Total expenditures, 26,061 13- 

Balance, $830 80' 


Balance on hand January 1, 1908, improvement, $66,810 94 

Balance on hand January 1, 1908, maintenance, 1,398 41 

Appropriation for 1908, 25,040 00 

Sundry receipts, 461 52" 

$93,710 87 


Improvemen t. Mainte nance. 

$14,652 00 $6,121 74 

206 26 

1,417 11 

909 11 2,737 52 

1,311 00 8,621 39 

310 00 1,015 05 

8,220 12 445 64 

353 68 

1,713 16 

3,429 60 

821 31 
30 20 

$26,253 74 $26,061 13 $52,314 87' 

Available balance for maintenance January 1, 

1909, to April 5, 1909, 830 80' 

Available balance for improvement January 1, 

1909, 40,565 29' 


State Street 

Twelfth Street, .... 

Front Street, 



Wild wood, 

13th and Sycamore,. 




Cameron & Paxton, 

City of Barrisbiirg 


Development of Parks in Harrisburg. 

In the year 1785 John Harris, the founder of Harrisburg, 
dedicated 6.22 acres for street and landing purposes. This 
tract extended along the Susquehanna river from Paxton 
street to South street, a distance of 3,755 feet, and formed the 
nucleus of what is now Front Street Park development. By 
extension and improvement it has been increased to 13.616 

In the year 1866 there was acquired another stretch of river 
frontage through the opening of Front street. This tract is 
924 feet in length and extends from Calder street to Harris 
street and contains 2.135 acres. 

In the year 1871, a tract on Prospect Hill, east of the city, 
containing 29,462 acres was purchased from W. J. Calder and 
Jacob Haldeman at a cost of $23,370. About four acres of 
this tract were used in the construction of a receiving reser- 
voir and the remainder was used for park purposes under 
the name of Reservoir Park. 

In the year 1893, D. W. Gross Park, extending along the 
river front from Briggs street to a point just below Herr 
street, was opened by ordinance of Councils. This tract is 
877 feet in length and contains 3.006 acres. 

During 1906 and 1907 4,346.7 feet of river front property, 
containing 7.52 acres, were acquired by twenty-seven deeds of 
gift from as many individuals or estates, bringing the total 
of river front acreage under the control of the Commission 
to 26.277 acres (measured from the western line of Front 
street to low water mark). 

River frontage was donated by the following: 

David Mumma Estate, 514 feet 

Ellis L. Mumma and Sue S. Major, heirs. 

Mrs. Elizabeth H. Reily, 548 

Frank E. Bubb and wife, 18 

Mrs. Elizabeth Fountain, 18 " 

James T. Walters and wife, 18 

Frank C. Wilson and wife, 18 

John W. Sloathour and wife, 18 " 


Park Commissioners^ Report 

J. D. Murphy Estate, 58 feet 

Eliza D. Calder and Anna R. Small, heirs. 

William J. Calder and wife, 39 

Francis J. Hall and wife, 52.5 

Philip T. ^leredith and wife, 52.5 

William B. Hammond and wife, 52.5 

Charles A. Disbrow and w^ife, 155 

E. J. Stackpole and wife, 100 

B. F. B. Burns and wife, 120 

Mrs. Susan E. Boas, 115 

C. Howard Lloyd and wife, 58.8 

F. A. Smith and wife, 58.8 

Herbert F. Rawl and wife, 62.5 

Hamilton Alricks Estate, 299.2 

Levi B. Alricks and wife, W. R. Duncan and 
wife, J. Douglas Forster, heirs. 
James McCormick Estate, 1,639.4 

James D. Cameron, Vance C. McCormick, James 
McCormick, Trustees. 

Samuel Rothert and wife, 70 

Caroline P. Shotwell and husband, 52.5 " 

Eulalie Q. Ferriday and husband, 70 " 

Martin Rohrer Estate, 36 

Tola Urich, 18 

J. B. Keefer and wife, 85 " 

4,346.7 feet 

Other park lands purchased, donated or leased follow in 
detail : 


From Location. . Acreage. Cost. 

A. G. Knisely, ... .Twelfth Street, . 8.18 $10,000 00 


From Location. Acreage. Cost. 

John Iloifer, Reservoir, 38.65 38,650 00 

Regina C. :Mitehell 
Estate Reservoir, 6.46 6,460 00 

City of Harrishurg 



1^ / Otti lJULtll to tv. 



Annie C. Doenne, .Keservoir, 




J. D. Cameron, . . . .Lochiel, 




W. E. Fleming, . . . . Wildwood, 




Harmon L. Nissley, .Wiidwood, 




Albert Millar, Wildwood, 




William K. Alricks,. Wildwood, 




Agnes Kemp, Wildwood, 




INettie iViC-L^. ijrranam, w iiQwood., 


/I 0,1 i OA 

4,o44. ZU 

FJizaheth Fox Fjst Wildwoorl 



2 17;^ no 

1 0 . \J\J 

William A. Hiester,tWildwood, 




Gabriel Hiester,t . . .Wildwood, 




W, A. Hiester, et al.,tWildwood, 








From Location. 



Rachel Cam'n Hale, .Cam. Parkway, . 




John Holier, Cam. rarkway, . 




Hamsbnrfi' T^ndp'p 

Co. (Lease), Island Playgnd., 



$1 per year 

Cent. Pa. Traction 

Co. (Lease), 12th St. Plygds., 



$1 per year 




From Location. 



S. Flickinger Est.,$. Wildwood, 




South. Cent. Rwy., .Wildwood, 




* Settlement made in November, 1908, at rate of $1,000 per acre 
plus interest for 2 years at 5% per annum. 

t Hiester tracts while showing only 55.194 acres by deed approxi- 
mate 60 acres (including public road and allowances) which would 
be at the rate of $100 per acre. 

t In Litigation. 


Park Commissioners^ Report 

From Location. Acreage. Cost. 

Jas. McCormick Est.,13th St. Plygds., 4.30 Isd. Ic. a yi. 
C. L. Bailey Est., ..13th St. Plygds., .78 Isd. Ic. a yr. 


From Location. 

E. B. Mitchell, At- 
torney for Camer- 
on and Turner heirs, Wildwood, , 

W. K. Alricks, Wildwood, . 

State Lunatic Hosp., Wildwood, . 

John Forster Est., J Wildwood, . 
1/3 interest settled 
at rate of $100 per 

Annie C. Doehne, Reservoir, 

Carlile, Martin and 
Gardner,^ Wildwood, . 

Geo. Bergner Est., J . Wildwood, 

Monongahela Melting 

Co., Ud.,t Wildwood, 

As shown in the foregoing, $98,914.18 has been expended 
by the Park Commission in acquiring 466.681 acres of land. 
In addition to that amount $131.35 w^as paid as commissions 
for obtaining land and for expenses incurred subpoening wit- 
nesses, and $100 was also paid to the tenant on the Flickinger 
tract to satisfy his claim for damages, bringing the total cost 
of land acquired by the Park Commission to $99,145.53 — an 
average cost per acre of $212.44. Adding the $23,370 paid 
for the original Reservoir tract there appears a total cost of 
$122,515.53 for the 514.9 acres of park lands owned by the 
city (including river front acreage acquired prior to 1906) — 
an average cost of $237.94 per acre. 

101.74 $1,429.00 

Acreage. Cost. 

29.00 $2,900.00 

5.95 1,487.50 

6 . 07 Lease 

40 . 947 Condemned 



1 . 53 Condemned 
21 . 395 Condemned 

22.919 Condemned 

141.131 $20,404.40 

I In litigation. 

City of HmTishurg 


Summary of Acreage in Use January, 1909. 

Acreage Acreage Acreage Acreage in Acreage 
Purchased. Donated. Leased. Litigation. Total. 

415.523 99.377 36.81 155.512 707.222 

Park Lands to Be Acquired to Complete the General 
Park Plan. 

Miles in 

Park Unit. Acreage. Length. 

Reservoir — 

Haehnlen tract, adjoining southeast 
boundary, .340 

Wildwood — 

Fleming tract, south of dam, 41.455 

Pennsylvania Railroad tract, south of 
dam, 13.197 

Cameron Parkway, ....From present terminus 
of Cameron Parkway 
to Hoffer tract ad- 
joining Reservoir 

Park 151.789 4.35 

North Parkway, Reservoir Park to Ma- 
clay street, 48.598 1.60 

Inner Parkway, Twenty-third and Mar- 
ket streets to Camer- 
on and Dock streets,. 48.869 2.50 

Cameron Parkway, ...From Present Parkway 
entrance to Front & 

Cedar streets, 3.000 .43 

Pleasure road through Wildwood, 2.50 

From north end of Wildwood via Ott's Lane to Front and 

Cedar streets, 5.00 

Cameron Parkway acquired and in use, 1.25 

307.248 17.83 


Park Commissioners^ Report 




UiMTS OF Park System 


Acquired. Limits. 

Reservoir — East of City, .520 

Front street Parks (measured from 
western line of Front street to low- 
water mark) — 

Unnamed — Below Paxton street, .. 3.371 
Harris Park — Paxton to Mulberry, 4.473 
Lincoln Park — Mulberry to Market, 3.036 
Promenade Park — Market to State, 6.107 
D. W. Gross Park — Water House to 

Herr, 3.006 

Unnamed — Calder to Harris, 2.135 

Unnamed — Harris to Division, .... 4.149 

Twelfth Street Playgrounds— 12tli 

street. State to Herr, 8.180 

Twelfth Street Ballgrounds— 12th 

street, corner Herr, 3.000 

Island Athletic Field — opposite Front 

street parks, 22.660 

Thirteenth Street Playground— 13th 

and Sycamore street, 5.080 

Cameron Parkway — Cameron and 

Cedar to Reservoir Park, 18.510 41.640 

Wildwood— North of City, 42.550 451.433 

State Street Plots- 
Front to Third, 73 

Fourth to P. R. R., 50 

Thirteenth to City line, 1.48 *2.710 

Total acreage acquired, 129.487 


Reservoir — East of City .340 

Wildwood— North of City, 54.652 

Cameron Parkway — From present 

terminus of Cameron Parkway to 

Hoffer tract adjoining Reservoir 

Park, 151.789 

North Parkway — Reservoir Park to 

Cameron and Muench streets, .... 20.109 

*Not previously added to acreage. 





5 . 08a 



581.445 709.932 





City of Ilarrisbiirg 


Withiti Without 
City City 
Prospective. Limits. Limits. Total. 

Inner Parkway — Twenty-third and 
Market streets to Cameron and 

Dock streets, 15.422 33.447 48.869 

Cameron Parkway — Prom present 
parkway entrance to Front and 

Cedar streets, 3.000 3.000. 

Front Street Parks — Western line 
of Front street to low water mark 

of Susquehanna river, 6.000 6.00(1 

Total acreage prospective, 44.531 259.885 304.416 

Total acreage acquired, 709.932 

Total acreage park system, 1,014.348 

The prospective parkway acreage shown above is probably 
more than will be used by the Commission in constructing the 
parkways, it being the acreage included in the ordinance per- 
mitting acquisition and enabling the Commission to secure 
such lands as are required to complete the parkways. 
Respectfully submitted, 

V. Grant Forrer, 



January 4, 1909. 

To the Harrishurg Park Commission: 

Gentlemen : The year 1908 has been a success from the 
park standpoint, though the progress was far short of the aim 
and wish. A great deal of work had to be cut out of the pro- 
gram at the beginning of the season from lack of funds to 
carry it through. The use of the parks during the season 
has only emphasized more strongly the needs of the additional 
improvements suggested a year ago. The use of the parks 
has greatly increased. The increase has been all through 
the year. With the money at command it has been impos- 
sible to increase facilities in proportion to the increase of 
use. Three elements have undoubtedly tended to this addi- 
tional use : first, more people are getting the habit of using 
the parks ; second, more people were at liberty from lack of 
work and more than usual spent their vacation at home owing 
to the hard times ; third, the continued clear, dry weather of 
midsummer and autumn gave more opportunity. 

The beautifully clear weather that helped the attendance 
was very hard on the growing things. The grass in the much 
used sections looked especially bad for a long time. In a few 
places it was entirely tramped out, but mostly it revived with 
the first rains. Some of the newly planted trees and shrubs 
also succumbed but the number lost was small as compared 
with what might have been reasonably expected. 

The order in the parks has been up to the previous high 
standard, except there have been fully twice as many drunks 
to handle along Front street, as ever before. The lighting 
and policing have been handled as in previous years. 

One hundred and thirty-six benches have been added to 
the equipment and distributed to Front Street Park, the 
Island Playground and Reservoir Park. The most of these 
new benches are of a better construction, as well as cheaper, 

City of Harrisburg 


than those heretofore in use. For movable benches a light 
bench holding two or three seems even better than those re- 
cently purchased. They are lighter and can be moved with 
less damage to grass. 

The need of band concerts in more than one place is al- 
ready being felt and will continue to be more in demand as 
the city grows. To make it possible to have such concerts 
without the prohibitive expense of several band stands, I 
would recommend the building of a folding band stand on 
wheels that can be taken from park to park. It can be put in 
shape complete by three or four men in an hour and immedi- 
ately after a concert can be folded together and be pulled 
away by two horses, lamps, chairs, music stands and all. The 
platform can be 20 ft. x 30 ft. 5 ft, from the ground. An 
outfit of this kind in use in Minneapolis cost $300 and ac- 
commodates forty-five players. 

There has been a cry for good drinking water at several 
points where it has seemed impracticable to supply it. In 
summer the hydrant water is not palatable without cooling. 
Icing is considered impracticable in most cities because of 
the expense and wells are out of the question in the built up 
sections of the city. 

As a relief from the difficulties, a device known as the 
Smith Common Sense Water Cooler" found in use in Belle 
Isle Park, Detroit, the past summer, seems good. This makes 
water the temperature of ordinary spring or well water. 
(About 52 to 55 degrees.) There is a reservoir four or six 
inches in diameter, sunk 30 feet in the ground and the water 
enters the top and is drawn in a small pipe directly from 
the bottom of this cooling reservoir. The device can be in- 
stalled for $300, has practically no maintenance expense and 
supplies cool water constantly. A fountain of this charac- 
ter provided with bubble fittings, would be absolutely sani- 
tary and give a refreshing drink to all the thirsty. 

The conditions in the different parks will now be considered 
in detail. 


Park Commissjoners^ Report 

Reservoir Park. 

Tn this park the improvements for the season were reduced 
to the minimum. An additional water supply, however, was 
provided to supplement the wheel pumps, the demands having 
become too great for their capacity. A cellar, six feet by 
twelve feet and seven feet deep, M-as constructed in the bank 
above the Reservoir and a gasoline engine and pump were in- 
stalled that will deliver twenty gallons of water a minute. 
This is used when the amount of water needed is greater than 
that supi:)lied by the water wheel pumps at the inlets of the 
Reservoir. It was fortunate this extra provision was made this- 
year, as owing to reduced consumption the amount of water 
pumped into the Reservoir has been less than for several 
years, and this reduction in the amount pumped, propor- 
tionately reduced the amount delivered by the water wheels. 
In addition to this the amount needed was in excess of former 
demands, from two causes: the increased attendance and the 
extremely dry season. More persistent watering was done 
than has ever been possible before, the additional water supply 
making it possible, and the dry weather making it necessary. 

The golf course was improved by grading and resodding 
six of the nine putting greens. This with frequent rolling, 
weeding, and seeding, is getting the course in such condition 
that it is expected to be able, in the near future, to have first 
class greens. The expense of much of the watering, rolling, 
and weeding was borne by the Reservoir Park Golf Club for 
their mutual benefit. Before the season opened, the old 
restaurant was converted into a golf house under conditions 
as found in the report of the secretary. Shower baths and 
new lockers were provided, and the lockers previously in use 
were also transferred to these quarters. By midsummer more 
lockers were found to be necessary and were provided, making 
a total of fifty-six lockers, practically all of Avhich were in 

In September electric lights were installed in the Golf 

Cutting the grass on the course by contract proved most 
unsatisfactory. In order to better care for the course, and 

City of Ilarrisbffrg 59- 

protect it from careless or indifferent players and to teach 
and encourage its proper use, as well as to police that section 
of the park better, I would respectfully recommend the as- 
signing of a competent man to that especial duty. 

The tennis courts have been used as much as ever. More 
than formerly could not well be, as they have been crowded 
the entire day. Their continued use would indicate the de- 

Administration Building, Rest House and Garden, Reservoir Parlv 

I sirability of constructing the three additional courts indi- 
cated on the plan of the park, as soon as funds can be pro- 
vided. The cry for drinking water nearer the courts has been 
strong. At this point it would be possible to supply reservoir 
water. A Smith cooler, attached to a bubble fountain, would 
admirably fill the bill. 

A tennis tournament held in late summer kept the interest 
in tennis to a maximum. 

I A new feature, suggested by Miss Alicia M. Zierden, of the* 


Park Commissioners^ Report 

State Museum, was added to the evening concerts. Between 
the numbers of the music, pictures were thrown on a screen 
by means of a stereopticon. The screen was hung on 
the front of the band stand. The lantern was loaned by J. 
Horace McFarland Company and the slides were loaned by 
the State IMuseum and the J. Horace McFarland Company. 
Fifty or sixty pictures an evening were thrown on the screen, 
interspersed with reading slides of facts concerning the 
Harrisburg park system. 

At the time of the enlargement of Reservoir Park a shrub- 
iDery bed presented by the Civic Club and known as the John 
Bartram bed, lay directly on the course of one of the drives. 
After consulting the Civic Club this was moved in front of 
the porch at the rest rooms. Because of the limited space 
there, the finest specimens had to be removed from time to 
time. In view of the fact that this was foreign to the inten- 
tion of the bed, the plants have been gathered into a bed at 
the intersection of the drive east of the house, and the right 
«ide of the path leading from the house to the summit. The 
masses of goldenrod were removed from this bed and any 
plant not native to Pennsylvania. All the plants from the 
old John Bartram bed were transferred here together with 
specimens of thirteen additional varieties supplied from our 
nursery. In most cases the number of specimens were in- 
creased by additions from the nursery so that nearly every 
species is represented by three or more plants, there being 
twenty-five of each azalea. It is designed to have nothing but 
X^lants native to Pennsylvania in this bed. Undoubtedly other 
species will be added from year to year, now the bed is where 
it may be extended as desired. Tulips and hyacinths have 
been planted in the two beds vacated by the John Bartram 
l)ed and Roman hyacinths in the two iris beds, so there should 
be a good show of bulbs in the spring. 

The tarvia treatment of the macadam road recommended 
last year was omitted from lack of funds. In the interest 
of true economy it should not be postponed again. With the 
heavy automobile traffic to which the road is subject, this 
•should be done without fail. Some attempt was made last 


City of Harrisburg 61 

summer to keep the road in shape by watering. To do this 
effectively would require at least three waterings a day and 
would cost for team hire almost as much as the tarvia treat- 
ment and would not be as effective. 

More appartus of every kind is needed for the playground. 
Swings, see-saws, slide, merry-go-round, and gymnasium are 
among the things needed. It has been two and a half years 

Picnic parties, Reservoir Park 

since the benches and tables were painted and they are now 
in need of paint. A barn is needed badly. The present ac- 
commodations with other parties are not satisfactory and are 
not adequate. Tool, storage, and repair rooms are badly 
needed and could be provided with the barn. 

State Street. 

State Street has required only usual attention except the 
portion between the Capitol and the railroad. The dogs have 


Park Conimissioners' Report 

been as hard on the part next to the railroad as at any time 
in the past. Two sections have been entirely replanted, due 
wholly to the damage done by dogs. The section nearest to the 
Capitol has bec^n badly disfigured by the laying of a sewer 
to th(^ ncnv coal c(^llar at the Capitol. This stretch was not 

West State Street, from Capitol 


replanted in the fall, as the sewer ditch had not had time to j 
settle. Some trimming has been done, especially on the part 
nearest Front street. 

Twelfth Street. 

Here again the use has been greater than ever before. 
Owing to the filling that was done a year ago on the land 
leased from the Traction Company, it was not possible to 
establish that ball field. The boys' diamond was somewhat 
improved and very much used all through the season. Nothing 
Avas added to the equipment. Little has been added to the 


Park Commissioners^ Report 

planting aside from two thousand tulips in the bed along- 
Twelfth street and five large elm trees in the children's play- 
ground. Two of the tennis courts have been seeded down 
to see if they could not be made serviceable during a longer 

A Smith cooler and bubble fountain should replace the 
present faucet that draws tepid water from the city mains. 
At this playground a play instructor is needed. The expe- 
rience of other cities is that the presence of a play instructor 
not only increases the capacity of the grounds by seeing that 
apparatus and grounds are used to the best advantage but 
also increases the interest and attendance. It likewise makes 
possible the supplying of facilities for play that are difficult 
to handle without an attendant of that character. Quoits 
and balls for indoor baseball are two specific examples. 

There was skating twelve days in January and eight in 
February. In December there were eleven days, part of 
which the pond was so soft that the skaters had to be kept off 
a while. The ice in December was at no time in condition to 
warrant lighting the grounds for evening skating. Although 
the outlet was closed for flooding about November 1st, there 
was no rain to fill the pond. When cold weather was finally 
promised December 17th, the pond was flooded from the city 

Front Street. 

In the spring sodding was done in the neighborhood of 
Market street and the whole length of the park was seeded 
and fertilized. A few additional trees were set out including- 
fourteen tulip poplars that couldn't be planted the fall be- 
fore, 500 more willows, matrimony vine at the foot of the 
bank and more golden-bell at the top. Planting was also done- 
at Boas street. 

The Water Department requested designs for the treatment 
of the site of the old pipeline shops. The plans called for a 
water-lily pond and surrounding shrubbery. The lily pond 
was constructed and planted under my supervision and the 
other planting was done by us. 

Owing to the extreme drouth and the greater use of the 

Swings, Twelfth Street Playgrounds 


Park Commissioners' Report 

park, the grass in the Front street parks became more worn 
than usual. During the dry weather it was watered repeat- 
edly by using a fire hose attached to the various hydrants 
along the street. This is work that is done after the parks 
close at night, because it interferes less with the use of the 
parks and because night watering is best for the grass. The 
present method of watering is crude and undesirable. It takes 
too many men. It puts too much water on at one time and 
does not give it time to soak in. What is needed is an inch 
hos(^ attachment at least every six hundred feet. With such 
provision, when the need comes, one man can attach an inch 
hose with an appropriate sprinkler, at half a dozen places, 
allow each to run for an hour, or two, or three till the groimd 
is not only wet on top but had a chance to soak, then he can 
change the hose to another place. Much more effective work 
can done at half the cost of the present method. 

^luch fill has been made, notably below Conoy street and . 
back of the pumping station. There has been some wash of . 
tli(^ river l:>ank. At two places the bank settled some from the ; 
wash of two years ago and those places were refilled. ! 

