Eastman Park, 1101 7th Street South, Saint Cloud, Minnesota

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Eastman Park - Lake George

Address: 1101 7 Street S
Saint Cloud, Minnesota
Stearns County, Minnesota
State/province: Minnesota
Country: United States
Year Established: 1936
Founded by: St. Cloud Park Board
Historic Function: Park
Current Function: Park

Saint Cloud Stearns

Eastman Park is all the city owned land lying adjacent to Lake George. It was so designated in a resolution adopted by the St. Cloud Park Board on July 2, 1936. It was named in honor of Alvah Eastman, who was a newpaperman of distinctions, who devoted his time, thought, energy, and money to the improvement of St. Cloud. He served for many years as president of the Park Board and was an advocate of an adquate system of parks and playgrounds.


Site History

April 1855 - R.B. Blake, the first surveyor of Stearns County, records the existence of a 7 1/2-block lake in the plat book and names it Lake George.

December 1867 - John Coates created a skating rink in the park and describes it as the largest in the State.

May 1876 - Lake George is drying up because it is so shallow. In response, citizens petition the City Council to do something about the Lake Geroge problem. They suggest building a dam to raise the water level and using the lake for the town's water supply. They also want the City to acquire land around the lake, install a road, and turn the lake into a City park.

September 1888 - The City Council orders the street commissioner to construct a boulevard around Lake George. After numerous delays, the project is completed in the early 1900s.

February 1926 - St. Cloud Inc Co., which had sold Lake George ice to St. Cloud residents for more than 25 years, sells 21 acres of Lake George to the City.

December 1926 - The City makes an agreement with the Minneapolis Dreding Co. to dredge Lake George. The company removed 215,000 cubic feet of mud and used it to fill in the north and south ends of the lake. The project cost the City $57,800. During the process, workers discover a huge granite ledge on the west side of the lake, which at its highest point is 9 feet from the surface.

September 1928 - workers completed the dredging of Lake George and turn an unattractive area into a municipal park and recreation area. A shall 23-acre swamp became a 7-acre lake, 35 feet deep in spots.

October 1928 - Citizens constructed a giant toboggan slide, 45 feet high and 200 feet long on the lake's southwest corner. Lake George became extremely popular for leisure skating, skating shows, sledding, and winter carnivals.

July 1947 - The St. Cloud Municipal Swimming Pool was dedicated. The pool was Minnesota's first outdoor Olympic-size pool and cost $170,000 to build. The dressing house is Georgian Revival style and was built during the Works Progress Administration. In the 1950s it was used by as many as 2,000 swimmers a day, 60,000 in the summer of 1955.

June 1969 - Area busineese, groups,and individuals started raising funds for a fountain in the middle of Lake George. The fountain was installed in 1973.

November 1978 - The landmark warming house at Lake George is demolished. It was built in 1936 through the Works Progress Administration with materials from the Pandolfo Plant. A new warming house is building south of the old site.

September 2002 - The St. Cloud Municipal Swimming Pool closed because of declining attendance and the need to replace an expensive chlorine treatment system.

June 2007 - A new splash pad was installed to replace the swimming pool. Also, a public restroom and concession building, plaza, picnic areas and new playground area was completed to complement the historic character of the area.

May 2008 - The Lake George Community Center opens in Eastman Park. The community center is housed in the historic dressing house. The dressing house building was reused with a complete interior remodel. The historic character of the dressing house was preserved.

Memories and stories

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