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Thursday, August 8, 2013

Scenes from Thomas Park: Huntingdon, TN

Scenes from Thomas Park: Concrete Arch - Huntingdon, TN

The following text is taken from a sign at the park:
Thomas Park was established in 1906 by the Civic Improvement Club, a women's group whose primary objective was the beautification of their hometown. The Club took on the task of making the area on East Main Street around the train depot more enticing to visitors. The area was named Thomas Park in honor of Major John W. Thomas, Sr., president of the NCStL Railroad, 1884-1906. The concrete arch was erected in 1909 by the NCStL and remains today as a Huntingdon landmark. The train depot, located in the park until 1967, was the point where many young Carroll County soldiers boarded the train for destinations known and unknown in service to our country.

Scenes from Thomas Park: Caboose - Huntingdon, TN

Oral tradition holds that John Philip Sousa's band played in Thomas Park sometime just prior to World War I. The train transporting the band stopped at the Thomas Park depot to take on water for the steam engine. The passengers were required to disembark, at which time the band was persuaded to perform for the waiting passengers.

A later group, the Huntingdon Women's Garden Club, maintained the park and made major improvements in 1985. Improvements included landscaping and walkways funded by the family of Jimmie Lee and Georgia Taylor. The gazebo was funded by the O.B. and Lela Enochs family. In 1993, the Huntingdon Beautification Committee was formed and assisted in seasonal upkeep of the park. In 1995, CSX railroad donated the caboose, which was subsequently refurbished for display. Under the leadership of Mayor Dale R. Kelley, the Town of Huntingdon finally acquired legal title to the Thomas Park property from CSX in 1998. original bricks from the train depot were incorporated into the paved walkway in front of the caboose.

Scenes from Thomas Park: Floral Wagon - Huntingdon, TN

Further renovations to the park by the Town of Huntingdon in the year 2000 were also made possible by local donations. Carroll Bank & Trust, Trustee for The Wright Charitable Trust, contributed funds for the War Memorial monument, fountain and flag poles. The memorial honors all veterans and is inscribed with the names of Carroll County soldiers who died while serving in the wars of our country. Woodmen of the World Lodge #445 donated the first giant American flag to fly at the memorial. Friends and family of Danny and Joyce Carter donated two marble benches and two lampposts. Additional lamppost donations were made in memory of Dorothy Ellis and former Huntingdon Mayor Lee H. Chance.

Scenes from Thomas Park: Veterans Memorial - Huntingdon, TN

The successful renovation of Thomas Park is due these generous donations, to the vision and leadership of Mayor Dale R. Kelley and to the dedicated efforts of the Town of Huntingdon employees. We commend their talents and hard work in making Thomas Park a beautiful focal point of out community and historic memorial to our past.

Scenes from Thomas Park: Clock - Huntingdon, TN

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