At the pumping station the bank has been filled out to the ^ 
line of Water street so that a foot path may be carried from i 
Promenade Park through to Daniel AV. Gross Park and so ■ 
nmke a continuous park walk from Paxton street to Herr : 
street. The filling has been done and it is expected to sur- 
face the walk and plant and seed the new section as soon as 
spring opens. 

The surroundings of the City Entrance at IMarket street | 
have had a number of shrubs added to the plantings and many | 
bulbs put in for early spring flowering. A bulb bed has also j 
been established on the little triangle south of the Philadel- 
phia and Reading Railway bridge and planted with tulips and 

A bath boat was located on the river front near Reel's Lane 
during the bathing season. 

Apparently the time has come to recognize a path in these 
parks near the street and treat it as such. It has seemed im- 
possible to eliminate it, as during six hours of every day 

Resting under the Shade Trees, Front Street Park 

Depressed Path, Front Street Park 


Farh Commissioners' Beport 

shade can be found there when it is not to be found on the 
river edge path, and on a hot summer day people will walk 
in the shade if they can and so the path remains. 

It is desirable to establish some permanent benches in this 
park along the- river walk and along the interior walk when 
it is established. The number of benches in the park is not 
sufficient to accommodate the evening and Sunday crowds and 

City Entrance, Market Street Bridge, on occasion of Dedication, 
April 20, 1906 

yet there are as many as the turf will stand. Stationery 
benches could be added which would be in a desirable location 
near sundown when the largest crowds are there, while the 
movable benches would accommodate the people at other hours. 
These benches should be of concrete with wooden seat slats. 

Drinking fountains should also be provided in Harris Park, 
between INIarket street and Walnut street and in Gross Park. 
The Smith cooler with bubble fountain is what is needed. Con- 
crete basins made rough or smooth and washed with acid to 
show the stone used make beautiful basins for such fountains. 

City of Harrisburg 



At the Island Playground the attendance indicates increas- 
ing appreciation of the facilities afforded. Three hundred 
and thirty-six feet of bleachers, fourteen seats high, were 
constructed along the east side of the running track. Under 
the bleachers eight pairs of dressing rooms were constructed. 
Each room is 10 feet by sixteen feet, and a shower bath, with 
two showers, is built between the two rooms of each pair, with 
access from both rooms. "Water was piped from the north end 
of the Island to make these baths possible. 

The running track was improved by making a 220 yard 
straightaway. Each end of the homestretch was extended 
sufficiently for this purpose. The track was further improved 
by widening the north end and by resurfacing at many points. 
As water was provided, a water wagon was purchased that 
now makes it possible to keep the track in proper shape with- 
out being dependent on timely showers. That the track is ap- 
preciated is evidenced by the number and character of the 
meets held on the grounds. 

The basketball ground has been much used, as have also 
been the tennis courts and ball fields. Number 1 baseball 
diamond had the infield stripped of sod and is now on a par 
with number 2 in public estimation. The football fields were 
in better condition than usual during the autumn because of 
less rainfall than previously. 

The dressing room of last year has been converted into a 
ladies' room with toilet conveniences, and toilet facilities for 
men have been arranged at the east of the barn. The barn 
has been throughly repaired, reroofed, weatherboarded and 

The eastern shore of the Island has been washed a good 
deal by high waters accompanied by wind, the last two years. 
In order to save the bank from further encroachment, a jetty 
has been built just above the Walnut street bridge extending 
diagonally into the river 167 feet. This jetty is a mass of 
stone held in place by chestnut frame work and oak plank. 
The jetty is five feet and a half high and is expected to create 
an eddy that will protect the bank for a considerable distance 

Boys' Gardens on Island Park 

City of Ilarrisburg 


down streani. There has been no high water since the jetty 
was constructed. 

The nursery has supplied 52,993 plants during the past 
year worth in any reliable nursery $2,770.33 ; or in Harris- 
burg, with an ordinary allowance for freight and packing, 
$3,324.39. The detailed statement of the number of plants 
used in the different parks, with value of the same, is here 
given : 

Plants Used from Nursery, 1908. 

Number. Value in Value F. 0. B. 



Keservoir Park, . . . 






State Street, ..... 






Twelfth Street, . . . 






Front Street, 
























AVater Department, 






Harrisburg Athletic 







Allison Hill Hook 

and Ladder Co., . 






Florence Crittenden 







Miscellaneous, .... 












The cost of the nursery for the year has been: 

Planting and digging, , . . . . $152 10 

Cultivating, 286 07 

New Plants, 24 95 

Spraying, 3 19 

$466 31 


Park Com m iss ione rs ' Report 

The number of plants in the nursery January 1st, 1909, 
was 81,617 worth $5,103.00. The value of the stock in the 
nursery January 1st, 1908, was $-1,534.81. 

The summary of the nursery transactions by years is as 
follows : 

Plants used, 
Cost of plants Value F. 0. B., 
and care. Harrishurg. 

1905 $309 72 

1906 2,724 20 $4,047 62 

1907 662 74 2,160 30 

1908 466 31 3,324 39 

$4,162 97 $9,532 31 
Value of stock in Nursery, Jan. 1, 1909, 5,103 00 

$14,635 31 

Net saving of the Nursery to date, $10,472.34. 

It will be seen by the foregoing that the value of the plants 
used from the nursery is $5,369.34 in excess of the total cost 
of the nursery and that in addition, there still remains in 
the nursery, plants of the finest grade to the value of $5,103.00. 

Of these plants, twenty to twenty-five thousand will be 
taken to "Wildwood Park and used along the dike that has 
been built on the west side of the lake and two thousand of 
the largest plants will be used near the pumping station, while 
eleven thousand plants will be used at other points on the 
river bank. 


Early in February a big flood in the Spring Creek Valley 
washed away the county bridge at 19th street and did a good 
bit of road washing. This was repaired with gravel from the 
creek bed. After considerable delay the bridge was rebuilt. 
Negotiations were had with the County Commissioners with 
the view of getting sufficient head room under the bridge for 
the parkway drive so as to avoid the dangerous trolley cross- 
ing. It was also hoped to get an artistic arch bridge. The 

City of Harrisbiirg 


only concession obtained was two feet additional head room, 
where five could have been provided with slight additional 
cost. A road has been constructed under the bridge but too 
late in the Fall to come into use before Winter. 

Now that Cameron street has been paved, the use of the 
parkway has increased perceptibly. 

It is important that arrangements be made now to get 

On Cameron Parkway 

through the poorhouse property with the parkway, as the 
lease for the right of way through Cameron's woods expires 
in the Spring. 

A well and toilet should by all means be provided in the 
parkway this season. The use that is made of this bit of 
park demands such accommodations. 

Thirteenth Street. 
This playground has been much used and thoroughly ap- 
preciated the past season. Sycamore street has been opened 


Park Commissioners^ Report 

across the nortli end of the grounds, but not in such a way as 
to iiii})air its usefulness. A dressing room and toilets were 
provided here this season. Grounds for baseball, football, and 
tennis were kept up as last year. The lease has now expired, 
and it is desirable that it be renewed for a year or two till 
the Commission is in position to acquire permanent grounds 
in this part of the City. 

Cameron Street GRxVss Plot. 

The grass plot provided for by Councils at Cameron street 
near Paxton, when Cameron street should be paved, was put 
in according to ordinance. It was finished too late to seed 
last Fall. A bed of tulips and another of daffodils have been 
planted and early in the Spring the balance of the plot will 
be seeded. 

At Sixth and Reel's Lane the use of the land was gotten 
from ]\Tr. James C. Thompson, agent, and a football field 
w^as opened there in September that was one of the most used 
fields during the football season. 


The Cameron-Turner tract of 29 acres was finally acquired 
early in the year, and in October, the Wm. K. Alricks tract. 
December 3rd the viewers in condemnation met on the land of 
A. AV. Carlile, Herman IMartin and Samuel Gardner, formerly 
Steelton & Harrisburg Brick Company, 1.53 acres; on the 
land of the I\Ionongahela Alelting Company, formerly John 
Iloffer, and Wm. K. Alricks, 22.92 acres; George Bergner 
Estate, 21.895 acres Mud John Forster Estate, 40.947 acres. 
An undivided one-third int(^rest iii the latter tract Avas ac- 
quired just previous to this date. The acquisition of this 
ground now makes it possil)le to accomplish something the 
coming season in opening and developing this park. 

The enabling ordinance passed by Councils in 3905 author- 
ized the acquisition of six hundred and sixty-six and six-tenth 
(666.6) acres of land for this park, being portions of thirty- 
three different tracts. A supplementary ordinance author- 
ized the acquisition of thirty-four acres and nine-tenths 

City of Harrisburg 


(34.9) additional, being a farther portion of a tract already 
authorized. Of this land, fonr hundred and eighty-three and 
six-tenths (483.6) acres have been acquired; twelve and 
ninety-five hundredth (12.95) acres in one tract, by gift; 
three hundred and one acres and forty-nine hundredths, in 
eighteen tracts, by purchase ; and one hundred sixty-nine and 
sixteen hundredths (169.16) acres, in five tracts, by condem- 
nation. For immediate development three additional tracts 
containing sixty and seventy-two hundredths (60.72) acres 
are needed. One of these tracts containing six acres and 
seven-hundredths (6.07) has been arranged for. The re- 
maining one hundred fifty-seven and two-tenths acres (157.2) 
in twelve different tracts, will not be needed for development 
in the immediate future, though the time will come when 
it will be needed as a golf course. 

The Board of Public Works during the summer built a dam 
clear across the valley, eleven hundred feet long, ten to twelve 
feet high and thirty feet wide on the top. 

This will establish a beautiful lake of one hundred and 
forty acres, ranging in depth from three to five and a half 
feet, making a prospect for excellent boating and skating. 

The old canal bank skirts the western edge for seven thou- 
sand feet. Inside this bank a dike was built about ten feet 
high, which made the top about two feet higher than the 
canal bank. This dike is ten feet wide on the top. It was 
built to cope with flood conditions. As this bank is now a 
new^, raw bank, it will have to be covered with plantings first 
thing in the Spring. Some thirty thousand plants are avail- 
able for this purpose. The trees to be used in this planting 
are American elm, willows, and pin oak, with an occasional 
Carolina poplar and silver maple. The smaller trees will 
be red bud, flowering dogwood, silver bells, and dwarf willows. 
The predominating feature of the shrubs will be the dwarf 
dogwoods of which the brighter stemmed varieties, especially 
the red stems, will be generously used, this character of plant 
forming nearly half the mass. 

Twenty-three thousand of the plants needed for this work 
were removed from the nursery last Fall and are heeled in 

Cifij of Harrishurg 77 

near where they are needed. It is the intention to have this 
bank a mass of mixed foliage, with patches of bright bloom in 
Spring and Summer, followed by brighter berries and foliage 
in the Autumn. 

The breast of the dam will be covered with coral berries on 
the side toward the water and Hall 's honeysuckle on the south 

Where Fox's Run enters the lake, a higher piece of ground 
existed. The run enters from the east. The western third 
of the valley had to be excavated in order to give sufficient 
depth to the lake. This material was placed on the eastern 
two-thirds; thus forming a fine promontory into the lake, 
which will be planted with elm, sycamore, tulip poplars and 
other large growing trees, and few small clumps of shrubbery, 
but most of the area will be seeded down, and a great deal 
of the shore line will be either open to the waters edge or 
have only a fringe of low growth. At all other points of the 
eastern shore a drive will skirt the lake at the foot of the 
steep bluff. This point will give an opportunity to enjoy 
the lake at close range without carriages and automobiles 
passing continually between you and the water. 

Some boats should be provided this Summer. If direct 
street car service is not obtained, ten would be enough. A 
motor boat giving trip rides the length of the lake should be 
arranged for. In case no better facilities are ready for this 
Summer, this would permit people to go to the Linglestown 
Road on the Rockville car and then take a boat ride down 
to the centre of the park. A boat house and shelter will be 

Every effort is being made to get the street cars to the 
park this season via Cameron street direct to the park line 
a little south of Division street. From this point the cars can 
skirt the boundary and give access to all parts of the park 
south of the lake. 

Some boundary fences have been built this season and as 
soon as Spring opens, two miles and a half more should be 
built to complete the closing in of the eastern boundary, till 


Parle Commissioners^ Report 

siieh tiiiK^ as the adjoining land shall be developed as suburban 
building sites. 

The two miles of paths cut through the different tracts 
in 1907 threw all the land then acquired open to the public 
and made nearly a continuous walk from the City to the 
Linglestown road. These paths were greatly enjoyed by 

In Wildwood Park 

many people, and showed the beauties of the city's new ac- 
quisition to nuiny to whom before they were strange. Im- 
mediately upon the opening of Spring, additional paths will 
l)e opened over the newly acquired properties, thus making 
('(mtinuous footways the entire length of the park. Portions 
of the old paths have been flooded, by the lake and will have 
to be raised. This work is all where the old turf roads were 
used in the condition in which they were found. 

A traffic road from the breast of the dam to a point near 
the ]\roi"row buildings has been built. This road Avill take the 
place of tlie road that now crosses what will be the bed of the 

City of Hamsburg 


lake. A re-enforced concrete arch bridge of 30 foot span has 
been built to carry the road across Paxton Creek. Both road 
and bridge were built by the Ferro-Concrete Construction 

Some pleasure drive construction must be done, but access 
to the dam through the park below the bluff cannot be given 
carriages till the David Fleming tract is acquired. A foot- 
path is now open and the road on the bluff could be carried 
through to the breast of the dam for five thousand dollars. A 
road along the lake will also be needed soon. As the tempor- 
ary road over which the City Officials were taken last Septem- 
ber passes for 1500 feet over land of the David Fleming Es- 
tate, that road cannot be opened till the Fleming ground is 
purchased or condemned. 

As far as we control the ground it is expected to widen the 
existing roads, and prox)erly connect the different links now 
existing, to form the drives for the future. A little filling of 
holes and ruts will be necessary, but beyond this no work will 
be done till all of the roads are so much used as to urgently 
require it. 

A baseball field was graded and equipped w^ith back stop 
and bleachers, on the Cameron-Turner tract, just where the 
old hog pens and dog pound used to be. In spite of the fact 
that the field was narrow and caused many balls to be lost, 
it was used extensively. The coming year it is expected to 
establish and equip with back stops, four ball fields on the 
Bergner tract, which is half way between last year's ball field 
and the dam. As the use warrants, additional fields will be 
opened. Tennis courts will also be made, and provisions made 
for any other athletic interests as demand arises. It is 
expected golf may be added to the features here, as the 
crowded condition of Reservoir Park makes it less and less 
desirable to have the links in that favorite spot. Links could 
be provided along the western s'de, ayid on what has been de- 
signated as the parade ground, until the land mentioned 
earlier in this report can be acquired for the purpose. This 
tract of land would not only make beautiful links, but some of 
the most attractive rambles and drives of any part of the park. 


Park Commissioners' Report 

South of the athletic field in the woods near where last 
year's baseball diamond was located and just north of where 
the Cameron street extension will terminate at the park line, 
briars and underbrush will be removed to open a picnic 
ground. Here and at the athletic field two wells will be 
needed, besides toilet facilities to make these places usable. 

The standing water, east of the picnic ground and athletic 
field, at the foot of the bluff, will be removed by a ditch, and 
then the lower portions will be converted into lily ponds and 
pools with pretty winding walks and attractive nooks. 

Development beyond this point hinges on the possibility of 
getting street car service. If the endeavors, now being made, 
to get Cameron street open to the park line, succeed soon 
enough to permit the Traction Company to reach the park 
by July 1st, it will make this a much used recreation ground 
this summer. 

When the right of way is obtained to the park line, then 
the tracks can be laid along the park border to the lake, thus 
reaching the important points. Division street must be kept 
in mind as an important park entrance of the future and 
steps should be taken immediately to keep the crossing open 
and so hasten the day w^hen a proper crossing can be had 
at that point. Division street is the logical crossing for West 
End residents and everything possible should be done to force 
the getting of a proper way over or under the tracks. 

In conclusion, progress can be reported and also a much 
increased use, but, owing to the limited appropriations the 
progress is not what it should have been to keep pace with 
the increasing use. 

The increased facilities which the public have a right to 
expect cannot be provided without funds sufficient to cover 
them beyond the ordinary maintenance expenses. 

Respectfully submitted. 




Organization Work. 

The Harrisburg Park Commission was constituted by Coun- 
cils by virtue of an ordinance approved October 30th, 1902, 
pursuant to which an election took place November 6th, 1902. 

The Commission met and organized November 12th, 1902. 
It found itself at that time without any funds at its disposal 
and without any lands under its custody save Gross Park 
of three acres and an unnamed strip south of Mulberry street, 
including approximately three-fourths of an acre. 

The creation of a park commission in Harrisburg was in 
consequence of a vote of the people at the Spring election of 
1902 to authorize a loan for various public improvements, 
among which a park system was included. The loan thus 
authorized for park purposes was $250,000, and representa- 
tions had been made to the people of the city by those foster- 
ing the movement for improvements in connection with certain 
park plans, provided by the Municipal League of Harrisburg, 
to which this Commission felt itself pledged at the start, 
though such plans, being of x^rivate origin, had no binding or 
legal effect upon it. 

At the outset of the work the Commission found itself 
without jurisdiction over the existing parks of the city, with 
the exception of the two trifling bits above mentioned. Reser- 
voir Park was under the control of a special commission as 
were also the river front parks known as Harris Park, Lincoln 
Park and Promenade Park. Each of these parks had a separ- 
ate commission. 

Action was promptly taken to bring about a harmonious 
readjustment which would place under the control of this 
commission all the existing parks. Legislation was approved 
by the Governor of the state on April 22nd, 1903, vacating two 
of the river front commissions, and by the substitution of the 


Park Commissioners^ Report 

present Ilarrisburg Park Commissioners for the Commis- 
sioners of Harris Park, custody was obtained of that historic 
bit of ground. 

Under the ordinance creating it, a definite method of pro- 
cedure was provided in order to assume custody at the Reser- 
voir Park, which when taken over by the Commission April 
1st, 1904, contained 25 acres devoted to park purposes. 

It may be said fairly that the real activities of this Com- 
mission began with its election on January 20th, 1903, of 
"Warren H. Manning as its landscape adviser. This election 
was not only for the best in the judgment of the Commission, 
but in compliance with the earnest representations made to it 
by the several civic bodies which had had to do with the im- 
provement campaign. 

On March 19th, 1903, the first funds were made available 
to this Commission, which until that time had been without 
any actual financial resources. 

Under the advice of Mr. Manning the Twelfth Street Play- 
ground was purchased April 22nd, 1903, being the first land 
acquired. This pla^^ground, including eight acres, was the 
only ground acquired during 1903 outside of the existing river 

For the purposes of comparison it should be noted that the 
acreage of the park territory which came under the control 
of this Commission at its formation was a previously stated 
three and three-quarters acres, and that when it had secured 
jurisdiction over the river front parks and Reservoir Park 
the amount thus placed in its hands included a total of 42 

The General Plan. 

Following somewhat the lines of park development upon 
which the public had j:)assed in the improvement cam- 
paign of 1902, but paying more heed to the careful 
study of conditions prevailing about Harrisburg made by 
Mr. Manning as the adviser of this Commission, it was 
early realized that the development of a park sj^stem in Har- 
risburg presented peculiar and special conditions. The city 
is r(»latively nai-i'ow, and its chief distinction is in the mag- 

Citij of Harrisburg 


nificent river front it possesses, practically untouched by com- 
merce or buildings. It was seen therefore that the river front 
must be a matter of primary and careful attention. To pro- 
vide suitable recreation facilities for those who most need 
such facilities was the motive underlying the selection of the 
Twelfth Street Playground. The improvement of Reservoir 
Park and its condition as the great scenic park, including 
within its eventual limits the highest natural elevation close 
to Harrisburg, was obviously required. The consideration of 
the great woodland opportunity lying north of the city in- 
cluded in the territory generally known as Wetzel's Swamp 
-early engaged the attention of this Commission. The possi- 
bilities of usefulness in connection with the islands in the 
"Susquehanna river focused upon Hargest's Island, being con- 
sidered in 1904 as a possible place for the city's filtration 
plant. As connecting in a sense all of these various park de- 
Telopments and providing a complete encircling scheme of the 
park development, a parkway was planned, including the river 
front, the eastern border of the Wetzel Swamp district, a con- 
nection from there by way of the State Insane Hospital and 
the State Arsenal with Reservoir Park, and thence by way of 
Paxtang and South Harrisburg with the river front. . 

It will be noted that this parkway scheme was of an ex- 
ceptional character though directly in line with the modern 
ideals in the best park practice and tending toward the con- 
tinual purpose of this Commission of bringing the parks close 
to the people rather than forcing the people to seek the parks. 

So-veral inner parkways and a possible recreation park to 
meet the needs of South Harrisburg in the neighborhood of 
Cameron and Dock streets were carefully considered in the 
general plan, as well as the development of Italian Park in 
the Tenth ward. 

After much inquiry as to the land values, and taking into 
account the relatively scanty resources at the command of this 
Commission for the acquirement of such great areas as would 
be included in the above plans; realizing also the necessity 
of a development which would as nearly as possible approxi- 
mate the park ideal of an acre of land for each 100 of inhabi- 

84 Park Commissioners^ Report 

tants, a general plan was decided upon, including practically 
all the items above mentioned. 

The wisdom of operating upon a prearranged plan, under 
competent advice, is before Councils at this time, in consid- 
ering what has been accomplished and the way in which the 
park facilities provided have been used and accepted b}^ the 
people who pay the bills. 

State Street Improvement. 

There was a demand that in harmony with the proceeding 
development and the building of a new State Capitol, State 
street should be improved, under which, and by plans, obtained 
from Mr. Manning the whole length of that wide street, save 
between Filbert and Thirteenth streets, was distinguished by 
the creation of central and stone-curbed grass plots, in the 
early part of 1904. It has been continually maintained with 
care, and is now a source of pride and satisfaction to our citi- 
zens and an object of admiration on the part of visitors. 

The Work of 1904. 

During 1904 the Twelfth Street Playground was opened to . 
the public. The wading pool, a novelty in Pennsylvania, was \ 
built and tennis courts provided. In 1906 a complete outdoor ; 
gymnasium of the best character was added to this play- 
ground, which has been of great and continual usefulness. By ; 
lease arrangement with the Central Pennsjdvania Traction | 
Company the area of the Twelfth Street Playground was in- | 
creased three acres in 1906, providing opportunity for a much • 
needed baseball diamond in the vicinity. 1 

During 1904 ground was purchased for the extension of 
the Reservoir Park to the extent of 45 acres. Negotiations for 
the purchase of a portion of the Doehne tract adjoining Reser- 
voir Park having failed, the authority of the City Solicitor 
was invoked and thirteen acres of that tract condemned for 
park purposes; the litigation concerning which, it may be 
here mentioned, has not yet been concluded, although the find- 
ing of the viewers was favorable to the city. 

City of Harnsburg 


The Work of 1905. 

