The word “park” comes from Medieval Latin and Old French that meant an enclosure, such as a fenced-in pen. Nowadays it means three different things:
1) A place where we can relax and picnic.
2) Leaving a vehicle in a designated space.
3) Something we all loved doing as teenagers.

As tempting as it is to want to talk about Number Three, this article is about the first one – a place where anyone can go for picnics, relaxation, solitude, and recreation.

A public park can be elaborate: with rides, zoos, concessions, beaches, picnic tables, porta-johns, and trails. Or, they can be very meager: a short roadside pull-off with one picnic table, trash barrel, and outhouse.

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The majority of today's parks seem the simplest...so many of them are charming, with very woodsy atmospheres, picnic tables, and hiking trails. Parks of yesteryear seemed to go all out, with fountains, statues, koi ponds, concrete railings and fences.....even some with exquisite bathrooms. But none of that even matters.

What does matter is that we still enjoy 'going to the park', whether it's just to sit with a loved one and share some caramel-dipped apple slices, or to be alone and clear your head. Lying in the grass near a babbling brook is an extra bonus in some parks.

In the gallery below are some old images of many parks from the Jackson-area; most of them are gone now, others have changed drastically. The parks depicted below include:
BLACKMAN PARK
BOLAND PARK
CENTRAL PARK
CITY PARK
DEVIL'S LAKE
HAGUE PARK
HANKERD'S
KEELEY PARK
LAKE VIEW PARK
LOOMIS PARK
MA-LE-NA PARK
MONUMENT PARK
SHARP PARK
SUNSET PARK
WAMPLER'S LAKE
WOLF LAKE
WOLVERINE PARK

There are other Jackson-area parks, but these are the ones that are highlighted here - all from 1900-1940s.....and some of them went through name changes, as you'll see in the photos below.

Jackson-Area Parks & Recreation: 1900-1960

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Stone Village Mansion, Jackson

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