Although the purchased portion of the Reservoir Park ex- 
tension was obtained in 1904, it was not opened to the public 
at once, for the reason that it was necessary to change these 
farm fields to park areas, to do which required time and much 
work. In 1905 the public was admitted to the extended area, 
and during that year the Doehne tract became also available, 
after it had been passed upon by the viewers appointed by the 

During this year the park project was advanced materially 
by the gift to the city of 51 acres of land lying along Spring 
creek and extending eastward from Cameron street, by Ex- 
Senator J. Donald Cameron. The Commission also received 
by gift slightly less than 13 acres of land in the Wetzel Swamp 
district from Mr. AV. R. Fleming, and by purchase acquired a 
total of 252 acres at a cost of $21,970.78. 

During 1905 much work was done along the river front, 
the path along the edge of the bank being completed and 
lighted, benches being provided and the park regularly po- 
liced. The available length of the river front parks at this 
writing, including what has been acquired through the efforts 
of this Commission, is now almost two miles. There is no 
portion, it is confidently submitted, of the park area or the 
city property more useful to the people and more completely 
appreciated than this. 

The Work of 1906. 

In 1906 all the work undertaken, including further improve- 
ments at Reservoir Park, at the Twelfth Street Playground 
and including the opening of the Cameron Parkway, was vig- 
orously prosecuted. 

The Commission acquired by gift from Rachel Cameron 
Hale and from John Hoffer a total of nine acres along the 
parkway east of Reservoir Park, and occupied by consent, 
pending completion of the necessary transfers, two and one- 
half acres as the property of T. Gr. and W. J. Calder. 

The most important acquisition of the year was that of 
Hargest's Island, from the Walnut street bridge to its south- 


Park Coiiimissioners' Report 

ern point, a total of 23 acres. This the Harrisburg Bridge 
Company leased to the Commission for twenty years, at a 
rental of one dollar per year. It was at once made useful in 
two important ways; first, in the establishment of a park 
nursery, in which trees and plants purchased elsewhere might 
be grown to proper planting condition, and in which also 
plants and trees might be propagated for the uses of the city. 
It may be remarked at this time that the operation of this 
nursery has been extremely satisfactory and notably profit- 
able. At current prices which the Commission had previously 
paid and would now have to pay for the necessary nursery 
stock, the island nursery has saved the city considerably over 
five thousand dollars since it was placed in our possession. 

That part of Hargest's Island lying south of the Market 
street bridge w^as converted into a recreation field, including 
four baseball diamonds, two of which are diverted to football 
uses each autumn. A well arranged cinder running course, 
a basket ball field and five tennis courts are also provided, as 
well as floating baths, to which further reference will be 

The Work of 1907. 

Under an arrangement entered into by this Commission 
with the Board of Public Works and by hearty co-operation 
between the engineer of that board, Mr. James H, Fuertes, the 
City Engineer, Mr. M. B. Cowden, and the adviser of this 
Commission, Mr. Warren H. Manning, it has been planned to 
accomplish the important end of protecting from floods the 
Paxton creek valley and at the same time create a pleasure 
lake in the upper end of Wetzel's Swamp, which by action of 
this Commission is now known as Wildwood Park. 

By virtue of the arrangement proposed the Board of Public 
Works agreed to contribute and has contributed fifteen thou- 
sand dollars to the funds of this Commission with which it 
might purchase additional land in the upper part of the dis- 
trict referred to, as the bed for the proposed flood prevention 
works, and a pleasure lake. A natural place for the neces- 
sary dam was found in connection with an old railroad em- 
bankment on the Gabriel Iliester tract. ]\Iuch valuable time- 

City of liarrisburg 


Avas lost in an endeavor to negotiate with the heirs of the S. 
Flickinger Estate. No agreement being possible, it became 
necessary for this Commission to again exercise the city's 
right of eminent domain, and 82 acres of the Flickinger tract 
were condemned in the extreme upper end of the Wildwood 
district. This condemnation proceeding has not yet been 
completed, but possession has been taken of the land. There 
was also acquired from the Southern Central Railway Com- 
pany, through the Pennsylvania Railroad Company, 14 acres: 
at a cost of $1,429, this completing the land necessary for the 
flood prevention works. 

During 1907 the growing demand for opportunities for 
recreation led to application for baseball diamonds in various 
parts of the city. In consequence of this demand, the Com- 
mission leased from the James McCormick estate four acres 
on South Thirteenth street and from the C. L. Bailey estate 
seventy- eight one-hundredths of an acre. Both of these leases 
were at the rate of one cent a year. 

By consent of Mr. E. Z. Wallower, his property at the cor- 
ner of Front and Maclay streets is now being used for a foot- 
ball purposes, without any formal lease. 

Athletic Sports. 

It was early recognized by this Commission that the parks- 
and the park system were for the people and that it was as 
much our duty to secure the attendance of the people in the 
parks as it was to provide the parks for them. In consequence 
an intelligent interest has been taken in athletics, with remark- 
able results. 

Continuing the wise method of the Reservoir Park Commis- 
sion, this Commission has continued the band concerts long 
held in Reservoir Park, and under Mr. Manning's supervision 
has prepared there a very notable open air amphitheatre, com- 
fortably seating 2,800 persons, in addition to available grass 
seating for as many more. 

Island Park has afforded opportunity for fostering various 
forms of sports. Under the auspices of the Commission the 
Central Pennsylvania High School track meet was held on 


Park Commissioners' Report 

May 11, 1907, to the enjoyment of many thousands of specta- 
tors. The use of the baseball facilities provided by the Com- 
mission has been alluded to before, and the various diamonds 
have been constantly availed of, as also are the football facili- 

To be in line with modern progress the Commission in- 
stalled early in 1907 floating baths at the southeast corner 
of Island Park, with the result that over fifteen thousand 
baths were there taken and the facilities taxed to the utmost. 
An attendant was provided and also such facilities as the 
meager means of the Connnission permitted. 

Having possession of the Island Park, opportunity was 
taken to foster water sports, with the result of holding a 
water carnival on Labor Day, September 2nd, 1907. On this 
occasion there were swimming races, rowing races, canoe races 
and motor boat races, and fully fifteen thousand people en- 
joyed sports not before available in Harrisburg. 

The tennis courts in the various parks and playgrounds 
have been constantly in use. There are twenty-one in all and 
on many occasions all were completely occupied, with many 
w^aiting to be served. Several tournaments have been played 
on the courts in the parks. 

Harrisburg enjoys the unique distinction of having the 
•only public golf course in Pennsylvania, and one of the few 
in the United States. It was prepared in Eeservoir Park 
during 1906 and was improved in 1907, with the result of 
enlisting the interest of, and providing recreation for, a large 
number of people, to whom such facilities would not other- 
wise have been accessible. 

For the maintenance of these sports the money has been 
provided for the most part by the people interested, and they 
have been maintained at a very trifling expense to the Com- 
mission, aside from the interest and supervision of the Com- 
mission's superintendent and secretary. 

During 1907 a total of $2,486.81 was contributed by in- 
terested parties for the maintenance of the various items 
above mentioned. The assistance of committees formed of 
citizens has been invaluable toward bringing these various 

City of Harrishurg 


athletic events to a liappy conclusion, and this Commission 
feels gratified at the prompt acceptance of its provisions and 
opportunities by the people for whom they were intended. 


The test of any park system is its use by the people. Under 
the old conception of parks, the ideal was a grassy place inter- 
sected by finely kept roads for driving and decorated by bril- 
liant flower plantings. It did not matter that such a park was 
relatively inaccessible. Though it provided scant facilities for 
recreation, it was sufficient in the eyes of those who, for in- 
stance, founded and improved Fairmount Park, Philadelphia, 
that it was a great area of publicly owned land, useful only 
to those who possessed exceptional pedestrian abilities or were 
the fortunate owners of horses and carriages. 

By this test Harrisburg does not stand high, for while its 
parkway is of unusual beauty, it has not been at all considered 
from the standpoint of usefulness to those who drive. The 
idea has constantly been to serve the people as close as possible 
to their homes and places of business, and to serve them as 
fully as possible, not only by open spaces, benches and picnic 
facilities, but also by opportunities for wholesome recreation. 

That the people of Harrisburg have understood and re- 
sponded to this view is well shown by the attendance recorded 
in Harrisburg 's parks. 

It is probable that the scanty parks existing when this Com- 
mission came into being did not have an attendance of fifty 
thousand in any one year, although there are no figures upon 
which to base any estimate. Under the changed conditions, 
with the absence of any "Keep Off the Grass" signs, and 
with the facilities provided under the organization effected 
by this Commission, the park attendance was greatly in- 
creased. In 1906 the attendance was as here given: 

Reservoir Park, 161,000 

Front Street Parks, 468,000 

Twelfth Street Playground, 36,000 

Island Playground (opened midsummer), 13,000 

Total, 678,000 


Park Commissioners' Report 

With a larger area of parks and with better facilities, the 
attendance in 1907 has been greatly increased, amounting as 
will be seen by the subjoined statement to more than 800,000. 

Reservoir Park, 220,200 

Front Street Parks, 466,000 

Twelfth Street Playground, 46,600 

Island Playground, 68,500 

Parkway, ^ 16,750 

Front and Maclay, 2,000 

Thirteenth Street Playground, 5,250 

Total, 825,300 

Cost and Attendance. 

It may not be without interest to present the fact that under 
the appropriation made for the current year, the cost to each 
citizen in Harrisburg for park facilities, on the basis of 70,- 
000 population, has been thirty-six cents, — under which cost 
each citizen is provided with very much better facilities for 
recreation than can be had at the Harrisburg Country Club, 
where the annual charge is $22. 

Comparing the total park attendance of 825,300 for 1907 
with the maintenance appropriation of $25,' HO, it will be 
noted that each park visit cost slightly in excess of three cents, 
or less than the one-way trolley fare for the attendance at the 
trolley parks which alone are provided by nearly all other 
third class cities in Pennsylvania. 

It may also be of interest to note that the expenditure per 
capita on the basis of 70,000 population, for the lands and 
betterments included in the Harrisburg Park System is $2.43 
to date, under which every citizen and any number of friends 
he chooses to invite, has the full, and complete use of a total 
of 575 acres, maintained, lighted and policed in good order, 
and including recreation facilities not equalled in any other 
city of Pennsylvania, regardless of its size. 


Being new to the handling of parks in a modern and 
broad way, Councils did not provide, nor did this Com- 

Ciiij of Ilarrisbury 


mission ask, any maintenance appropriation at the begin- 
ning of the work. There was indeed nothing to maintain, as 
well as nothing to maintain it with. Upon the matter being 
bronght to Councils' attention, a maintenance appropriation 
was provided, which has since been extended; and while the 
appropriations for 1906 and 1907 were scanty, it has been the 
earnest endeavor of this Commission to make them serve the 
purpose intended and to bring the year through without a 

Since the creation of the Park Commission, $67,358.74 has- 
been expended upon parks for maintenance, of which, deduct- 
ing the unexpended balance of $1,398.41 for the current year's 
appropriation. Councils have appropriated specifically for 
maintenance $38,641.59. 

The Completion of the Park System. 

Including the reimbursement of fifteen thousand dollars by 
the Board of Public Works, expended for lands acquired to- 
aid in its flood prevention scheme, and various other items, the 
total receipts of this Commission have been $265,247.30, of 
which $198,436.36 has been expended, leaving in our hands 
aside from the balance of the current year 's maintenance fund, 
and unexpended balance of $66,810.94. The purchase expendi- 
tures of this Commission have been safeguarded to the utmost 
extent in the hope that it might be possible to fully complete 
the park system projected and alluded to at the beginning of 
this report. The rapidly advancing prices of real estate and 
the penalty of the city is hereby compelled to pay for its own 
enterprise tend toward making this achievement difficult. 

At the same time a very careful consideration of the cost 
of all the land acquired to complete the park and parkway 
as projected, taking into account the fact that for the most 
part the parkway land would be obtained without a purchase 
price, by reason of its obviously improving effect on contiguous 
values, leads us to believe that this Commission turns over to 
its successors sufficient funds to acquire all the lands required 
to complete the park system. In this assumption we are re- 
lying upon a continuance by benefited property owners of the- 


Park Commissioners^ Report 

liberal spirit under which, so far, all the parkway lane has 
been donated to the city. 

Believing that it was under an implied, if not expressed, 
agreement with the people to complete within its term of office 
the system of parks and parkways authorized in 1902, it has 
been the earnest endeavor of this Commission to accomplish 
that work. This is not the place to mention the difficulties 
encountered and the hampering conditions which have inter- 
fered with getting possession of all the necessary property. 
Having, however, upon the information above mentioned, 
found itself apparently in sufficient funds, the Commission 
decided early in the present year to institute proceedings for 
the acquirement of all the remaining lands, by purchase, gift, 
condemnation or otherwise, and there is accordingly pending 
in the hands of your honorable bodies at the present time an 
ordinance covering all the necessary takings requisite to com- 
plete the parkway system. This ordinance has been pre- 
pared after careful and painstaking efforts and represents 
not only the best judgment of the Commission, but very care- 
ful study on the part of its adviser, Mr. Manning, who has 
considered fairly the interests of the city and of the land 
owners affected, so as to accomplish the needs of the people 
in the way of the parkway in question with the least possible 
sacrifice on the part of the land owners involved. 

In closing its work therefore by the termination of its term 
of election, the Commission feels that it turns over to its suc- 
cessors a park system, which while not entirely completed, is 
in active and beneficent use, and is in easy process of comple- 
tion, with the funds already provided. It does this with sin- 
cere gratification, all the more that it is probable that the 575 
acres thus involved represent in actual value to the city at 
current prices a sum much more than double that expended to 
date for the creation and maintenance of the park system. 

In turning over under conditions which it cannot call other 
than favorable, the trust committed to it five years ago, the 
Ilarrisburg Park Commission takes occasion to express its 
gratification at the wise liberality of the people in thus pro- 
viding for themselves a park development which is without an 

City of Harrishurg 


equal in Pennsylvania and every day proving itself to be 
useful and beneficial. 

It also desires to express its appreciation of the interest 
and support shown by the two Mayors with whom it has dealt, 
the Councils, and all public officials with which it has had to do 
during its term of office, without which interest and support 
its work would not have reached its present plans of useful- 

Prepared and suhmitted for the Commission hy J. Horace 

Park Commission 



DECEMBER 31, 1909 

Harrisburg, Pa. 
The Telegraph Printing Company 




To the Select and Common Councils of the City of Harris- 

Gentlemen : In submitting the report for that portion of 
the City's activities which falls under the control of the Har- 
risburg Park Commission, we desire to bear renewed testimony 
to the wisdom of Councils, first, in enacting the legislation 
which has made possible Harrisburg's present park system; 
and, second, in providing maintenance for these parks, the 
significantly strong approval of which by the citizens of Har- 
risburg is so obvious. 

We desire further, from the standpoint given us through 
the Commission by your honorable bodies to supervise the 
park interests of Harrisburg, to record our congratulations 
that you have seen fit to propose a sum to the people of Har- 
risburg to be applied toward the completion of the system 
which has done such beneficent work, in connection with the 
forthcoming loan. 

We transmit herewith the reports of the Secretary, of the 
Superintendent, and of the Playground Inspector, in which 
are set forth at length the large activities of the calendar year 
ending December 31, 1909. 


The end of the year witnessed the extension of the park and 
playground area of Harrisburg to 749 acres, which, as com- 
pared with the 42 acres including all the City's ownership in 
1902, is indicative of the marvelous progress of Harrisburg in 
this important respect within the past seven years ; and fur- 
ther indicative in the results obtained of the wisdom involved 
in the whole movement. 

The report of the Secretary, with its analysis of attendance, 
will show that large as the acreage is, it needs to be expanded. 


rarh Commissioners^ Report 

in order that convenient park and playground facilities ma 
l)e afforded to sections of the city not now conveniently an 
adequately served. The Secretary's report also calls attentio 
to the great infiuence upon the public health which the pai 
development undoubtedly has, and to the way in which tl 
City's wisdom in providing parks efficiently seconds the cai] 
paign of the state of Pennsylvania for the abolition of tlj 
''white plague." I 

It is worth noting that the park and playground area a 
([uired by purchase or gift by the City of Harrisburg has co 
it i|^101,763.18. Careful estimates made by competent re, 
estate authorities indicate that the present value of this art 
is not less than $828,439.90. 

When it is further noted that the $100,000 loan under coi 
templation is intended to be used, if authorized, largely for tl 
acquisition of additional land under favorable condition 
sometimes involving absolute gifts, and that these extensio: 
will serve sections of the City not now enjoying park facilitit 
there can be no doubt as to the economical advantage involve 
in the proposition, or of the good business included in placii i 
in the City's possession property which has assumed such, 
large value. « 

Under an act approved by the last Legislature the City < 
Harrisburg, acting through its Park Commission, is permitt;« 
to control 200 feet on any park or playground frontage, ' 
preserve the city's interests in such property, which beneficel 
provision the Connuission has availed itself of through not 
fying property owners to avoid objectionable erections, j 
has not been found necessary to do more than give this notio 
as there is, on the whole, a very hearty acquiescence in tj 
work of the Commission. 

The figures of the Secretary and Superintendent giving a 
tendance in the parks are most impressive. To have more ths 
thirteen hundred thousand people use the Harrisburg pari 
in one year, at a cost per park visit of but a fraction over tv 
cents, is indicative of the beneficence of the whole enterpris 
Particular attention is called to the fact that the prevailii 
percentage of iiicrease in park visits, arrived at by eo^.nparii 


Cily of Jlarrisbui fj 

the attendance since 1906, shows that in 1912 the Harrisburg 
parks will have to care for more than two and a quarter mil- 
lions of park visits. There is no reason to suppose that the 
average annual increase of 24: per cent, in park visits will be 
decreased, but, on the contrary, much likelihood that it will 


These facts and figures point out to your Honorable Bodies 
ftie importance of a proper maintenance provision. The Com- 
piission can only use what money you are able to provide for 
it in seeing that the people who avail themselves of the park 
facilities you have financed are properly policed and made 
3omfortable, and that their activities are given full scope. De- 
ficient maintenance appropriation means deficient facilities 
lor caring for the vast throngs of people who constantly use 
che parks. 

The Commission desires at this time to emphasize a sugges- 
tion previously made that one mill of the tax levy be assigned 
[or park maintenance as the fixed financial policy of Councils, 
[f this be done the park maintenance appropriation will keep 
jace with increasing valuations and population, and the Com- 
tiission can properly look ahead toward the provision of suit- 
ible facilities. This is now impossible under the prevailing 
iystem, Avhicli does not provide a known expansion of the main- 
tenance appropriation. 

Many of the important cities of the country provide much 
Qore than a one mill proportion of valuation for park mainte- 
tance. The neighboring city of Baltimore, for instance, with 
.pproximately seven times the population of Harrisburg, pro- 
dded nearly fourteen times the maintenance appropriation 
ivailable in Harrisburg. 

\ Harrisburg 's cost of maintenance is found to be $37.41 per 
[are. Statistics have recently been obtained from 27 cities in 
he United States maintaining parks, of which but four show 
, lower cost per acre than Harrisburg, and these are notably 
ities in which the park maintenance is not of a character in- 
jiting many visits. 

Park Commissioners' Report 

It is therefore again and earnestly urged upon your Hon- 
orable Bodies that a definite provision of one mill from the 
annual tax levy for park maintenance is not only proper and 
necessary, but that it would be sustained by the people. 


The reports transmitted herewith show the large increase 
in usefulness of the city's playgrounds during the year 
just closed, by reason of the employment of a trained play- 
ground instructor. A visit only is required to show how much 
better a playground is when there is definite suggestions for 
wholesome exercise and play than when the children are not 
instructed. The further immense advantage in teaching the 
motions of proper swimming need hardly be discussed. It 
is hoped that the calendar year of 1910 will witness the exten- 
sion of the supervised playground work. Of the 914 cities 
in the United States exceeding 10,000 population, more thau 
half now maintain playgrounds, and in all of these in which 
the work is successful there is the same sort of trained super- 
vision that has been provided in the past year for the first timt 
in Harrisburg. 

Harrisburg 's park activities are peculiar in their stimula- 
tion of wholesome athletics. Reference to the report of thi 
Secretary will show how much the coming generation ha^ 
been stimulated by the attention thus given in the past year, 
Enviable distinction has been brought to the city by this work 
due very considerably to the interest and devotion of our See; 
retary, and to his arduous work entirely aside from his forma] 
duties. : 


At the beginning of the calendar year of 1909 the Board ol 
Public Works by the flooding of Wildwood Lake formally 
turned over to the Park Commission the area of land which 
it has by various means acquired for the primary purpose oi 
preventing floods in the Paxtang Creek Yalley. For reasons 
definitely mentioned in the reports which are transmitted 
herewith, the handlino" of this lake has been a considerable 


City of Harrisburg 


Phardship upon the Coiimiission, in view of its limited re- 
sources. Without authority or funds to properly prepare the 
bed of the lake, the Park Commission has had, for reasons 
of health and efficiency, to do difficult work to keep the lake 
in the proper shape. The use of the lake for pleasure and 
park purposes has been incidental, and although that use has 
stimulated the attendance in Wildwood, notwithstanding de- 
ficient means of access and a double trolley fare, to an increase 
of 300 per cent, over the attendance in the preceding year, it is 
to be definitely noted that the Commission's work has been 
primarily in carrying out the flood-prevention idea. 

That the project has been successful is well known. Paxton 
Creek, which has usually caused damage estimated to average 
an expense of $10,000 each year to the city by reason of its 
flooding, has not been over its banks during 1909, and this 
money has been saved to the city. In addition to this, the 
saving to the property owners and the avoidance of damage 
to health, are notable. 

It is probable that the increase in land values along the 
line of Paxton Creek, due to the installation of these perma- 
nent flood-prevention works, will, in the course of a short time, 
if properly viewed by the assessing authorities, return to the 
city a large income on the cost of the work clone, thus making 
Wildwood lake a profitable investment for the city, as well as 
a beneficence to its citizens. 

But one tract of land, about 13 acres in extent, remains to 
jbe acquired in Wildwood, and funds for the acquirement of 
this, as well as for paying the awards to be paid for the con- 
demnation proceedings pending for the remainder of the land, 
are retained by the Commission from its first appropriation. 
There is therefore small probability of any expenditure in 
Wildwood in the coming year for the purchase of additional 
property from the expected additional loan. 

The operations of the nursery established by the Commission 
have continued to be profitable, as may be noted by reference 
to the report of the Superintendent. During the year there 


Park Coiiunissioners' Report 

were used the impressive total of 66,286 plants, worth, if pur- 
chased, at current rates, $6,490.51 but costing the city, in- 
cluding all the rest of the work on the nursery during the 
year but $1,264.35. 


When the funds contemplated in the ordinance proposed 
b}' your Honorable Bodies shall become available, it Avill be 
practicable for the Commission to proceed actively in the com- 
pletion and connection of the park system. This completion 
is expected to include the bringing together of the separated 
portions of the parkway, most of which has been obtained with- 
out cost to the city. This parkway, surrounding the city, 
affords much more than a mere driveway. In a large measure 
it is all park area, as has been discovered by the people in the 
lower end of the city, who are using the Cameron Parkway 
freely. While statistics are unavailable, it is believed that 
the attendance of 1909 in the Cameron Parkway, amounting 
to 69.513 is considerably greater than the attendance of the" 
whole city in Reservoir Park previous to the creation of this'i 

If there is not the suggested connection of the parkway,- 
fragments of which are now in the possession of the city. at = 
a very early date, some offers to donate land will undoubtedly 
be withdrawn and the city Avill eventually have to pay a large 
price for what can now be had for nothing but the cost of 
opening roads. The completion of the system also involves 
aerjuisition of ])laygrounds in localities not now served. j 

In connection with the completion and extension of the park ; 
system it is proper to call attention to the enormous attend- 
ance of people in the River Front parks, involving nearly six 
hundred thousand visits in 1909. These River Front parks 
serve a most useful purpose. They are far less desirable to 
the people whose properties abut on Front Street than to the 
balance of the people, but their beneficence has been proved. 
The contemplated intercepting sewer with its accompanying 
retaining wall, will permit a gradual and considerable exten- 
sion of the RivcM' Front pai'ks. distributing the increasing at- 


Citij of Jlarrisbury 9 

tendance, reducing the difficulty of maintenance, and affording 
the best possibk^ relief, especially in the heat of summer, to 
our large population living on narrow streets, in alleys, and 
on small properties. If additional park funds are made avail- 
able by the proposed loan, the River Front park can be ex- 
tended southward, most conveniently affording very much 
better conditions in the First AVard. 

The financial statement of the Secretary shows the condition 
of the funds in charge of this Commission, and attention is 
again called to the large value of the property owned by the 
city in parks and playgrounds as compared with its cost. 

The thanks of the city are due to those who during 1909 have 
in a public-spirited way given land along the river front or the 
parkway toward the extension and completion of the system. 

We desire to mention at this time the devoted work of the 
officers of the Commission. It is believed that no park enter- 
prise of anywhere near the equal magnitude in the United 
States is managed at so small a cost and with so small and 
economical a management force. 

Respectfully submitted, 

Charles A. Disbrow. Frcsi(hnf, 

Wm. E. Bailey, 

Jno. T. Brady, 

H. E. Hershey, 

J. Horace McFarland. 



To the Harrishurg Park Commission: 

GrENTLEMEN : I herewith submit my report, including the 
rinancial statement of this department, for the year ending 
December 31, 1909: 


The total attendance at all the parks in the Harrisburg park 
system during the year was 1,305,487, an increase over 1908 
of 221,127. (The distribution of this attendance will be found 
in the report of the Superintendent.) 

This gain and the immense total are probably the most sig- 
nificant items in the park statistics covering an eventful year. 
Showing that the use of the parks has almost doubled in three 
years (the attendance in 1906 was but 678,000), these figures 
indicate not only the great use of our parks but also the neces- 
sity for extending their area to meet the constantly increasing 
demand upon their wholesome facilities. 

The average annual increase in attendance from 1906 to 
1909 is found to be 24 per cent., and taking the experience of 
the four years into account, it is fair to expect an average 
annual increase in attendance of not less than 20 per cent, 
annually. At this ratio, which, judging by the experience of 
the last four years, is a low ratio, 1912 will see the Harrisburg 
parks receiving 2,254,000 visits. It is because of this rapidly 
increasing attendance that it is imperatively necessary to pro- 
vide additional park facilities. 

Consultation of the attendance as separated in the accom- 
panying table Avill show that the better developed parks do not 
increase in attendance in proportion to the newer parks. Thus 
th'^ increase hist year in attendance at Reservoir Park was a 
little less than 14 per cent., while the already overcrowded 
Front Street Park took care of but eight per cent, more people 
in 1909, and the Twelfth Street playground was stationary. 
The Island, as well, facing the settled section of the town, en- 
tertained 136.075, peopk^ in 1909, an increase of barely three 
per cent, over tlie attendance in 1908. 

City of Ilayyisburfj 


Turning to the Parkway, it is noted that whereas but 32,800 
used it in 1908, 69,513 used it in 1909. For three years the 
attendance in the Parkway has doubled each year, which shows 
not only its utility but the necessity for extending it. It 
reaches people who are not near to Reservoir Park, or 
Front Street, or Twelfth Street, or the Island, and it is to 
the Parkway we must look for accommodations for at least 
a third of the population of Harrisburg, not near the parks 
just mentioned. The proposed loan will enable the Park Com- 
mission to connect and develop the Parkway, which includes 
many small parks in its extent, and will thus afford much 
needed accommodations for Harrisburg 's increasing popula- 
tion, with the increasing demands of that population on the 
city's park facilities. 

The attendance at AVildwood Park in 1909 was 89,800 per- 
sons, w^hich is a little over 800 per cent, of increase over the 
attendance in 1908, when the park was first opened, in part. 
It is certain that in 1910, with improved means of access, there 
will be a vast increase in the visits to AVildwood, which serves 
a population far from Reservoir Park, from Front Street and 
from the Parkway facilities which are available to the southern 
part of the city. 


It should be noted that the maintenance of the Harrisburg 
parks upon the appropriation income of 1909 cost 37 cents for 
each inhabitant, on the basis of 75,000 population. There is 
surely no other way in which the health and the pleasure of 
the people can be promoted at so small an expense as this. 

The cost per park visit in 1909 was slightly over two cents ; 
that is, the city's park facilities are availed of at less than 
one-fifth the cost of the fare only, to reach our only trolley 

A trained instructor was employed for the first time during 
the summer in order to make more useful our playground, 
serving from June 28 to September 4. In this period, but a 
little over two months, there was the extraordinary attendance 
of 72,877 in organized exercises at the city playgrounds. 


Fai'lv Commissioners' ReiJort 

It is, of course, impossible to obtain data that would demon- 
strate exactly the benefits derived by the people of Harrisburg, 
and particularly by the younger generation, from the frequent 
park visits and use of the playgrounds. The attendance fig- 
ures themselves testify to the enjoyment that the people gained 
from the city's open places, but the extent of the general im- 
provement in health can be conjectured only. 

Fresh air and exercise have long been recognized as health- 
ful, and at present the open air treatment is applied to the cure 
of many diseases as well as to the promotion of health. In 
closely built up districts of the larger cities the authorities are 
even providing outdoor schools, where children, upon the tops 
of buildings, notwithstanding winter temperatures, go through 
their class w^ork breathing the pure air of the great outdoors. 
That fresh air is the main feature of the treatment for tubercu- 
losis at the State's great tuberculosis sanitaria is a matter of 
common knowledge. 

The fact then that in a single year a million and a third park 
visits are made by the people of a city of 75.000 inhabitants 
prompts the question : 

If the fresh air treatment for tuberculosis and other ailments 
is efficient, must not Harrisburg be better able to fight the 
great plague because of the advantage offered and accepted for 
obtaining this treatment in the parks ? 

It has been asserted that consumption will have been 
stamped out in the United States in fifty years. If this be 
true, then Harrisburg, with its superior opportunities to use 
the chief remedy, fresh air, will be free of the disease long 
before the period of 50 years expires. 

Now that millions of dollars of the public money are ex- 
pended annually for the cure of tuberculosis, it seems perti- 
nent to suggest that, because of the universally admitted 
truism that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, 
the people of the city at large shouldn 't hesitate, now that the 
opportunity is about to be offered, to make possible the further- 
ance of the park and playgrounds' program as a means of its 

City of JIarris()ur<j 



Upon the approval by the people of the item of $100,000 for 
the further development and extension of the Harrisburg Park 
System, as included in the loan ordinance to be voted upon 
Fel)ruary 15, ]910, the Commission Avill again be in position to 
proe(Hxl with the carrying out of the comprehensive original 
park plan. This sum should enable the Commission practi- 
cally to finish the acquisition of land requisite to the original 
park plan, giving when fully developed a system excelled by 
none in the country, and commensurate with the importance 
of the city as the Capital of the great state of Pennsylvania. 

One of the chief features of the original plan, and one which 
in the future will be most valuable as well as most popular is 
the great encircling parkway, which cannot be completed un- 
less the loan item is approved on February 15. During the 
past year it has been found useless to attempt to secure land 
along the line of the Parkway by gift to the city from the own- 
ers, as much of the land in other parts of the system was se- 
cured, because no assurance could be given of early improve- 
ment by the Commission. This circumstance is in spite of the 
fact that many of the owners are entirely willing to deed their 
properties to the city for the purpose for which it is desired, 
yet the}^ will not do so except with the provision that the city 
agree to utilize the land within a reasonable time. 

The Commission is thus practically at a standstill so far as 
the extension of the park is concerned, as the money remaining 
from the sum voted for parks in the first improvement loan is 
required to be held for the payment of awards to the owners 
of land that has been condemned by the city. If additional 
funds to complete the Parkway are not made available very 
shortly, it is probable that some tenders of free properties will 
be withdrawn, to the immense disadvantage of the city. 


The future of the naturally magnificent stretch of river park 
along the city's water front, a feature almost unique because of 
its freedom from commercial usage, is also vitally concerned 
in the proposed loan for an intercepting sewer along the 

14: l/cu'lx Coiiiiiiissioncrs" licport 

river's edge. In former reports the necessity of providing 
some means by which the earth, filled in along the bank to ex- 
tend the river park to a suitable depth from Front street, may 
be retained has been mentioned, the ravages of the swift cur- 
rent of the Susquehanna in the past having been disastrous. 

Front Street Park 

This action of the river would be prevented by the completion 
of the proposed sewer, which would form a retaining wall to 
insurc'the permanency of eventual improvements to the most 
beautiful river park in America, and would permit of its being 
developed from end to end of the city, as a most useful and 
most efficient park for all the people. 

Until such a wall can be built, the further extension of the 
River Park is out of the question, as the State Water Supply 
Commission has prohibited any additional filling in of the bank 
until some such protection is provided, to prevent the earth 
being washed into the river channel. 

At the same time the River Park would be directly bettered 

Citfj of Ilayyishnri) 


by the sewer as a result of its main purpose, the prevention 
of the pollution of the river by the city drains. The odors that 
in the past have seriously affected the value of the park as a 
place for the people would be eliminated, and also the unsight- 
liness of streams of filth along present sewer outfalls. Taken 
in conjunction with the construction of the already provided- 
for Susquehanna River dam, maintaining a constant level of 
water through the summer months and concealing the unpleas- 
ant ''flats" that now mar the river at low stages, the projected 
sewer will provide artificially the only elements lacking natur- 
ally to make the Eiver Park the most beautiful of water front 


Although Harrisburg and its vicinity has just experienced 
the driest summer known, the season failed to justify the asser- 
tions once freely made that Wildw^ood Lake would become shal- 
low and swampy in the summer through lack of Avater and 
evaporation. As a matter of fact the lake was full all summer^ 
the level not varying more than one inch and a half. 

Moreover, the dam repeatedly proved its usefulness in pre- 
venting the flooding of Paxton Creek Valley. At four periods 
in the year there w^ere heavy rains and thaws as folloAvs : Feb- 
ruary 24, March 4, October 12, December 13. 

At all of these times, under former conditions, the lowlying 
portions of the city along Paxton Creek would have been under 
water. As it was, the lake, receiving the great quantity of 
water that drains into Paxton Creek above the dam, fulfilled 
its main purpose, that of flood control. The excess water was 
spilled into the conduit at the uppermost end of the lake and 
flowed to the Susquehanna river, only the normal quantity of 
water entering the creek. 

This work of the dam will in a few years repay to the city 
the entire cost of construction. Charles A. Miller, City Clerk, 
is authority for the statement that in the past Harrisburg has 
approximately spent $10,000 per annum as the result of the 
recurrent flooding of the Paxton Creek Valley, the money 
being expended for pumping and for labor and material neces- 
sary to prevent outbreaks of disease after each flood. 


Park Coinniis.'^ioners' Report 

As since the Wildwood dam went into service in January, 
1909. the banks of Paxton Creek have been at no time over- 
flowed, all this expenditure has been avoided. The great gain 
to o\vn('rs of a])utting property, both residence and industrial 
and the safeguard to the health of the city, is in addition to 
this cash saving. 


Several small plots of land were acquired by gift during 
the season. The most important of these was a holding 75 feet 
long in the river front Park, between Hamilton and Kelker 
streets, given by W. Spry Hurlock and Mrs. Hurlock. The 
bluff: facing Cameron street, opposite Koyal Terrace, was pre- 
sented to the city by AV. jM. Hoerner, John K. Royal and 
Joseph ]M. Peters. A small triangle on State street was put in 
the care of the Commission by resolution of Councils, and 
another small triangular plot was turned over ^'for a breath- 
ing place" at the suggestion of the Mayor, who declined to' 
approve the sale of the plot. 

By lease from the trustees of the State Hospital for the In- 
sane 6.07 acres of land were acquired along Paxton Creek above 
Maclay street, which makes possible the construction of a satis- 
factory entrance to Wildwood Park from ]\Iaclay street. 

A similar lease from the Comity Commissioners for a right 
of way through the Poor-house property would greatly aid the 
Commission's efforts to extend the Cameron Parkway. 

The area of the parks was further increased 41.5 acres 
during the year by the acquisition, through condemnation pro- 
ceedings after other methods had failed, of the tract formerly 
owned by the D. Fleming Estate, situated south of the Paxton 
Creek flood control dam in Wildwood Park. This brings the 
total area of park lands secured by the city to 748.5 acres. 

In addition the Commission had the use during the summer 
season of two plots in the city for playground purposes, free 
of cost, through the generosity of the owners. These plots 
Avei'e as f()ll()\\ s : 

At Thii'd and Harris streets, the property of Mrs. Elizabeth 

City of Harrisbui f/ 


At (Jrccii and xMaclay streets, the property of John E. Fox, 
William S. Miller, Samuel K. Leedy and Edward L. Cowden. 

Hiuidreds of children enjoyed the facilities thus offered by 
the public-spirited owners of the plots, and the Commission 
acknowledges its indebtedness to the owners for their gen- 


As before noted these playgrounds and those owned by the 
City were again largely used, and their advantage to the youth 
of the city was increased by the employment, for the first time 
in Harrisburg, of a trained playground instructor, Charles 
Eiley, whose comprehensive and systematic work for the pleas- 
ure and phj^sical development of his charges was most suc- 

One of the most noteworthy of ]Mr. Riley 's exercises was the 
system of teaching the motions of swimming upon the dry- 
land playgrounds by means of slings suspended from frame- 
work. In this manner many received preliminary instructions, 
with absolute safety, that enabled them afterward to begin 
swimming immediately upon being taken to the Commission's 
bathing houses. 

The playgrounds attendance for the entire season was 
52,250 by day and 20,627 by night. A playgrounds league 
for baseball was organized and completed a successful season, 
and many other organized activities resulted from the efforts 
of the instructor. A report of the playground instructor here- 
with submitted gives interesting facts and figures in detail. 

An innovation in the summer w^as the utilization of the play- 
grounds about the city for a series of free lectures in the even- 
ings. Mr. W. L. Loeser, Common Councilman from the Tentk 
Ward, gave four interesting talks, illustrated with stereopticon 
views. At each of these lectures from one thousand to twelve 
(hundred persons made up an attentive and appreciative audi- 
ence. Special lighting arrangements and seats for 900 persons, 
were installed for these popular lectures. 

Other new activities of the season were especially for the 
children of the playgrounds. They were a series of boat rides: 

20 rark Commissioners' Report v 

on the river and a "romper day" at Reservoir park at the closJ 
of the term. | 

There were six of the boat rides, each playground being 
entertained separately. The children were taken upon a 
steaml)oat and given trips up and down the^river, ending at 
the Island playgrounds, where the boys enjoyed a swimming 
and the girls went wading. The boat was chartered for these 
occasions by A^ance C. ]\IcCormick for the benefit of the child- 
ren. Romper day brought air the children of the six play- 
grounds together in friendly rivalry, interesting contests being 
held under the direction of the Playgrounds Instructor, who 
gives a detailed account of the day in his report. 

Through the kindness of the Board of School Directors, a 
cabinet has been installed in the L. 0. Foose building for the 
trophies won by the boys of the Thirteenth and Sycamore 
playgrounds in their inter-playground athletic meet. A hand- 
some cup, the gift of the A. J. Reach Company of New York,, 
and a shield, made by a friend of the boys and lettered in gold, 
at the expense of John Y. Boyd and Henry McCormick, Jr.,; 
are exhibited in this school, most of the members of the win-! 
ning team being pupils there. A photograph was taken of the, 
track team of this playgrounds, combined with the baseball* 
team, which won the inter-playgrounds baseball champion-; 
ship, and each member was presented with one of the pictures' 
through the generosit}^ of J. ]\I. Cameron. 


The great success of the existing playgrounds as used iit 
1909 indicates plainly the need for additional playgrounds.^ 
so that equal facilities should be available in all the thickly? 
populated portions of the city. It is hoped that several prop- 
erly equipped playgrounds may be provided soon, particularly 
in West Harrisburg and in South Harrisburg. 

Owing to grading operations, the Twelfth Street play- 
grounds was made h^ss accessible. To remedy this condition, 
an entrance from Herr street should be provided, and action 
should be taken to secure a right to use the approach to the 


City of Harrisburg 


Harrisburg cemetery leading from Cameron and State streets 
along the face of the bluff. 

All the playgrounds with the exception of that at Twelfth 
Street are in need of additional apparatus, which should be 
secured at once. The equipment at Twelfth Street is complete 
and in excellent condition in spite of its continuous use. 


Herman Lee Ensign Fountain, Fountain Place, Intersection of Derry and 
Mulberry Streets 

The need of a public comfort station near the central part 
of the city has been recognized, and the project of such an 
improvement has been agitated, but seemingly without ma- 
iterial success because of the expense necessary for the utiliza- 
tion of the site proposed, Market Square. AVith the increasing 
popularity of the River Front Park, and because of its prox- 
imity to the business center, it could as conveniently and more 
cheaply be made the location of a public rest room. Councils 
would please a large part of the public by making an appro- 
priation for at least one such building in the park. 

22 Parh Commissioners^ Report \ 

Arrangements by which users of the River Front parks 
may at all times secure pure and fresh drinking water are 
needed greatly. This necessity probably will be filled during 
the coming season. 

Two highways should be opened up from ]Maclay Street to 
"Wildwood Park. Cameron Street extended would furnish a 
direct driving and trolley route to the breast of the dam, and 
trolley-car facilities should be provided along this route. In 
addition a road should be opened leading from Maclay Street 
to the breast of the dam along the east bank of Paxton Creek. 

The reduction of the fare to the upper end of the lake on 
the Rockville line of the Central Pennsylvania Traction Com- 
pany to five cents would enable thousands more to use the park 
and its splendid boating and skating advantages. 

The opening of several additional baseball fields in Wild- 
Avood Park will help provide playing places for teams that, in 
spite of the many diamonds already available, could not be 
accommodated last season because of the ever-increasing popu- 
larity of the game. 

Lighting fixtures should be installed about Wildwood Lake 
or a portion of it to make possible its use at night for skating 
in the winter months. This sport has proved most popular, 
but because of the darkness only those who are at liberty 
through the day can enjoy it. 

Increased use of the bathing places by boys during the sum- 
mer, and the instruction given in swimming b}' the play- 
grounds Instructor, emphasizes the need of similar advantages 
for girls. At small cost a bathing place for girls could be con- 
structed at Island Park, and it is probable that suits would be 
provided as they were for the boys, without cost to the city, 
for it has been found that there always are public spirited citi- 
zens who will contribute generously to a good cause. 

Attendance at the annual series of free band concerts at 
Reservoir Park showed an increase last summer, and again 
the necessity of a modern structure, with scientifically correc 
sounding board for the nuisical organizations was strongly 
ft'lt. Tlie pres; lit bj'.iid stand is ill-fitt(^d for the purpose, and 

City of Harrishurg 


prevents the music from being made plainly audible to as many 
as should be accommodated. 


The Board of School Directors showed its desire to co- 
operate with the Park Commission in the work for the children 
of the city when in October the Building Committee recom- 
mended the appropriation of $250 for the equipment with 
playgrounds apparatus of the school yards at the Maclay and 
Yerbeke buildings. An opinion of the Board's solicitor de- 
clared, however, that the action recommended could not legally 
be taken, in that it put the School District's money in the 
hands of the Park Commission. 

In his report, Harry A. Boyer, president of the Board of 
School Directors, recommended that the Board improve the 
school yards directly, equipping them with the necessary ap- 
paratus for the benefit of the pupils. This would provide 
additional playgrounds in vacation time, as some of the school 
yards are now used in the summer, though without proper 

Prof. F. E. Downes, City 'Superintendent of Schools, has 
also suggested in his reports that the school houses be made 
auxiliaries to the playgrounds by establishing them as neigh- 
borhood centers for use throughout the year. By this plan, 
adopted and found advantageous in many cities, the school 
house is always open outside of school hours to the children of 
the neighborhood for their pleasure and convenience. This 
plan permits the children to meet socially, and successfully 
combats the evil influence of the pool rooms and other unfit 
places which children will seek when the weather or the season 
makes the use of the playgrounds impossible. 

This system, if adopted here, would be a valuable supple- 
ment to the city's system of playgrounds. 

The Pennsylvania Railroad also has recognized this neces- 
sity of providing facilities for healthful amusements for its 
employees at Enola, and it plans to establish and equip an 
athletic field there. 


7V//7.- ('oiiunissioKfrs' lie port 


Extraordinary activity in all branches of outdoor sports 
prevailed throughout the year. Skating at Wildwood f^ark 
was a new feature in the cycle of athletic events for which 
facilities are provided by the Park Commission. The immense 
lake has furnished the best skating had in this locality for 
years, and because of its absolute safety and the comfort 
offered the skaters by the rest house at the upper end of the 
lake, it is extremely popular. 

Skating at "Wildwood and Twelfth Street opened the annual 
rounds of sports conducted with the advantages offered by the 
parks. Track athletics at the city's quarter-mile cinder track 
at the Island athletic field followed, and then through the 
seasons, one close upon another, came golf, baseball, tennis, 
basket ball, rowing, swimming, football and winter sports 
again. Those who enjoyed these sports were men and women, 
boys and girls. 

The first of the annual series of scheduled athletic events 
w^as the third annual track and field meet of the Pennsylvania 
High Schools, when 16 of the High Schools from the larger 
cities of the State sent 233 athletes to the Island field. 

In connection with this meet a spectacular five mile ]\Iara- 
thon road race was run from the Country Club along the river 
road to the Island field, finishing there before the spectators 
at the meet. Thirty-seven athletes were in this event, the 
entrants being amat(Hirs from many well-known clubs. 

The second annual meet of the Pennsylvania Inter-collegiate 
Athletic Association was held on the Island ^lay 29, and on 
June 3 the second annual Grammar School meet of the Harris- 
burg public schools was held. 

These three sets of games were attended by 13,500 specta- 

Four other track meets were held during the spring, includ- 
ing dual meets between the High Schools and Grammar 
Schools, and in addition there were eighteen meets upon the 
other playgrounds. 

The first track and field meet open to amateur athletes of 
Dau})hin County was held on the Island S(^pteml>er 4. under 

at I) of Ilarrisburg 


the auspices of Kline & Co., who furnished the trophies. A 
five mik^ race was run on the Island track September 6, con- 
ducted by George W. Bogar. Some of the track distance run- 
ners of the east participated in this event. 

Several futile efforts were made to organize a strong city 
league of baseball clubs such as provided close contests in 
1907 and 1908. The result was a Junior League, which en- 
joyed a successful season. 

Tennis was played more this season than ever, the growth of 
this splendid exercise in popularity being due to the extensive 
facilities offered by the parks for its enjoyment. There are 
now twenty-one free tennis courts in the parks. In spite of 
this ])opularity of the game, the tennis committee found it 
impossible to promote a formal tennis tournament of players 
of both sexes for the city championship, such as were held in 
1907 and 1908. 

The third annual water carnival was held July 5 on the Sus- 
quehanna river. The program was more elaborate than for- 
merly, and the entry list included a large list of notable 
amateurs in aquatic sports. 

Golf grew in popularity also, and with the co-operation of 
the Harrisburg Park Golf Club, wdiich had the best season 
since its organization, the links w^ere kept in excellent condi- 
tion for the game. 

These series of excellent meets, games and events, which sup- 
plied thousands of spectators with sport of the highest class 
were made possible by residents of the city with the same 
public spiritedness that they had similarly shown in other 
years. Year after year these generous citizens, satisfied that 
the promotion of clean amateur sports on park grounds is for 
the good of the city at large, have freely contributed of their 
time and their money and have labored earnestly for these 
features of the park season. The only reward these men re- 
ceive for their praiseworthy activity is their pleasure in pro- 
viding the sports and in w^atching it and in doing the heavy 
work of managing the games ; for the men who make the sports 
possible do not shirk when the time comes for the duty, by no 
means a sinecure, of successfully carrying out the programs. 


Parh Commissioners' Report 

To the newspapers of the city also is due the Commission's 
gratitude for their enthusiastic and efficient aid in making 
these park events a success. 

The three big scholastic track and field meets were managed 
by the Harrisburg Track Athletic Committee, the permanent 
organization of local amateur athletic enthusiasts who give 
their time and labor to the promotion of clean sports. 

The committee is composed of the following : 
Dr. Chas. B. Pager, Jr., Chairman. Geo. W. Kehr, Secretary. 

R. G. Cox, Treasurer. 

W. O. Hickok, III, 
V. Grant Forrer, 
Mercer B. Tate, 
Francis J. Hall, 
Daniel M. Dull, 

John Y. Boyd, 
Ross A. Hickok, 
James A. Bell, 
B. W. Demming, 
J. Stockton Roddy 

John M. Bonbright, W. S. Steele, 

W. R. Douglass, 

A. H. Hull, 

Dr. Harvey F. Smith, C. S. Davis, 

H. L. Bowers, 
A. S. Patterson, 

J. B. Odell, 

B. F. Meyers, HI, 

Wm. Jennings, 
John Fox Weiss, 
Vance C. McCormick, 
Wellington G. Jones, 
Rev. S. W. Herman, 
Geo. W. Hill, 
J. Montgomery Trace, 
F. L. Mulford, 
E. C. Taggart. 

Following are detailed accounts of the various athletic ac- 
tivities of the year. 


The third annual track and field meet of Pennsylvania High 
Schools held on the Island Athletic Field was the largest event 
ever held in Harrisburg. The meet was open to all High 
Schools of the State with the exception of Philadelphia and 
Pittsburg, and seventeen cities and towns were represented. 

The schools that competed, and their total points, were as 
follows : 



3 0V> 



















Harrisburg Technical 





City of Harrishurg 


The popular event of the day was the five mile jMarathoii 
road race in which Judson Cabay of the Carlisle Indian School 
proved a victor over George F. Mclnerny, of the Shanahan 
Club of Philadelphia, who had previously won the Philadelphia 
Press Marathon and was the favorite starter to the local race. 
Mclnerny finished second, with S. R, Henry, of the Mercury 

City Athletic Field — Island Park 

A. A. of Reading, third. The other place winners were fourth, 
Frank Carrol, Shanahan Club of Philadelphia ; fifth, Howard 
W. Flack, Germantown Boys' Club; sixth, Harry R. Jefferies 
of Steelton; seventh, Julius Miorell, Shanahan Club of Har- 
rishurg; eighth, William Weakel, Germantown Boys' Club; 
ninth, Floyd A. Rapp, Harrisburg, Y. M. C. A. 

The individual winners in the track and field events and 
their records were as follows : 


Park Commissioners' Re par I 

100 yard dash, ...West, Middletown, 10 2/5 seconds. 

220 yard dash, ...Doud, Scranton, 25 1/5 seconds. 

44o yard dash, ...Payne, Technical 55 2/5 seconds. 

Half mile run, . . . Fishor, York, . 2.09 2/5 seconds. 

One mile run, . . . . Kulp, Harrisburg, 5.01 2/5 seconds. 

One mile relay, . . . Heilfrich, Fisher, Aldinger 

and Ashorook, York, .... 3.50 2/5 seconds. 

120 yard hurdle, . . Stauffer, Reading, IG seconds. 

Poie vault, Preston, Canton, 9 ft. 5i^> in. 

Broad jump, Honney, Wilkes-Barre, .... 20 ft. 

High jump, Clark, Scranton, 5 ft. 8 in. 

Hammer throw, . . .Knight, Troy, 148 ft. 10 in. 

Shot put, Haman, Reading, 40 ft. 7 in. 

Three thousand spectators attended these games which grow 
in popularity and interest each season. Gold, silver, and 
bronze medals were given to the place winners, and the Read- 
ing team again won the championship shield. In the five mile 
road race nine medals, gold, silver and bronze, were awarded. 


A total of 7,000 persons saw the annual games on the Island 
Field of the Pennsylvania Inter-collegiate Athletic Association, 
held morning and afternoon, ^lay 29. One hundred and 
eighty-three athletes, representing ten of the foremost colleges 
of the State, met in a close competition, and eight of the rec- 
ords established at the first meet of the association here a year 
before were bettered. The immense crowd was successfully 
handled and accommodated, and at the afternoon events was 
entertained by the famous Carlisle Indian School Band. The 
team scores were as follows : Carlisle, 61 ; Lafayette, 49 : 
State, 19 ; Dickinson, 9 ; Swarthmore, 8 ; Lehigh, 6 ; Wash- 
ington and Jefferson, 2 ; Gettysburg, ]Muhlenburg and the 
Vniversity of Pittsburg did not score. 

The records for the events of the meet were as follows : 

Goodwin, Lafayette, Winning Mile Run 



Park Commissioners' Eeport 


Broad jump, 

Discus throw, 

16 lb. shot put, 

100 yard dash, 

2 20 yard dash, 

4 40 yard dash, 

Half mile run, 

Mile run, 

Two mile run, 

120 yard high hurdles 
220 yard low hurdles. 

High jump, 

Pole vault, tie, 

16 lb. hammer throw. 

Winners. School. Record. 

Thorpe, Carlisle, 2 2 ft. 9 in. 

Hess, Dickinson, 125 ft. lo in. 

Thorpe, Carlisle, 4 2 ft. 2% in. 

Shand, Lafayette, .10 3/5 sec. 

Shand, Lafayette, 2 2 2/5 sec. 

Moore, Carlisle, 51 3/5 sec. 

Moore, Carlisle, 2.02 1/5 sec. 

Goodwin, Lafayette, 4.33 sec. 

Tewanima, Carlisle, 10.05 1/5 sec. 

Paxson, Lafayette, 16 sec. 

Thorpe, Carlisle, 2 5 3/5 sec. 

Thorpe, Carlisle, 5 ft. 11 in. 

Phipps, Swarthmore, . 11 ft. 

Maushoff, State, 

Thomas, Carlisle, 121 ft. 11 in. 

The contest between Lafayette and the Indians was close all 
through the meet. The Indians won out in the field events, 
scoring 31 points to Lafayette's 11 in that branch of the game, 

Tewanima, Carlisle Indian School, Winning Two Mile Run 

City of Harrishurg 


while Lafayette rolled up 38 points to the Indian's 30 in the 
track events. 

For winning the meet, the Indians became owners of a large 
silver loving cup purchased by members of the Harrisburg 
Track Athletic Committee. Trophies were also given to indi- 
viduals, gold, silver and bronze medals for whinners of first, 
second and third places. 


Teams representing the Grammar Schools of the city had 
their second annual meet June 3 on the Island field. These 
games w^ere marked by greater enthusiasm on the part of spec- 
tators and entrants than any of the other meets, and excellent 
records w^ere made. Fourteen of the buildings were repre- 
sented with 150 entrants. The schools were the Boas, Cam- 
eron, Camp Curtin. Cathedral, Downey, Forney, Hamilton, 
Harris, Lincoln, Maclay, Stevens, Webster, Wickersham and 

The scores were as follows : Forney, 35 ; Camp Curtin, 22 ; 
Stevens, 10 ; Maclay, 9I/2 ; Webster, 8% ; Cameron, 5 ; Har- 
ris, 4; Willard, 3; Lincoln, 2. 

The records were as follows : 

Event. Winners. School. Record. 

100 yard dash, tie, Frank, Forney, 11 sec. 

Bear, Camp Curtin, . . . 

High jump, Jauss, Stevens, 4 ft. 8 5/8 in. 

12 lb. shot put, . . .Williamson, Maclay, 3 4 ft. 6 in. 

Half mile run, . . . . Diehl, Camp Curtin, 2 min. 17 1/5 sec. 

Throwing baseball, Nicholson, Forney, 279 ft. 514 in. 

440 yard dash, . . . .Lyme, Webster, 58 4/5 sec. 

Broad jump, Jauss, Stevens, 18 ft. 1 3/8 in, 

2 20 yard dash, ...Frank, Forney, 2 5 2/5 sec. 

Mile relay, Frank, Miller, Huber and 

P. Bowman, Forney, ... .5 min. 7 1/5 sec. 

The beneficial results of these Grammar School games were 
shown even in this meet, only the second one ; greatly im- 
proved condition was evident, and was demonstrated in the 


Pai-k (.'oiniiiissioncrs' Beport 

bettering of the former reeords. The holding of these games 
for the lower gnuU' scliools is going to have noteworthy effect 
upon the city's future athletics. In the near future boys en- 
tering the local High Schools will have had four year's athletic 
training and experience, and will be fitted for immediate par- 
ticipation in the school sports. By the end of their High 
School course, having had eight years continued training and 
participation in the highest grade of amateur sports, they 
should be at the height of their ability. Greatly improved 
teams in the High Schools are bound to result. 

The Board of School Directors showed its interest in the 
youth of the city by appropriating the purchase price for 
the medals and trophies for these games, and the money was 
well expended. 

The Forney school won the Grammar School championship 
and was presented witli the shield for the year. This trophy 
is to be competed for annually for seven years, when the school 
having won it oftenest will become its permanent possessor. 
Three thousand and five hundred persons watched these in- 
tensely interesting contests, the number including the students 
of the schools, who were organized in cheering sections for 
their favorites and enlivened the afternoon with their yells. 

Contributions amounting to $451.05 for defraying expenses 
incidental to the Inter-scholastic ; Inter-collegiate and Gram- 
mar School track and field meets, were given by the following : 

Board of School Directors of Harrisburg. 

Yale Alumni Association of Central Pennsylvania. 

University of Pennsylvania Alumni of Central Pennsylvania. 

Lehigh Alumni Association of Central Pennsylvania. 

Lafayette Alumni Association of Central P<>nnsylvania. 

Bucknell Alumni Association of Central Pennsylvania. 

Penna. State Alumni Association of Central Pennsylvania. 

Harrisburg High School Athletic Association. 

Steelton High School Athletic Association. 
Charles E. Covert. J. Ritchie Smith. Augustus Wildman. 

George W. Bogar. J. Montgomery Trace. G. W. Mcllhenny. 
W. K. Alricks, S. J. M. McCarrell. J. F. Palmer. 

C. F. Zimmerman. Pierce Rettew. F. E. Downes. 

John Fox Weiss. W. Harry Baker. F. D. Bosch. 

J. W. Awl, .Tr. 

City of Harrisburg 


Members of the Harrisburg Track Athletic Committee and 
the following acted as officials for these games: 

The organization of ten of the strongest amateur baseball 
teams into a City League team was earnestly sought, but after 
numerous meetings with the baseball managers the idea had to 
be abandoned. The teams desired to play a large number of 
their games out of the city, for the pleasure of the trips, and 
these games would interfere with a rearranged league sched- 
ule. Better results may be looked for this season, however, 
as the teams found that it was not so easy to secure games out 
of the city. 

A Junior City League was formed May 7, and played 
through the season between May 15 and September 11. The 
Palmer-Cox team won the series with a perfect record, having 
lost no games. A handsome silver cup, the gift of friends, was 
the prize. The schedule brought each team to play each other 
one twice, and 125 to 150 young players participated in the 
I games. The teams were composed mostly of young working 
I men who had only Saturday afternoons to play. The cup was 
i presented to the winning team at the Country Club, October 1. 
George W. Bogar made the presentation speech, and the cup 
was accepted by J. Frank Palmer. At the banquet that fol- 
lowed individual prizes were given to the players having the 
highest averages in the several departments of the game. 

Although no City League could be formed, the year was 
remarkable for the interest shown in baseball. The records of 
the Secretary's office show that 1,071 permits were issued for 
games on the park grounds to 330 distinct baseball teams. The 
following table shows the increased popularity of the game 
and of the city's fields: 

John H. P^ager, Jr., 
Robert W. Dunlop, 
W. A. Neale, 

Frank J. Brady, 
Scott S. Leiby, 
Robert B. McParland, 
Harry A. Boyer, 
George W. Mcllhenny, 
W. A. Boll. 

C. C. Dunning, 

D. M. Dull, 

A. Reader Ferriday, 




Island Athletic Field 
Twelfth Street Playground 
Wildwood Park 

Thirteenth and Sycamore Streets 


Farh Commissioners' Report 









Twenty- four out of town teams played on the grounds as 
follows : 

The Island fields were used especially by the better teams, 
and thousands of spectators watched their games. All the 
baseball games w^ere free. ! 

In this vast army of local players of the national game there 
likely are a number of ' ' future greats ' ' which will make theiij 
names famous in baseball. The city offers them great advan^ 
tages for their game, and also fits them for playing in the pro- 
fessional leagues by the discipline that is enforced. The cor. 
iier lot player has been made famous by the many notable 
baseball players that have risen from that class of playing^ 
Certainly the Harrisburg boy has many advantages over the 
famous ' ' back lot ' ' player. > 

One of these great advantages is that good conduct is re. 
quired. When the public fields were first thrown open there 
was a general use of profanity during the games. The con- 
stant vigihmee of the Park Police has all but eliminated swear- 
ing and cursing upon the fields, and the rowdy element is be- 
coming scarce. It is generally understood that rowdyism won't 
be tolerated. 

One incident particularly demonstrated this policy of park 
manao'ement. Two teams of older players at the Island field 

Camp Hill 


















City of Harrisburg 


'disagreed as to the correctness of the umpire's decision. The 
r official became the center of a mass of players voicing their 
1 opinion of the umpire and their objections to his decisions, 
' when the lone park guard on the Island restored order with a 
command that play be resumed at once. 

Ten minutes later the incident was repeated, except that the 
guard ordered every player off the Island. He followed the 
eighteen members of the teams to the bridge and saw that they 
left. The same two teams often met thereafter on the same 
field, and never caused any further trouble. 
! Among the many teams that played on the Island were a 
number composed of Pennsylvania Railroad men employed at 
Enola. These teams will be missed next season, for the Penn- 
sylvania Company, according to authentic reports, realizing 
the advantages derived from their employes' athletics, is 
about to provide an athletic field near the Enola yards for the 
, men. 


The annual River Carnival, which formerly was held on 
Labor Day, took place on July 5 this year. The earlier date 
was selected because at that season the Susquehanna River is 
I at a higher stage than in September. The athletic and power 
boat races were held in the morning and afternoon. In the 
evening there was an illuminated parade of boats upon the 
i river, led by a large flat bearing the Halifax Band. 

One hundred boats of all sorts were in this procession. The 
change of date, however, did not seem to appeal to the public, 
as indicated by a falling off in the number of spectators. 

The Carnival itself in every way excelled those of former 
iyears. This was largely due to the generosity of the Board of 
Trade, Avhose public function committee voted $200 for the 
event. This appropriation made possible the purchase of 
medals for the contestants, payment for the music and the 
illumination by 700 electric lights of the eastern shore of the 
Island, from the Walnut Street bridge to a point opposite 
North Street. 

The best performances in the athletic events were the swim- 
ming feats of the members of the New York Athletic Club, the 

36 Fark Comrnissioneys' Report 

University of Pennsylvania and the Argo Swimming Club o 
Philadelphia, athletes all of national repute. Their work her 
established new world's records in the 100 yards, the quarter 
mile and the mile events. 

For the first time the tub race was properly done. Th 
winner remained in his tub from the start to the finish, aD( 
paddled the entire length. 

In these events local athletes won places and prizes, in spit 
of the presence of a large number of out-of-town tracks. 

Some of the credit that Harrisburg should have gained fo 
pablicly promoting sports of the high standard of this wate 
carnival was lost because of the discourteous behavior of som j 
of the owners of boats. Not only did they take no interest i] 
the preliminary efforts to make the sports a success, but oi 
the day of the carnival some even flatly refused, when re 
quested by the committee, to aid in carrying the various con 
testants from the bank to their starting places in the middl 
of the river. The thanks of the committee, however, ar 
especially due to M. T. Stewart and Charles A. Dintaman, wh' 
lent their motor boats for the use of the officials. 

The committee managing the carnival decided at its clos' 

that unless greater interest be shown next season by th 

canoeists, boat owners and swimmers, the event, which becaus'i, 

of Harrisburg 's excellent natural advantages should be th' 

most successful of the year, be abandoned. ■ 

The results were as follows : ! 


Event. Winners. Time. < 

100 yard swim, . . J. P. Shyrock, U. of P. S. I 
T., 51 4/5 sec. 

100 yard swim, . . Frank Hiney, ] 

(Boys under 16) 65 1/5 sec. 

440 yard swim, . . .L. B. Goodwin, N. Y. A. 

C, 4 min. 26 2/6 sec 

440 yard tub race, J. J. Gallaglier, A. S. C, . 5 min. 27 sec. 

Mile canoe race, . .Harry Lindsay and Clay- 
ton Keys, 8 min. 4 9 sec. 

4 mile motor boat, W. S. Schrauder (3rd 

class), 58 min. 13 2/5 sec 

Mile swim, L. B. Goodwin, N. Y. A. 

C, 16 min. 48 sec. 


City of Ilarrishiirg 


4 mile motor boat, J. M. Knell (2nd class), 38 min. 58 sec. 
Mile row boat, . . . H. Lindsey and C, P. 

(Double) Dinger, 9 minutes. 

4 mile motor boat, Clarence Deller, (1st 

class), 2 8 min. 50 sec. 

Committee of Arrangements. 

Geo. W. Kehr, Chairman, V. Grant Forrer, Sec-Treas. 
A.. J. Simms, Gilbert M. Oves, A. P. Dintaman, Cloyd K. McFadden, 

P. A. Keppel. 


j Referee: George W. Kehr. 

Judges: A. J. Simms, William Strouse, M. M. Keet, John M. 
Bonbright, Wellington G. Jones. 

Timers: H. P. Oves, Harry W. Snavely, Harry W. Stone, R. 
D. Beman. 
Starter: R. W. Dunlop. 
Clerk of Course: V. Grant Forrer. 
Assistant Clerk of Course: C. C. Dunning. 
Announcers: Scott Leiby, Ralph Kirk, Horace C. Geisel. 
Marshals: Homer Kuntz, Harry J. Berrier. 
Official Measure: Gilbert M. Oves. 
Inspectors: James A. Bell and C. P. Spicer. 

Prizes valued at $78.50 and $250.00 in cash were donated by 
he following: 

Harrisburg Board of Trade. J, Horace McParland 

P. A. Keppel. Harrisburg Hardware Co. 

Robert McCormick. L. W. Cook 

C. A. Moller Henry Gilbert & Son. 

John Gastrock D. U. Hershey 

Charles Andrews Sides & Sides 

Paxton Floral Company. Rothert & Co. 

Earl Mackenson C. E. Bair & Son. 

Harrisburg Bridge Co. J. C. Herman & Co. 

Peoples Bridge Co. John Pyne 

Frank R. Leib R. V. Fairlamb 

A. J. Simms John A. Rose 

George W. Bogar Compton's Hardware Store 

A. P. Dintaman Weaver's Candy Store 

G. M. Oves J. H. Messersmith 
D. Bacon Company 


Varlv Commissioners^ Beport 


The number of boys and youths who utilized the two free 
bathing floats increased in 1909 by 6,000 over the number 
of the previous year. One of these floating bath houses 
was stationed along the river bank above Seneca Street, and 
the other, a larger one, at the Island Playgrounds. The at- 
tendance record was as follows: 

1909 190S 1907 

Island 28,616 20,559 15,563 

Front Street 6,596 8,651 

Total 32,212 29,210 15,563 

The increase in the use of the Island and the decrease at the 
up-town bath house was due probably to the supply of free 
bridge tickets for children under 16 years of age given by two 
public spirited and generous directors of the Harrisburg 
Bridge Company. About 95 per centum of the bathers were 
under this age limit. 

Bathing suits were furnished the boys free of charge. Iri 
all, 40-1 w^ere in use, 192 new ones being purchased this season 
from the contributions of the following: 

Samuel Kiinkel Wm. H. Sidle 

John M. Delaney W. M. Ogelsby 

W. L. Gorgas M. H. Plank 

D. W. Hershey Wm. S. Tunis 

, Charles L. Schmidt Wm. E. Steel 

' Henry W. Gough V. C. McCormick 
Albert Koenig and "Cash" Charles A. Kunkel 

The Crescent Laundry, at the opening and closing of tb. 
season, very kindly washed all the suits free of charge. 


A total attendance of 81,000 testifies to the popularity ol 
one of the oldest features of the park diversions. Sixteen ecu- 
certs were given in the season, the expenses being paid from 
the fund raised by popular contributions. 

City of Ilarrisburg 


Following is a list of the contributions, with an account of 
the expenditures: 

List of Contributors to Band Concert Fund of 1909. 

Balance from 1908, $2 19 

i Witman-Schwarz Co., 5 00 

Chas. C. Stroh, 5 00 

James C. Thompson, 5 00 

\ Warren M. Manning, 5 00 

1 B. of R. T. No. 574, 5 00 

J. Austin Brandt, 5 00 

Geo. A. Gorgas, 5 00 

Chas. Kunkel, 10 00 

Edmund Mather, 5 00 

Wm. J. George, 5 00 

'E. S. Herman, 5 00 

|d. D. Hammelbaugh, 5 00 

P. E. Downes, 5 00 

Wm. Russ, 5 00 

W. F. Darby, 5 00 

Dr. H. W. McGowan, 5 00 

jH. B. McCormick, 10 00 

'Central Construction and Supply Co., ... 5 00 

Maurice Russ, 5 00 

M. B. Tate, Jr., 5 00 

,C. E. Diehl, 2 50 

jM. E. Olmsted, 10 00 

iC. H. Bergner, 5 00 

.Samuel Kunkel, 10 00 

W. Mcllhenny, 5 00 

J. E. Patterson, 5 00 

J. G. M. Bay, 5 00 

Ross Oenslager, 5 00 

'United Ice & Coal Co., 25 00 

IR. W. Dunlop & Co., 5 00 

:A1. K. Thomas, 5 00 

E. C. Thompson, 5 00 

H. M. Bretz, 2 50 

H. L. Hershey, 5 00 

C. Howard Lloyd, 5 00 

Wm. J. Calder, 10 00 

I J. P. Melick, 5 00 

tc. Ross Boas, 5 00 

iRev. S. C. Swallow, 5 00 

40 Park Commissioners' Report 

W. E. Bailey, 10 00 

Dives, Pomeroy and Stewart, 25 .00 

T. G. Calder, 5 00 

John A. Affleck, 10 00 

W. H. Bushnell, 5 00 

Forrest Hunter, 5 00 

Maurice C. Eby, 5 00 

C. A. Garverich, 5 00 

Harrisburg Grocery & Produce Co., 5 00 

D. S. Sollenberger 5 00 

J. E. Rhoads, 5 00 

Wittenmyer Lumber Co., 10 00 

J. L. L. Kuhn; 5 00 

Bowman & Co., 10 00 

B. F. Blough, 5 00 

Ferd. Moeslein, 2 50 

E. Moeslein, 5 00 

C. A. Stauffer, 5 00 

J. N. McCullough, 5 00 

H. Fink's Sons, 5 00 

H. H. Freeburn, 5 00 

H. E. Hershey, 5 00 

E. G. Hoover, 5 00 

S. N. McCulloch, 5 00 

Gobi & Bruaw, 5 00 

Holmes Seed Co., 5 00 

Compton's Hardware Store, 5 00 

Einstein's Dry Goods Store, 5 00 

I. W. Dill, 5 00 

S. F. Dunkle, 5 00 

Luther R. Kelker, 10 00 

J. F. Eaton, 5 00 

W. O. Hickok, 5 00 

John E. Fox 5 00 

Fisher Bros., 5 00 

Wm. M. Hoerner, 5 00 

Donald C. Haldeman, 5 00 

Herman C. Astrich, 5 00 

Wilmer Crow, 100 

S. A. Fishburn, 10 00 

Ensminger Lumber Co., 500 

W. O. Bishop, 5 00 

C. S. Boll, 5 00 

J. H. Troup, 10 00 

D. S. Seitz, 5 00 

City of Harrishurg 41 

J. C. Nissley, 5 00 

J. Heron Grossman, Jr., 5 00 

Dr. J. W. Ellenberger, 5 00 

H. A. Chayne, 5 00 

W. M. Ogelsby, 5 00 

Hoffman & Wilson, 10 00 

John Pox Weiss, 10 00 

F. W. Woolworth & Co., 5 00 

John T. Brady, 10 00 

Jerauld Shoe Co., 500 

Central Iron & Steel Co., 25 00 

A. G. Knisely, 5 00 

Knox & Meckley, 5 00 

Willard S. Young, 5 00 

E. B. Mitchell, 10 00 

J. K. Greenawalt, Sr., 5 00 

Donald McCormick, 10 00 

Dr. J. B. McAlister, 5 00 

V. G. McCormick, 10 00 

H. Gilbert & Son, 10 00 

T. T. Wierman, 10 00 

J. L. Morganthaler, 5 00 

E. A. Heffelfinger, 2 00 

Robert McCormick, 10 00 

J. V. W. Reynders, 10 00 

K. of W. Cornplanters Tribe, 

I. O. R. M., 5 00 

Harrisburg Republican Club, 5 00 

John Y. Boyd, 5 00 

James Boyd, 10 00 

John Hoffer, 10 00 

John Hoffer, Jr., 5 00 

F. J. Hall, 5 00 

Wm. Jennings, 5 00 

C. H. Sigler, 5 00 

The Globe Clothing House, 10 00 

Frank J. Kitzmiller, 5 00 

Lalance-Grosjean Mfg. Co., 500 

Dauphin Conclave I. O. O. H., 5 00 

Bernard Schmidt, 5 00 

C. S. Lingle, 5 00 

Joseph Montgomery, 5 00 

A. H. Praim 2 00 

D. U. Hershey, 5 00 

Miller Bros. & Baker, 5 00 

42 Fark Commissioners' Report 

Central Pennsylvania Traction Co., 800 00 

In addition to the liberal cash contribu- 
tion of the Traction Company, trans- 
portation for the musicians was also 

furnished by it. 

Dr. J. H. Widder, 5 00 

James H. Worden, 5 00 

E. J. Stackpole, 500 

Order Railway Conductors, No. 143, .... 5 00 

B. of R. T., No. 383, 5 00 

Harrisburg Council, No. 499, R. A., 10 00 

B. G. Galbraith, 5 00 

G. W. Reily, 5 00 

Cash C. B., 2 00 

Sharon Stephens, 5 00 

W. H. Killinger, 2 00 

W. B. McCaleb, 5 00 

Augustus Wildman, 5 00 

Donaldson Paper Co., 10 00 

White Block Lodge, No. 127, B. of R. T., 5 00 

W. B. Hammond, 5 00 

E. N. Cooper & Co., 5 00 

J. Stockton Roddy, 300 ; 

H. M. Kelley & Co., 5 00 ' 

Cash O. K., . 5 00 t 

Evans Burtnett Co., 500 < 

James McCormick, 10 00 • 

J. Wesley Awl, Jr., 500 \ 

J. M. Lamberton, 5 00 

L. M. Neiffer, 5 00 . 

Eddy Valve Co., 10 00 j 

Valley Traction Company, 2 0 00 | 

C. Studebaker, 500 1 

Dr. C. M. Rhodes, 5 00 j 

H. A. Sherk, 500 | 

Dr. C. C. Cocklin, 5 00 

R. M. H. Wharton, 5 00 

Mrs. M. Virginia Weiss, 10 00 

Total receipts, $1,806 69 

Total expenditures, 1,654 15 


$152 54 

Citij of Ilarrishurg 



May 31 Commonwealth Band, $112 OO 



Carlisle Indian Band, 





Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra, (evening 





Steelton Band, 










Philharmonic Band, 

Services and transportations, $185 50 

D. U. Hershey, suppers and 





Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra, 





Commonwealth Band, (evening only), ... 





Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra, . 





riOTTirnonwpalth RanH 

10 3 




steelton Band, 





Commonwealth Band, 





Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra, 





Commonwealth Band, 





Expenses incidental to vocalists in "Sextette 

from Lucia" rendered in connection with 

complimentary concert by Harrisburg 

Symphony Orchestra, 






In addition to these fourteen paid concerts, two compli- 
mentary concerts were given in Reservoir Park, one by the 
Flarrisburg Symphony Orchestra, September 27 and the other 
by the Commonwealth Band, October 4. Seven compli- 
mentary concerts were also played by the Commonwealth Band 
at different places throughout the city; the one at Island 
Ithletic Field, June 15 proved especially popular, being at- 
tended by nearly 3,000 persons. 


Golf gained many new players this season. It is estimated 
hat 5,405 players used the public links at Reservoir Park. 
)n Saturdays the number of players in the afternoons often 
,'eached 30 or 40. 

At such times the links were congested, and it has been sug- 


Park Commissioners' Report 

gested that a slightly different lay-out of the course would be 
an improvement, preventing the necessity of crossing and re- 
crossing the line of play. 

Means of watering the putting greens artificially are badly 
needed. Owing to the drought of last summer, it was ex- 
tremely difficult to maintain them in proper condition, and 

Golf at Reservoir Park 

toward the end of the season they had suffered greatly from 
the lack of rain. 

The Harrisburg Park Golf Club is an organization of the 
golfers of these links, though of course the grounds are open 
to everybody. The club was increased during the year by 
about 40 members. Under its direction and entirely at its owul 
expense a number of successful inter-city matches were held 
at the park. In addition to the frequent Saturday afternoon 
matches for the club members, there was a Fall Club Tourna- 
ment, in which valuable trophies, purchased by the club, were 
awarded. Teams from Lancaster and Altoona were enter- 

City of Ilarrisburg 


tained during the year, the local club winning both matches. 
None of the expense of these activities fell upon the Commis- 

The presence at the links at all times of an experienced 
professional, S. McEwen, has contributed greatly to the proper 
I maintenance of the links and to the pleasure of the golfers, 
especially of novices. 

The close of the season was marked with a banquet of the 
j Club at the Commonwealth Hotel, attended by about 50 of the 
active golfers of the city. 


It is unfortunately necessary to report that football as 
played by the local teams, with the exception of the scholastic 

; organizations, on the park grounds has degenerated into rough 
and tumble team fights. 

Thirty-eight permits were issued for games, and twenty- 
seven different teams played. The High Schools' teams prac-. 
ticed on the Island playgrounds but had their match games at 
the H. A. C. grounds, where admission could be charged. This 
fact, and parental prohibitions resulting from fatal accidents 
reported in the newspapers frequently, are causes of the 
smaller number of games played than in 1908. 

Because of the roughness of the present game of football it 
would be well t© promote in any way possible the playing of 
soccer or association football. There are a number of persons 

I in the city familiar with the game who would be glad to give 
their aid in starting it on the road to popularity. 


I JANUARY 1, 1909, TO DECEMBER 31, 1909. 


, General $560 96 

! Wildwood, 5,174 93 

I Reservoir, 1,209 45 

! Front Street, 909 65 

' Cameron and Paxton, 400 00 

46 Park Commissioners' Report 

Island, 463 01 

Twelfth Street, 150 

23, 1909, TO DECEMBER 31, 1909. 

Reservoir — 

$110,620 81 

Front Street — 



Twelfth Street — 




Second Street and State Street — 



Wildwood — 



Island (Including Nursery) — 



Maclay School Grounds — 


Parkway — 

Improvement, $11,500 33 

Cameron and Paxton — 

Improvement, $430 20 

Tools, supplies, expense, engineers and 

salaries, $21,339 79 

, $60,764 






























$233,409 60 

City of Harrisbiirg 


23, 1903, TO DECEMBER 31, 1909. 


Improvement Loan, $250,000 00 

1903 Sundry receipts, $5 00 

1904 Sundry receipts, 60 29 

1905 Sundry receipts, 174 75 

1906 Sundry receipts, 726 

1907 Reimbursement by Board of 

Public Works, 15,000 00 

1908 Sundry receipts, 8 00 

1909 Net proceeds from sale of mac- 
chinery, etc., formerly property of 

the Monogahela Melting Co., Ltd., . . 176 00 

1909 Bonus-sale of bonds, 1,788 90 

17,220 20 

Total receipts, $267,220 20 

Total expended, 233,409 60 

Balance, $33,810 60 


JANUARY 1, 1909, TO DECEMBER 31, 1909. 

1^ Expenditures. 

Reservoir, $6,775 28 

State Street, . 187 57 

Green and Maclay, 218 76 

Twelfth Street, 1,060 77 

Third and Harris, 145 67 

Front Street, 3,506 24 

Island, 3,934 86 

Parkway, 645 83 

Wildwood, 5,835 05 

State Street Bluff, 76 39 

Thirteenth and Sycamore, 407 39 

Cameron and Paxton, 36 53 

Contingent and Miscellaneous, 1,476 85 

Salaries, 3,326 63 

$27,633 82 


Fwrk Commissioners' Report 


Balance from 1908 appropriation, $830 8' 

Appropriation, 27,985 0 

Sundry receipts, 305 3 

Total receipts, $29,121 1' 

Total expenditures, 27,633 8: 

Balance, $1,487 3! 


Balance on hand January 1, 1909 — Improvement, $40,565 2( 

Balance on hand January 1, 1909 — Maintenance, 830 8( 

Appropriation (maintenance) 1909, 27,985 0( 

Sundry receipts, 2,270 2' 

Expenditures. $71,651 2' 

Improvement. Maintenance. 

Reservoir, $1,209 45 $6,775 28 

State Street, 187 57 

Twelfth Street, 1 50 1,060 77 

Front Street, 909 65 3,506 24 

Island, 463 01 3,934 86 

Parkway, 64583 

Wildwood, 5,174 93 5,835 05 

General, 560 96 

Cameron and Paxton, .. 40000 3653 

Green and Maclay, 21876 

Third and Harris, 145 67 

State Street Bluff, 7639 

Thirteenth & Sycamore, 407 39 

Contingent and miscel- 
laneous, 1,476 85 

Salaries, 3,326 63 

$8,719 50 $27,633 82 $36,353 3; 
Available balance for maintenance January 1, 

1910, to April 4, 1910, $1,487 35 

Available balance for Improvement January 1, 

1910, 33,810 60 

Respectfully submitted, 

Y. Grant Forrer, 



To the Harrishurg Park Commission: 

Gentlemen: For the year just closed it is a pleasure to 
be able to report progress. Much has been accomplished. 
More is ready at hand to be done as rapidly as funds become 
available. The use of the facilities offered has been greater 
than ever. Careful estimates of the attendance indicate that 
there were more than one million, three hundred thousand (1,- 
305,187) park visitors during the past year, an increase of two 
hundred and twenty-one thousand visitors (221,127) or 
slightly over 20 per cent, over the preceding year. 

The accompanying table shows that the increased attend- 
ance has been well distributed among all the parks. Wildwood 
Park has had the largest increase. The whole area was opened 
this year for the first time. It already stands fourth among 
the park units in number of visitors, and will surely rank 
third the coming year. The report of the Play Instructor, 
Mr. Chas. Riley, already in your hands, shows in detail the 
attendance at the playgrounds during the vacation season, and 
shows well the extent and importance of the work he accom- 
plished. It fully justifies the hopes entertained for the work 
at the beginning of the season, and is ample warrant for the 
continuance of expenditures along the same lines. Free band 
concerts given by the Commonwealth Band, on the Island 
Playgrounds, and at Green and Ilaclay streets in addition to 
others at places not under the jurisdiction of the Commission, 
and free open air illustrated lectures on instructive topics by 
Councilman Wm. L. Loeser at different points in the city, are 
two out-croppings of the neighborhood center idea for which 
it is hoped the future will be able to adequately provide. 






Reservoir Park, 
Front Street, 





50 Park (yommissioners' Report 

Twelfth Street, 36,000 46,600 67,000 67,794 

Island, 13,000 68,500 131,759 136,075 

Thirteenth Street, . . . 5,250 21,200 27,072 
West End Foot Ball 

Fields, 2,000 2,000 

Third and Harris 

Streets, 10,215 

Green and Maclay 

Streets, 8,075 

Parkway, 16,750 32,800 69,513 

Wlldwood, 11,000 89,800 

678,000 825,300 1,084,360 1,305,487 

Reservoir Park. 








Front Street. 

Sundays, 159,800 

Week days, 417,500 

Swimming 6,922 

Water carnival, 15,000 



Sundays, 36,102 

Week days, 33,411 



Sundays, 61,150 

Skating, 4,000 

Baseball, 3,800 

Other uses, 20,850 

Concerts, . 


Teams, . . . 
Other uses. 


Citij of Ilarrixbunj 


Twelfth Street Playground. 

Sundays, 12,310 

Evenings, 18,973 

Tennis, 1,600 

Baseball and football, 5,800 

Other uses, 5,065 

Gymnasium, 3,200 

Skating, 7,260 

Playground, 13,581 


Island Playground. 

Players. Spectators. 

18,637 38,493 

6,300 4,000 


2,550 18,000 



4,356 5,179 



69,232 66,843 136, 07» 

Thirteenth Street Playground. 

Players. Spectators. 

5,000 12,700 

1,500 300 



11,457 15,615 27,072 

Third and Harris. 

Players. Spectators. 

Playground, 8,712 1,503 12,215 

Green and Maclay. 

Players. Spectators. 

Playground, 4,356 590 

Night, 3,129 

4,356 3,719 8,075 

Baseball, .. 
Football,, . 
Track, .... 
Tennis, . . . 
Concert, . . 

Baseball, . . 
Football, .. 


Park Commissioners' Report • 


Automobiles, July and August, 
Carriages, July and August, . . 


Allowing an average of five persons for an automobile and 
three for a carriage, this makes about half the Parkway at- 
tendance in vehicles. 

The weather conditions during the summer were even more 
trying than in 1908. From June 27th till December 13th 
there was a protracted drought relieved by only two down- 
pours, one in September and the other in October, of less 
than two inches each, which were only temporary in effect. 
The rainfall was only one-fifth of normal in July and August. 
The early summer was beautiful growing weather — bright 
sunshine interspersed with good rains. 

The benches and tables in all the parks have been thoroughly 
repaired and repainted. 

The maintenance in this park has been kept up to the high 
standard set in the past. The extremely dry weather of sum- 
mer and autumn greatly marred the usual beauty of the parks ; 
not only did the grass become brown, but even the leaves of 
some of the trees withered. Of course, the newer plantings 
showed the effects most. The lawns were not as badly scorched 
as the year before. 

The lawns were treated in early spring with a mixture of 
fine-ground raw^ bone, nine parts, and muriate of potash, one 
part. Two hundred pounds of this were used to the acre. In 
May and again in the last of June, fifty pounds per acre of 
Nitrate of Soda w^as applied. Rotted manure was used on the 
garden in winter. 

When reseeding has been necessary, our standard mixture 
of equal parts by weight of Kentucky blue grass, and Fancy 
Red top has been used. On the side hill above the band stand, 
where the concert crowds kill nearly all the grass each year, 
additional grass seed was added in March to that sown in Sep- 
tember. The following mixture was used : 


City of Harrish urg 5^ 

Wood meadow grass, 2 lbs. 

Pine leaved fescue, 4 " 

Red fescue, 20 " 

R. I. bent 20 

Canada blue grass, 20 " 

Creeping bent, 20 " 

Sheep fescue, 20 

Tall fascue, 20 " 

Various leaved fescue, 20 " 

Perennial rye grass, 40 

By May 30, the day of the first concert, the fall seeding had 
made a good start and looked well. The heavy use to which 
this ground is subject owing to the large weekly crowds, comr 
bined with the dry weather, left but little of the grass by the 
end of the season. It was again reseeded in September. 

The grass cutting has never been accomplished so satisfac- 
torily as this year. The purchase of a new horse in the spring 
gave us two horses of our own. This enabled us to start the 
grass cutting with our two mowers whenever it was needed, 
and the two horse mower and three hand mowers kept the 
mowing well in hand, even during the fast growing period in 
the spring. During July and August but little cutting was 

More trees were planted in the spring, mostly in clumps 
along the edges of the woods on the three knobs, in order to 
break up the still straight borders of the existing woodlands. 
The missing trees along Whitehall street were also replaced by 
Norway Maples taken from the Front street parks. Some trim- 
ming was done by our own force and five large trees were put 
in good condition by the Davey Tree Expert Company. 
Shrubbery beds were added enclosing the Golf house, on the 
banks about the entrance from Walnut Street near Lynn, and 
about the entrance at Eighteenth and Walnut streets. Nine- 
teen hundred shrubs were used in these plantings. 

The bulbs planted about the house and in the garden in the 
fall of 1908 made a fine showing in the spring. In the bed in 
front of the rest house the tulips were followed by tuberoses 
and begonias, while scarlet sage was used along the south- 
west side. The begonias especially attracted much attention. 


Pari: Cotmnissioners^ Report 

In the garden more annuals than usual were planted. In spite 
of the dry weather these helped make the garden the best it 
has ever been. Seven thousand, six hundred herbaceous plants 
were used. Pansies have been planted about the house this 
fall instead of bulbs. Two hundred and fifty English Iris have 
been planted along the Whitehall street bank from Walnut 
street to Regina street. Nineteen hundred Spanish Iris on the 
Walnut street bank from Eighteenth street to Twentieth street, 

Picnic Parties — Reservoir Park 

besides jonquils, anemones, scillas, ixias and tulips in the 

At Eighteenth and Walnut streets the entrance was changed 
by swinging the foot path nearer Walnut street and giving it 
an entrance separate from the driveway, and then adding lib- 
eral plantings especially between the drive and path. At the 
Reservoir end of the path new steps were built up the upper 
bank. These were made wider than the old ones and a hand- 
I'ail was added to each side. 

Service House — Reservoir Parl< 


Park Commissioners' Report 

In May the Central Pennsylvania Traction Company com- 
pleted their extension out Market street to Prospect street; 
thence to Whitehall street ; thence to Eighteenth and AValnut 
streets, thus making a loop line running all the year to a point 
reasonably close to the picnic grounds and band stand. The 
entrance on "Whitehall street at the end of Regina street is the 
one naturally used, as the entrance from the street cars. There 
is a marked advantage in having a regular service all day, 
every day, to this convenient point. Ordinarily there is a 
twelve minute service. On Sundays in summer a more fre- 
quent service was maintained, and on concert nights two 
minute service is usually given. On concert nights it was 
found expedient to reserve the drive from Eighteenth and 
Walnut streets to the "tie up" for the exclusive use of 
pedestrians, as the crowds passing from the street cars to the 
concert needed the road between Eegina street and the 
pavilions. The use of the entrance at Regina street by pedes- 
trians increased all the season. As conditions improve along 
Regina street it will be used more and more. To accommodate 
these changes in the line of travel, steps were built to the top 
of the Reservoir just opposite this entrance. The more fre- 
quent street car service on State street from three to nine 
P. M. is an additional accommodation that is a help to those 
using the park. 

The tennis courts continue to be popular, more than four- 
teen thousand three hundred people having used them. That 
no one should monopolize the courts, and otherwise to look 
after things, an attendant at $3.00 per week was put in 
charge from one P. M. till dark and on concert days, all day, 
during the summer months. The result was satisfactory. 
Water from the city mains, piped to the courts, was ver}^ useful 
in watering the courts and also for drinking. There should be 
installed, however, a Smith cooler and bubble fountain, as 
recommended last year. 

The use of the golf course has been greater than ever, over 
five thousand four himdred people having used it the past 
year. Four of the teeing grounds were moved at the beginning 
of the season, which the players feel has improved the course. 

City of Harrisburg 


In conjunction with the Reservoir Park Golf Club, Mr. S. 
McEwen was employed at the beginning of the season to look 
after the Golf course and Golf interests. His services have 
been a help in making better golf conditions. The use of the 
Golf Club house was so great that it was found desirable to 
add more lockers. The need of watering facilities for the 
greens has been even more badly felt this year than last. The 
quantity possible to apply from a wagon is inadequate. 

A new contract for city lighting by electric arcs went into 
effect in July, 1909, at an increase over former prices of 44 
per cent. By increasing the number of lights 50 per cent, and 
installing the cheaper unit of lights as used in the rest of the 
park several advantages resulted : 

Fwst. A more even distribution of light with less intense 
contrasts of light and shade. 

Second. The elimination of the dangerous wires and un- 
sightly poles. 

Third. A saving in expense. 

For the two arc lights on the band stand, twenty sixteen- 
candle power incandescent lights fitted with Holophane shades 
were placed on the ceiling. These gave a more satisfactory 
light at a lower cost. 

Owing to this park being one of the places selected for regu- 
lar playground instuction, light changes were made in the 
playground area. The children's sand-box was moved to the 
higher level so that it might be farther from the play of the 
larger children, and nearer the tables where the parents were 
more likely to be engaged. A frame for swings and swim- 
ming supports was erected where the sand box had been, and 
a sand-pit for jumping was made. 

Surveys were made in the spring for an entrance road from 
Market street and later for a revision of the southern lines of 
the park. As yet no conclusion to these matters has been 


The portion where the sewer for the new coal cellar at the 
Capitol was laid, was replanted early in the spring. All the 
plants between the Capitol and the railroad were pruned 

58 Park Commissioners' Report 

severely. Most of the other roses not pruned the previous fall 
were also pruned. The ground was well worked up, and the 
last of June white verbenas from two-and-a-half and three- 
inch pots were planted wherever there was room. Seventeen 
hundred and seventy-two plants were used. Just before winter 
set in twelve hundred poet 's narcissus and six hundred of the 
early poet's narcissus were planted between the capital and 
the city line, and five thousand crocus were planted in the 
grass east of Thirteenth street. 

The Bluff along the south side of State street from Linden 
street to where Royal Terrace turns away to the south was 
planted in May with three thousand six hundred and forty-six 
small trees and shrubs. 


This playground was maintained at its past standard. A 
frame was made for instructions in the swimming strokes and 
sand-pits for the jumps. 

The tulips planted in 1908 bloomed beautifully in the spring, 
some were so pretty that they stuck fast to some unguarded 
fingers, and disappeared from the park. 

Skating was enjoyed here on seven days in January, six days 
in February and fourteen days in December, 1909, a total of 
twenty-seven days in which time seventeen hundred and sixty 
people availed themselves of the privilege. The opening of 
Wildwood Lake to skating has given a much needed relief to 
the small skating ponds at this playground. 


The dry weather wrought its greatest havoc in this park, as 
the great tramping to Avhich the grass is here subjected makes 
it less able to withstand unfavorable weather conditions. ]\Iuch 
watering was done with the fire hose, but this is not effectual. 
The fire plugs must be opened wide in order to close the drip 
valve. This throws so nuich water on the ground that the 
surface is flooded and the water begins to run off before any 
perceptible amount has soaked in. The recommendation made 

Depressed Path South of Market Street 

Harris Park — South Front Street. 


Park Conimissiojiers^ Report 

last year of attachments for small hose at close intervals is 
here repeated as an urgent need. 

The square from Market street to Chestnut street was fenced 
off and seeded in the spring, and it was kept out of use all 
summer. The public should not be allowed on it till May. 
Much reseeding was done all along the Front wherever the 
grass appeared at all thin. The shade mixture mentioned for 
Reservoir Park was used. 

West of the pumping station the grading of the paths was 
finished and a lime stone dressing put on. The proposed shrub- 
bery plantings were made, and the lawn portions seeded down. 
The face of the fill was planted with matrimony vine, (Lycium 
Chinensis) at the bottom of the slope and golden bell 
(Forsythis Suspensa) at the top. The whole length of the 
bank from Herr street to Paxton street had all vacant places 
filled with a plant of one of these kinds or with cuttings of 
matrimony vine. The golden bell was always used near the 
top, the matrimony vine farther down. Almost ten thousand 
of these two sorts of plants were used (9,740), besides fifty-five 
thousand cuttings of the matrimony vine. 

Thirty of the large trees worthy to be retained as permanent 
trees in this park were trimmed by the Davey Tree Expert 

Just before winter set in the top of the river bank from ]\Iul- 
berry street to Market street was planted with single narcissus ; 
from Locust street to the Pumping Station with tulips, mostly 
single ones; and from there to Herr street with double Van 
Scion narcissus. 

Some little fill has been made at different points but mainly 
the work is held in abeyance until the time of the proposed 
intercepting sewer is positively determined when the general 
plan for the river front will be specifically fitted to the sewer 
line, and the plan will then be given the State A¥aterways 
Commissions for approval and adoption. "When this is done 
it is expected to proceed with the completion of the river front 
as fast as funds are available. ^Material has been obtained the 
past year wherever possible, but much otherwise available ma- 
terial was held at high prices. 

City of llarrisburg 


On July 5th a successful water carnival was held on the 


Here too there was an increase in attendance over previous 
years, in spite of the fact that certain games that have pre- 
viously been played here were played at some other places in 

After a Swim at the Island Pool 

order that admission might be charged. The Secretary's re- 
port has a detailed account of the athletic activities on the 

A frame used for teaching swimming motions and also for 
swings was erected here as at the other playgrounds. Lamps 
were also installed here early in the season, and were kept 
lighted as far into the summer as the limited funds would war- 
rant. One band concert was given here and demonstrated the 
attractiveness of this place for such purposes. 

The road to the lands north of the Peoples Bridge passing as 
a mere trail to the east of the abutment near the east of the 


J'cuk C<}})n)nssioncrs' Report 

island, was improved late in the fall by widening and sur- 
facing with good gravel. The little park to the north of the 
Market Street Bridge contiues popular. 

The nursery has supplied over sixty-six thousand plants for 
use in the parks the past season, and fifty-five thousand cut- 
tings for planting on the river bank. In addition to this stock 
removed, half of the stock remaining in the nursery was trans- 
planted. No plant should be allowed in the nursery longer 
than two years without transplanting, as the object of nursery 
growth is to grow good roots that will help the plants to grow 
well when finally set out. This can only be done by frequent 
transplanting. Because of limited funds much transplanting 
that should have been done in 1908 was not done, so there was 
a double amount to be done this year. Because of the great 
number of plants to be taken from the nursery and the large 
size of many of them, the season was too far advanced before 
all that should have been transplanted in its nursery were re- 
moved. This leaves two blocks of trees to transplant this year, 
besides a large amount of stock that has stood two and three 
years in seed beds. 

The accompanying table shows the number and value of the 
plants used in the different parks during 1909. 



Plants Used. 

Insert six point head above columns — - 

Reservoir Park 9,584 

State Street 5,744 

River Front 10,613 

Island 1,765 

Parkway 4,032 

Wildwood 32,864 

Cameron Street Plot 22 5 

Water Department 1,2 31 

Miscellaneous 223 

$600 20 

610 26 

594 74 

246 18 

405 44 

2,594 96 

211 88 
43 55 

4 80 

$720 34 

732 31 

713 69 

295 41 

436 53 

3,113 95 

254 86 
53 26 

5 76 

66,286 $5,317 09 $6,380 51 

City of Harrisbiirg 


River Front 55,000 110 00 110 00 

$5,427 09 $6,490 51 

In addition to a number of seedling plants for lining out in 
the nursery, material for cold-frames and a supply of pots 
were purcliased. The cost of operating the nursery follows : 

Digging and Planting $599 82 

Cultivating 290 29 

Plants and Materials 294 24 

$1,264 35 

Financial statement for the year is as follows : 

Value of plants in Nursery January 1, 1909, $5,103 00 

Expenses 1909, 1,264 35 


$6,367 35 

Value of plants used from Nursery, 

1909 $6,490 51 

Value of plants in Nursery, December 

31, 1909 4,467 68 

Net gain to city in 1909 4,590 84 

$10,958 19 $10,958 19 
The summary of Nursery operations to date is : 




$309 72 

Plants Used 

Value in 

Value for 
(If purchased) 





3,373 02 

4,047 62 

1907 , 




1,800 25 

2,160 30 





2,770 33 

3,324 39 





5,427 09 

6,490 51 




13,370 69 

16,022 82 

An analysis of the inventory of stock in the nursery shows 

Trees 7,631 $1,455 35 

Shrubs 43,812 2,771 84 

Herbaceous stock 6,838 240 49 

Total, 58,281 $4,467 68 


Park Commissioners' Report 


Here the attendance has trebled that of last year. It was 
expected the completion of the Cameron street paving would 
do much to increase carriage and automobile traffic through 
the Parkway. The remarkable part of the increase is the large 
numbers who come on foot. 

The road under the subway has been used freely all summer 
and is a great improvement over the dangerous crossing of 
Nineteenth street. The slopes of the bridge approach have all 
been planted with large shrubs, principally bush honeysuckles, 
red-bud, ninebark and two sorts of dogwood. 

Two rows of elms were planted near the southern boundary 
from Nineteenth street east. Toilets for men and for women 
were provided between Cameron street and Nineteenth street. 


In January, 1909, the lake was flooded by the Board of 
Public Works, and placed in the custody of the Harrisburg 
Park Commission. Soon after it was frozen over, and this was 
the signal for the beginning of the real use of Wildwood Lake, 
and of the Park as an entity. Fifteen hundred people were 
skating here during February. As soon as the fine Sundays 
of April came people began to visit the park by thousands, 
and they kept it up, but in smaller numbers, all through the 
summer and autumn. 

At the opening of spring w^ork w^as begun on the fence- 
building and on the draining. Almost three-fourths of a mile 
of fence was built. Through the Cameron-Turner, Nettie 
McKee Graham and Forster tracts a ditch four thousand feet 
long was dug. Four hundred feet of an old ditch on the Wm. 
K. Alricks tract was deepened. This work completely drained 
all that tract of land lying at the base of the eastern bluff of 
the park, amounting to twenty acres. This cost less than ^ve 
hundred and fifty dollars. "West of this, but still east of the 
creek another drain two thousand feet long was dug, at a cost 
of less than seventy-five dollars, that drained about five acres. 
Thus two of the wettest places in the park have been drained, 
including fully half the wet area, there now being less than 

Boating on Wildood Lake. 

t)6 Park Commissioners^ Report 'j 

twenty-five acres that need draining. There is no longer any 
^' swamp" in Wildwood. 

The several detached paths made in 1907 were connected this 
spring, so that continuous walks were completed through the 
park. A good path from ^laclay street along the creek and a 
way across the Paxton Creek near Avhere it enters the lake, so 
as to eliminate the long walk across the creek at the highway | 
bridge, will improve the paths to meet the needs of the coming I 
season. ]\Iucli cleaning up of the woods was needed, there 
being large amounts of fallen timber, and some dead trees. 
Arrangements have been made by which much of this cleaning 
up was done without expense to the commission, and the same 
method is being continui^d as rapidly as possible. 

The dike along the old tow-path extending for seven thou- 
sand five hundred feet along the western shore of the lake was 
planted from end to end. Thirty thousand trees and shrubs 
from the nursery Avere used for this work, and about five thou- 
sand plants that were dug from the proposed ball fielcis. Both 
sides of the breast of the dam were planted with coral berry, ; 
( Symphoricarpus vulgaris) of which twenty-five thousand' 
X)lants were used. \ 

In Mav a two-room boat-house 20 feet bv 72 feet was built ^ 
near the north end of the lake. One end had comfortable ac- 
commodations for twenty-four row boats or canoes, and could 'i 
accommodate thirty-two. The other was a shelter or rest room ; 
19 feet by 23 feet with large windows on three sides and \ 
finished in yellow pine. Before this house was built row boat ] 
and motor boat privileges on the lake had been let by competi- \ 
tion to IMiles D. Fry. He placed on the lake twenty-five row | 
boats, nineteen 14 feet long that will carry three people and i 
six 1 6 f(^et long that Avill carry five people. The rental of these 
is twenty-five cents per hour. The motor boat gives a ride the 
length of the lake for five cents, or a return trip for ten cents, 
the running time each Avay being about eighteen or nineteen 
minutes. Landing places have been provided at convenient 
points along the east shore and at both ends of the lake, but 
the motor boat service the past season Avas only for the trip the 
full length of the lake. 

City of Harrishuyg 


The serious growth of aquatic plants in the bed of the lake, 
with the completion of which as a flood-prevention work the 
Park Commission had nothing' to do, made boating almost im- 
practicable. It is only proper to say here that this condition 
was not unexpected, having been predicted by our engineer, 
Mr. ]\Ianning, and that the Commission was without authority 
or funds to properly excavate the bed of lake previous to the 
flooding. After a canvass of park departments throughout the 
country, cutting of the roots of the water plants seemed the 
most reasonable solution. An experiment in a small way, 
begun before this correspondence was undertaken, proved most 
successful. The growth after the first cutting made in May 
was not 10% as heavy as the original growth, and it was prac- 
tically nothing after the second cutting. Just as we were de- 
vising apparatus to do the cutting in a large way, the State 
Fisheries Department called our attention to a patent saw for 
just such use. An investigation of its merits by the Park De- 
partment of Toledo, Ohio, gave us confidence to purchase fifty 
yards of the saw^, which, when put into use was found most 

Owing to lack of funds the Board of Public Works were 
forced to leave many stumps and obstructions in the lake when 
it passed out of their care. These interfered seriously with 
the working of the saw. In spite of this drawback the lake 
was cleared of weeds by five men in a little over a month. It 
was satisfactorily demonstrated that with the obstructions re- 
moved four men could do the same work in one-fourth the 

At the opening of the boating season some obstructions were 
found in the narrow strip of lake at the outlet of Fox's Run. 
In order to remove these, and for other needs that might arise, 
a flat was purchased. By its aid some stumps were taken out, 
and the channel was somewhat deepened and much grass re- 
moved. Later in the season another flat was found necessary 
and was built. Early in October the water was withdrawn 
from the lake, and the stumps were taken from the whole lake 
except the four acres of the Wm. L. Al ricks tract, where they 


Park ConDnissioiiers' Beport 

are in deep water. While the lake was drained th(^ channel 
near Fox 's Run was deepened eight inches. 

In June all the promising springs in the park w(^re examined 
by the bateriologist of the Water Department, and immediately 
on the rendering of his report all the safe springs were pro- 
vided with drinking cups. There is only one spring on park 
ground unsafe to use, and that is far removed from ordinary 
lines of travel. Two springs on the east bluff were immediately 
piped across the valley to the turf road. Benches were pro- 
vided all through the park, and toilets were provided at con- 
venient places. 

As the season advanced the urgent need of possession of the 
David Fleming Estate became more and more evident. On 
August 3rd, the viewers in condemnation went on the ground. 
On June 5th, the machinery of the ]\Ionongahela Melting Com- 
pany was sold at public sale. 

The acquisition of the Fleming tract made it possible to con- 
tinue the turf road to the breast of the dam as soon as ma- 
terial could be obtained to build the approach from the south 
side. While the lake was drained material was dug from its 
bed and the approach constructed. Then two bridges were 
built and the road opened through. ' 

When in the spring people flocked in such numbers to* this . 
park they began pulling the wild flowers almost by the cart" 
load. As this picking in almost every case either took the" 
plant by the root or destroyed several years growth of the: 
top, it was necessary to prohibit the picking of flowers. The] 
flora in this park is remarkably rich, both in quantity of tlie^ 
existing species and in the number of species, and it is very,^ 
important that this rich flora be protected in every way, that \ 
both present and future visitors to the park may feast on this 
luxuriance. The people of Harrisburg may Avell feel proud of 
what they have here. A treasure that many another city is 
spending thousands of dollars to produce, and then cannot 
hope to rival the beauty of this spot. 


At Thirteenth and Sycamore streets there was less area 
available than last year, as Sycamore street was graded during 

Citu of Haii'lsbHi-<j 


late autuiiiii and early spring. This necessitated the pushing 

I south of the baseball ground. A frame for swimming lessons 

I and swings was erected and a sand-box installed. 

I At Third and Harris streets and Green and Maelay streets 

I playgrounds were installed for the season. Little work was 

1 done on these aside from erecting frames and installing sand- 

I boxes and jumping pits at the other playgrounds. 


The grass plot established at Cameron and Paxton streets 
I last year made good progress this summer. The bulb beds 

made a fine showing and were followed by summer flowering 
I plants. The larger bed was later planted with castor bean, 
i surrounded by coreopsis and a border of begonias. The 
, smaller bed was planted with zinnias and a border of sweet 

alyssum. Both have again been replanted with bulbs for a 
; spring show. 


: There are two pressing needs of magnitude that should be 
' met now. First, permanent playgrounds to take the place of 
the temporary ones at Thirteenth and Sycamore, Third and 
i Harris streets, and Green and Maclay streets. Second, the 
I balance of the land for the Parkway should be acquired. The 
playground needs of the city will not be met till every child 
^ can reach a playground within a half mile of his or her home. 
This can probably only be accomplished part at a time, but the 
sooner the land is acquired, the cheaper it will be for the city. 
The city is continually growing, and with the coming of each 
additional thousand of population, comes increased land val- 
I ues. Next in importance is the acquisition of the balance of the 
land for the Parkway. Nearly all of this land will undoubt- 
edly be given, but some money is urgently needed, to be able 
to buy the strips of small holders who have not sufficient land 
to be compensated for the parkway takings by the benefits to 
the small area they have left. These lands need not be devel- 
oped at first, beyond the opening of the cheapest sort of road 
for people to pass through. Later as the use demands, and 
appropriations v,arrant, the land can be developed as the 

70 Park ('oni)nissio)iers' Keport 

Cameron Parkway has been, and as much beyond as the exist- 
ing needs will warrant. The important thing is to acquire the 
ground before other developments encroach so closely as to 
make its acquisition difficult, or even destroy its natural beau- 
ties for park purposes. Already three land development 
schemes are encroaching on land needed for Parkways as out- 
lined in the ordinance passed b.y councils authorizing the same. 
This acquisition cannot be made too soon to insure the carrying 
out of the plans, before outside developments interfere. 
Twenty-five thousand dollars would probably cover the needs 
under this head. 

It is hoped that an intercepting sewer may be placed along 
the river front at an early date, and that the park may be 
completed to the line of this improvement at the same time. 
As already noted, the plan for this improvement has been 
adopted, subject to modification of details. In this connection 
the proposed improvements of the river front will more than 
ever make felt the need of supervision of the public landings, 
now existing, and to be established in the future ; that all may 
have equal opportunity, for their business, on the one hand; 
and that the public may be protected against unnecessary en- 
croachments or obtrusion, on the other hand. 

The river front fiom Division street to Linglestown road 
should be acquired at once if possible, so that the tendency to 
fill over this bank may be stopped before it has destroyed its 
beauty. Steps should also be taken to see that any building 
lines on the east side of the road may be so established, that it 
will not be necessary to encroach on the river bluff for street i 
purposes, in the future. The present lines of the bank are ' 
beautiful. The bank is as free from wash, as it would be ou ^ 
spending thousands of dollars after filling. 

The lines on the south side of Reservoir Park should be 
finally located and the additional land acquired. The original 
plan calls for two-thirds of an acre more from the '']\Iarsh"j 
farm. Owing to the necessity of taking more land from Islv. 
]\Iitchell than was intended or desired, a bad corner was made 
in this line. All the land from the present boundary to 
Market str(H4 would be desirable. 

Cily of IlarnsbuKj 


Buildings are needed at several points. In the placing and 
construction of buildings for park use it should always be kept 
strongly in mind that buildings, like roads and paths, are a 
necessary evil in parks. Their number should be kept to a 
minimum and their style should be as simple and unobtrusive 
as possible. As many purposes as can be, should be served by 
one building. 

In Reservoir Park a pavilion, rest rooms and toilets are 
needed on Cherry Hill, preferably in the woods at that point. 
A new bandstand with coat-rooms and other conveniences, and 
one large shelter in that end of the park to take the place of 
the many inadequate buildings now there. 

The Parkw^ay needs shelter and rest rooms, and at the same 
time all the conveniences should be provided. 

But the most imperative and least expensive of all is dress- 
ing rooms on the Island, so that girls may enjoy bathing privi- 
leges as well as boys. Five hundred dollars would amply 
cover this need. 

Barns, work and storage rooms at some central point are 
urgently needed. 

Playground apparatus is needed at Reservoir Park and at 
the Island. At Reservoir Park there should be a swing frame, 
another merry-go-round, and a slide, while at the Island an 
outdoor gymnasium, swings and see-saws are required. In 
order that those who are employed through the day may get 
the full good from this gymnasium, not only must the Island 
be kppt lighted as it was for a while last season, but incandes- 
cent lights must be provided for the dressing rooms. 

In Reservoir Park water for the golf greens is badly needed. 
If plans before City Councils for a high pressure reservoir are 
adopted, this need can be met at comparatively slight expense. 

Facilities for watering Front Street Parks with small hose 
as recommended last year, and referred to elsewhere in this 
report, are more than desirable. 

Drinking fountains and Smith coolers for Front Street 
Parks, Reservoir Park tennis courts, and Twelfth Street play- 
grnnnds are urgent necessities. 

Contrary to general opinion the amount of money needed 

72 Park Commissioners' Report % 

for Wildwood Park for the next few years is small. Until 
there are better street-ear facilities the one expensive improve- 
ment needed is a road from the breast of the dam to the 
Lingiestown road. Such a road suitable for present needs, 
narrower than the permanent road, and in running over ridges 
as through hollows of steeper grades, would cost four thousand 
dollars. The entrance from JMaclay street should also be con- 
structed this year and will be of small cost. A foot bridge 
across Paxton Creek where it enters the lake would also prove 
a great benefit and cost not over one hundred and fifty dollars. 

Some of the springs need walling up and putting in perma- 
nent shape, now that they have been proven by the double test 
of a bacteriological examination, and a dry season. 

If at all within the reach of the appropriation, some lights 
should be provided al)()ut the lake. 

Division street crossing was put in condition to drive over 
in late summer, but it is almost continually blocked by trains, 
and is dangerous when not so blocked. A suitable crossing at 
this point would be a great help, but street-car access to the 
park is what is needed. A five cent fare to Rockville would be 
a great help, and is a relief that the Traction Company have it 
within their power to give without waiting to obtain rights of 
way or construct tracks. 

The traffic on many Sundays last summer, and on January 
1, 1910, are an index of what the business to the park would 
soon become if fostered by the Traction Company. 

Respectfully submitted, 




To Ihe Members of the Harrishurg Park Commission: 

Gentlemen : After visiting the grounds at Twelfth Street, 
Thirteenth and Sycamore, Island Park, Reservoir Park, and 
the leased grounds at Third and Harris and Green and 
Maelay, a program was mapped out to spend a half day on 
each ground as follows : 

Island Park, Tuesday, a, m,; Saturday, p. m. 
Twelfth Street, Thursday, p. m.; Saturday, a. m. 
Third and Harris, Monday, a. m.; Wednesday, p. m. 
Reservoir Park, Wednesday, a. m.; Friday, p. m. 
Thirteenth and Sycamore, Thursday, a. m.; Monday, a. m. 
Green and Maclay, Friday, a. m.; Tuesday, p. m. 

This program began IMonday morning, June 19, 1909. The 
program as arranged was divided into the following periods: 
8.30 to 9 a. m.. Free Play; 9 to 9.30 a. m.. Marching; 9.30 
to 10 a. ni., Class Exercises; 10.00 to 10.30 a. m.. Apparatus 
Work on the Twelfth Street Playgrounds-; games are given on 
the others; 10.30 to 11.00 a. m.. Field Sports, 11.00 to 11.45 
a. m.. Team games. The afternoon program began at two 
o'clock and was conducted on same schedule as above. This 
program permitted two trips per week to each section. 

Xew apparatus was secured for each playground as follows : 
Two basket balls, one medicine ball (4 pounds), three indoor 
base balls and two sets of quoits. 

Rules and regulations for bath houses, showers and locker 
rooms and method of restoration for the apparently drowned, 
were drawn up with the assistance of the Secretary, V. Grant 
Forrer. These were printed on card board and posted in con- 
spicuous places. 

The work on the different playgrounds opened with much 
enthusiasm. The children greatly enjoyed the games, exer- 

74 Pdfk Com III issioHcrs" lieport 

cises and method of learning the fundamental principles in 
the art of swimming. 

Sand boxes for the children under six years of age were 
erected on each ground to the great delight and enjoyment of 
the many "tots" of the respective neighborhoods. Frames 
consisting of three discarded electric light poles, a cross beam 
6x8 inches resting on top with four cross pieces 4x4 inches 
at right angles to the large beam, for suspension of swimming 
harness attached to hooks underneath served for the double 
purpose of affording enjoyment to those under twelve years 
of age who enjoyed swinging, and instruction in swimming 
Avhile suspended in a harness consisting of a belt 6 inches by 
32 inches attached to ropes suspended from the above men- 
tioned hooks, two loops of webbing for the lower limbs and 
two for the hands. These limb attachments were suspended 
from the 4x4 inch cross pieces while the belt was attached 
to the heavy beam. Hundreds of lessons were given to the 
children on the various grounds, who desired to learn how to 
swim. The results of these lessons cannot be estimated, but, 
through inquiries made it is safe to say that hundreds are now 
able to swim and many more started on the right path to the 

During the first week, June 21 to 27, instructions Avere given 
in exercises and games to 729, while 320 were taught the 
swimming motions without the aid of above mentioned ap- 

The work became so popular during this period that the 
children would follow to the other grounds of the city. It 
therefore became necessary to overcome this and keep the 
children on their respective playgrounds. The difficulty was 
solved by securing six young mc^i of the city to act as assist- 
ants. After a careful examination as to the qualifications of 
the ten applicants for the positions, the following were secured 
to take charge of the grounds from 8.30 to 11.45 a. m.. and 
1.30 to 5.30 p. m. : 

City of IIarrisl)ur(j 


Green and Maclay, 
Third and Harris, 
Twelfth Street, 
Reservoir Park, 

Thirteenth and Sycamore, 
Island Park, 

Herbert L. Drake. 
John Eyde. 
Forrest B. Rose. 

Meryl Geisking, who later resigned to 
enter, a civil engineering corps. He 
was succeeded by John Bickley. 

Cornelius Toomey. 

Elmer Kirkpatrick, served for one 
week without compensation; he 
was then succeeded by Prof. C. C. 
Dunning, who later resigned to ac- 
cept a position in Altoona. Wil- 
liam Emanuel then took charge and 
continued until end of the season. 

I wish to state at this time that the assistants were sek^cted 
with great care. They had great influence over the children 
and entered into their games with a freedom and interest that 
encouraged the children to do their best. Much praise is due 
the assistants for their patience and tact, which greatly as- 
sisted in making the season's work a success. To Cornelius 
Toomey, assistant at Thirteenth and Sycamore, and Forrest 
B.' Rose, assistant at Twelfth Street, much commendation is 
due for the manner in which they conducted their work in 
securing discipline and good humor on the playground. 

Over forty new games were taught on the different play- 
grounds throughout the season. It became a common sight to 
see groups of children in the evening playing a new game on 
the street or alley in the vicinity of their homes. Thus it can 
be seen that not only on the playgrounds, but throughout the 
city as well, the children were surrounded by an environment 
that led from the evils of idleness, the excitment of the patrol 
wagon, and various other dangers. 

All these young men were sworn in as park officers. 

The following program was then arranged and continued 
in force until the season closed. Under the new regime four 
visits per week to each playground became possible, excepting 
Thirteenth and Sycamore, where three visits were made owing 
to the swimming lessons given Saturday afternoon at the 
Seneca Street bath house and Island Park. 


Pai'l' Coinrnissioners^ Report 

The progTain as arranged, follows 

Monday and Thursday, 
Tuesday and Friday, 

Wednesday and Saturday, 

Monday and Thursday, 

Tuesday and Friday, 

Wednesday and Saturday, 


Twelfth Street, 9 to 10.15 a. m. 
Reservoir Park, 10.30 to 11.45 a. m. 
Island Park 9 to 10.15 a. m. 
Thirteenth and Sycamore, 10.30 to 

11.45 a. m. 
Third and Harris, 9 to 10.15 a. m. 
Green and Maclay, 10.30 to 11.45 

a. m. 


Third and Harris, 1.30 to 3.15 p. m. 
Green and Maclay, 3.45 to 5.30 p. m. 
Twelfth Street, 1.30 to 3.15 p. m. 
Reservoir Park, 3.45 to 5.30 p. m. 
Island Park, 1.30 to 3.15 p. m. 
Thirteenth and Sycamore, 3.45 to 
5.30 p. m. 

The duties of the assistants were to instruct the children in 
new games and supervise their play and maintain discipline 
at all times. The assistants were in town aided by corps of 
eight boys, regular attendants on the playgrounds, Avho ren- 
dered valuable service at all times in taking charge of groups 
of children while others were being instructed in new games 
and sports by the assistants. Badges w^ere secured and given 
each boy as a mark of distinction of this valuable corps. 

A systematic report was arranged at this time to keep cor- 
rect statistics of the attendance, number of games played, 
number of exercises and swimming lessons, spectators, etc. A 
form was arranged and about 600 copies printed in pads of 
fifty each. These were of important assistance in summing 
up the total statistics of the season, as the records below will 

City of Harrisburij 



Reservoir Park: 

In exercise, males, 
In exercise, females, 
In swimming lessons. 
Games played. 
Playing games, males, 
Playing games, females. 
Small children, males, 
Small children, females. 
Total attendance. 

Thirteenth and Sycamore: 

In exercise, males, 
In exercise, females. 
In swimming lessons. 
Games played, 
Playing games, males, 
Playing games, females. 
Small children, males, 
Small children, females, 
Total attendance, 
Total night attendance, 

Green and Maclay: 

In exercise, males. 
In exercise, females, 
In swimming lessons. 
Games played. 
Playing games, males, 
Playing games, females. 
Small children, males, 
Small children, females. 
Total attendance, 
Total night attendance. 

June 28 to 

July 1 to 

Aug. 1 to 

•JUiy X 

Aug. 1 

Sept. 4 






± V 



40 8 








5 53 

O u O 





























































I'aH- Conunissioners' Report 

Island Park : 

In exercise, males, 
In exercise, females. 
In swimming lessons, 
Games played, 
Playing games, males, 
Playing games, females, 
Small children, males, 
Small children, females, 
Total attendance, 

Third and Harris: 

In exercise, males, 
In exercise, females, 
In swimming lessons. 
Games played. 
Playing games, males, 
Playing games, females, 
Small children, males, 
Small children, females, 

Total attendance, 

Twelfth Street: 

In exercise, males, 
In exercise, females. 
In swimming lessons. 
Games played. 
Playing games, males, 
Playing games, females. 
Small children, males. 
Small children, females. 
Total attendance, 
Total night attendance. 

June 28 to 

July 1 to 

Aug. 1 to 

July 1 

Aug. 1 

Sept. 4 

2 1 






















































1,0 d D 


















Citj/ of II aii ishurg 



From June 28 to September 4, 1909. 


Thii'teentli and 

Green and 




In exercises, male, 




In exercises, females, 



In swimming lessons, 




Games played. 




Playing games, males, 




Playing games, females. 



Small children, males, 




Small children, females. 








Total attendance. 





Third and 





In exercises, males. 




In exercises, females. 


In swimming lessons, 




Games played. 




Playing games, males. 




Playing games, females 




Small children, males, 




Small children, females, 








Total attendance, 





From June 28 to September 4, 1909. 

In exercises, males. 


In exercises, females. 


In swimming lessons. 


Games played, 


Playing games, males, 


Playing games, females. 


Night attendance: 

Small children, males. 


Twelfth Street, 

Small children, females, 


Green & Maclay 



Thirteenth & Syca 

Total attendance, day. 



Total night attendance. 


Total attendance 

Baseball games (league). 


Athletic meets. 


Quoit matches. 



Park Coiniii issioiK r.s' licporf 

Records of two bathing houses maintained. 
The season opened June 22 and closed September 4. 1909. 
By months the attendance at both places was as follows : 

Island June ^ 4,168 

July 14,651 

August 9,57 8 

September 219 

Total 28,61G 

Opened June 22, 1909. Average per day 572. 

Front and Seneca June 1,0 50 

July 3,370 

August 2,076 

September 100 

Total, 6,596 

Opened June 2 5, 1909. Average per day, 140. 

Number of bathing suits in service, 404 

Number of new suits secured this year, 192 

The Island bath house was open 55 days ; Seneca and Front 
Street bath house was open 47 days. The weather during this 
time permitted of bathing about two-thirds of this, or about 
34 days. 

In 1907, the first season, when only the Island float was in 
service, 15,563 was the attendance. In 1908, 29,210 used both 
bath houses. This season a total of 35,212 enjoyed the privi- 

Owdng to cool weather which prevailed at times and the low 
water preventing, only one of a seHes of swimming and diviiig 
races was held. 

This contest took place at the up-town bath houses. Events 
w^ere, 50 yards straightway and 100 yards swim. Fifty yards 
swim, won by James Ward, aged eleven years; second. Ross 
Emanuel ; third. Raymond Robinson, age thirteen. Time. 40 
seconds. One hundred yards swim won by James Ward : sec- 
ond. Ross Emanm^l. Time. 1 minute 17 seconds. 

City of Ilarrisburg 



As a reward for those who were regular attendants of ihr 
playgrounds a series of boat rides on the river were arranged. 

The first of these was given to attendants of Green and 
iMacIay playgrounds, Wednesday afternoon, August 25; 
Twelfth Street, Thursday, August 26 ; Thirteenth and Syca- 
more, Friday, August 27; Third and Harris, Saturday, Au- 
gust 28; Reservoir Park, Monday, August 30; Island Park, 
Tuesday, August 31. 

These rides were made possible by the generosity of Mr. 
I Vance C. McCormiek, who has at all times given freely in 
I subscriptions that meant fun and good times for the children 
! of Harrisburg and vicinity. 

Mr. A. P. Dintaman's commodious excursion boat, in charge 
of his son Charles Dintaman, one of the most skillful river- 
men in this section, was engaged for each day. The cruise 
started at 2 o'clock each day and consisted of trips up the 
1 river as fast as the shallow water permitted, then down stream 
to the bathing point at Island Park. Here the boys enjoyed 
and hour's frolic and fun, as water was too low to permit of 
^swimming, while the girls waded in the water between th- 
iMarket and Walnut Street bridges. The trip was then co^i- 
tinued up stream and return to starting point Avhich was 
reached about five o'clock. These rides were looked forward 
to with nuich anticipation and greatly enjoyed by 350 boys 
and girls. 


I The announcement of a baseball league to be composed of 
teams from each playground, Avith an age limit of sixteen 
vears, was received wdth much enthusiasm. 

Each team was scheduled to play two games with the other 
^lubs in the league. Permission was also given to play outside 
:eams on days other than those in schedule and a number of 
?ames were thus played. 

Many of the games in the league were hard fought and 
^xciting. a number of the players show^ing ability and head- 
vork worthy of those much older in years and experience. 


Pavlx Commissioners^ Report 

A large silver cup, known as the A. J. Reach Trophy, was 
presented by George W. Bogar, the local sporting goods dealer, 
to be competed for annually. The successful team each year 
having its name engraved thereon. 

As in track athletics each boy working in harmony with his 
team-mates, practicing regularly and systematically under the 
direction of their Director, Cornelius Toomey, the Thirteenth 
and Sycamore boys carried off the honors in the baseball 

The final standing of the clubs was : 

w. L. p. c. 

Thirteenth and Sycamore, 9 1 .900 

Third and Harris, 8 2 .800 

Green and Maclay, 5 5 .500 

Island Park, 5 5 .500 

Twelfth Street, 4 6 .400 

Reservoir Park, 0 10 .000 

Number of Games played by each team, 10 

Number of forfeited games, 5 

Number of boys participating in games, 95 


Soon after the assistants were secured a series of dual meets 
were arranged to be held each Saturday morning. No boy 
over sixteen years of age was allowed to compete on any team. 
The teams were selected from the regular attendants and each 
to have four representatives in each event. 

There were three dual meets held each week, beginning 
Saturday, July 10th. A total of eighteen meets were held 
during the season, which does not include the meet for the 

An average of fourteen boys represented each playground 
in each of these meets, making a total of 252 from each play- 
ground or a grand total of 1,512 in all. 

These dual meets were concluded by an Inter-Playgrouud 
meet for the championship of the city. A handsome shield 
made of silk, lettered in gold and suspended by gold cords was 
secured by Forrer, and is to be competed for annually. 

Thursday. Soptember 2nd. was selected for the day of th.'ii* 

Citij of Harrisbiirg 


meet, and every boy on the different playgrounds took great 
interest in the progress of his team and heralded it as the best 
in the city. 

Island Park was the seat of the battle, where the contest- 
ants — who were divided previously into three classes accord- 
ing to their age as follows : Class C, 10 to 12 ; Class B, 12 to 
14; and Class A, 14 to 16 years — fought for the supremacy. 
Each team had entered four men in each event, two of which 
were to compete, and after swaying back and forth and the last 
relay race finished, the scorers announced the Thirteenth and 
Sycamore team as the victors, with Twelfth Street a close 
second. The final score is as follows: 

Thirteenth and Sycamore, 48 points. 

Twelfth Street, 4 4 

Green and Maclay, 35 " 

Island Park, 12 

Third and Harris, 3 

Reservoir Park, 1 " 

Points were scored as follows : First place, 5 points ; second, 
3 points ; third, 2 points ; fourth, 1 point. 

There were 2 48 entries. 
Number of competitors, 156. 
Number of spectators, 300. 


Referee: Mr. George W. Kehr. 

Clerk of Course: Mr. V. Grant Forrer. 

Starter: Mr. Charles Riley. 

Timers: Messrs. R. W. Dunlop, R. R. Bender, Martin Keet. 
Scorer: John Miller Bonbright. 

Judges of Track Events: Messrs. George W. Kehr, Bailey 
Gough, Elmer Kirkpatrick, Ralph Williams and Andrew Patter- 

Judges of Field Events: Messrs. George W. Hill, William 
Quaide, Wm. Emanuel and Edwin Gough. 

Inspectors: Messrs. Jas. A. Bell and Dr. Charles B. Eager, Jr. 


l*ark Coniiiiissioners' Report 


There were 248 entries. 

As a closing event of the first season of playground work 
with directed supervision, a monster picnic was planned. 
Through the generosity of one of the city's liberal citizens, Mr. 
Samuel Kunkel, the matter of refreshments was solved. The 
children were abundantly supplied with sandwiches, pickles, 

Falling in Line for Dinner — Romper Day, Reservoir Park 

crackers, bananas and lemonade, in the following proportions: 
2,100 sandwiches, 800 pickles, a barrel and a half of crackers, 
1.500 bananas and 180 gallons of lemonade. Nearly a quarter 
of a ton of ice was also used. 

The C^^itral Pennsylvania Traction Company on hearing 
of :\[r. Kunkel 's generosity, through the Secretary of the Park 
Commissicm. volunteered to furnish all the cars necessary to 
carry all the children from their respective playgrounds to 
and from the Reservoir Park. 

Preparations were nuide for about 600. but when the boys 

Citij of Ilarrishurg 


and girls were lined up to march to the tables it was found 
that only two-thirds could be seated. All forces were then 
called and soon extra tables were gathered, placed, and pro- 
visions placed thereon, while messengers were scouting the 
neighborhood for extra quantities of bananas, pickles and 
crackers. When all were seated and counted it was found that 
there were 916 children, 695 boys and 221 girls, who, after 
singing "America," and the blessing being asked by the Rev. 
S. W. Herman, enjoyed the hospitality of their friend, Mr. 
Kunkel. The children, upon sighting Mr. Kunkel and Mr. 
Vance C. McCormick on the grounds, gave deafening cheers 
and clapped hands until the echo rang from the hillsides. 
This count does not include the hundreds Avho came and ate 
with their parents. Too much credit cannot be given to the 
ladies and parents who so kindly volunteered to assist in serv- 
ing the youngsters and seeing that each had all he could eat, 
and incidentally gave much needed assistance otherwise. 

The day's fun began when the children near their respective 
playgrounds filled into the cars which were to convey them to 
the Park. All along the route the air resounded with the 
cheers and yells from the happy youngsters. 

The first event of the program at the Park was a kite-flying 
contest, which was won by W. Anderson (prize, a pocket 
knife); second, Charles Campbell; third, 0. Crisw^ell. A 
large number of boys enjoyed a quoit contest between Joseph 
Knobl, Third and Harris, and James Shreck, Thirteenth and 
Sycamore. Knobl won by a large lead, score 21 to 10. David 
Warnick, of Island Park, defeated James Proctor, of Twelfth 
Street, by a score of 21 to 18. 

Following dinner four water melon races were held to the 
enjoyment of several hundred spectators. Then a water melon 
eating contest was held with those who participated in the 
races as contestants; nine colored boys and three white 
youngsters seated in two rows vied with each other in eating 
a ciuarter slice of a melon. A Third and Harris competitor, 
Joseph Selway (white) succeeded in winning the whole melon 
given as a prize. 

About 300 boys and girls then enjoyed various games under 

86 Park Commissioners^ Report 

the direction of the playground assistants. The next eveni 
was a ''running maze" exhibition by 68 boys. The last and 
concluding number of program was a demonstration of the 
exercises led by Director Riley as given on the different 
grounds during the season, also of the swimming stroke as 
taught on land. 

The children then, a tired and happy lot, had just time 
enough to get in line and march to cars which were to convey 
them home. 

To V. Grant Forrer, the Park Secretary, all credit is due 
for engineering the finances of the various events and of se- 
curing the track and baseball trophies. 

In summing up the various reports a noticeable fact is 
brought out very strongly which should be provided for in the 
future. I refer to the attendance of girls and their partici- 
pation in the games and exercises. The swings Avere mostly 
used by the small girls, and, with the exception of the Third 
and Harris and Green and IMaclay playgrounds, it rarely oc- 
curred that a girl entered into the exercises and games. On 
comparison it is found that less than 4 per cent, of those in 
exercises and games were girls. The month of July showed 
an increase of 5 per cent. 

Physiologically, there is no reason why girls under fourteen 
years of age cannot indulge in the same pastimes and sports 
of boys of the same age. The benefits of physical exercise 
derived at this period of life is of immense value and influence 
to them in after life. Boys and girls in their first division, i. e., 
under puberty, have or should have exercises in common ; but 
the girl is to become a woman some clay and the boy a man, 
therefore after this period their needs are different, more com- 
plex. These statements should not be misunderstood to mean 
that games and exercises should cease for girls after her first 
division ; by all means they should avail themselves of every 
opportunity to enter and enjoy exercises and all kinds of recre- 

Secondly, no provision was made whereby the girls could 
enjoy the privileges or partake of the opportunities giA^en boys 
to learn how to swim. They have often asked to be taken to 

Cih; of Ilarrisburg 87 

the water and taught, but had to be denied because there were 
IK) bathing suits for them to use, and no arrangements made 
when they could have exclusive use of the bath houses. 

From these statements only one conclusion can be reached, 
and that is to have a lady instructor for the girls. In most 
large cities where civic and public playgrounds are main- 
tained, instructors for each sex are employed, and they gen- 
erally have separate playgrounds for each sex. 

What we neglect to do for the physical development of our 
boys and girls during their growing period and school days, 
when the evils of round shoulders, drooping heads and spinal 
curvatures are developed from standing habits and bad pos- 
tures at the school desk, leaving in many instances a weak 
constitution, and a frail body, we can never remedy. The 
opportunity is lost. 

The first rules of life or those that are fundamental and 
which should appeal to all minds, are those of bodily health. 
Spencer, whose health was not firm, declared that the "first 
requisite of success is to be a good animal." In order that 
no child may be denied that opportunity of having a strong 
body and constitution to carry him through life, we should 
see that each has an equal share in the advantages to be gained 
from instruction in physical exercise during his school days 
and on the playground during the vacation period. 

Since it has been declared unlawful, according to an opinion 
recently rendered, for the School Board to appropriate money 
for the use of another organization to secure equipment and 
teachers for the public school yards, the work should then de- 
volve upon the School Boards or the Board of Education itself 
to open the grounds that are acquired for the recreation of 
the school children. The work of this summer but strength- 
ens the belief that these sites be open the year round for the 
benefit of the many children who are unable to go to the places 
maintained by the Park Commission. It is my belief that the 
public school yards are the best places for this important part 
in the system of education, when other property available, but 
too expensive to be acquired by the Park Commission can be 
thought of. 

88 I*ai-k (Ujmniis.siono's' Kepori 1 

The time, efforts and expense neeessary to open this cV.^- 
partnient of eivie advancement for the good of our growin^i' 
children, the lessening of crime and danger of disease that 
lurks in the dust of the hot and dry streets where many of 
them are compelled to play and congregate for the want and 
need of a better place and environment, will be doubly repaid. 

To the Civic Club and the Roberta Disbrow-Lloyd Sunshine 
Club, many parents are grateful for the good that their child- 
ren have derived from the untiring, painstaking efforts they 
have made in providing means for recreation and enjoyment in 
the open air and sunshine, also, in teaching patriotic songs, 
sewing, basket weaving and drawing. The combined results of 
the work done this summer for the city's many children proves 
the need of a broader scope and endeavor along this line, and 
may the near future open the avenues whereby the public 
school yards and grounds now controlled by the Park Com- 
mission, be opened under their joint control and provided with 
experienced teachers for the girls and boys. 

Respectfully submitted, 

Charles Riley, 
Director of FuMic Playground. 

398 .05 



It too tighiiy bound t„ pi,;;;;;^;;;;;^ 

please take to the Crculatio,, Desk so 
personnel can remove plastic posts 


3 0112 051028261