DeBardeleben Park

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DeBardeleben Park (originally Berney Park) is a 3-acre public park in downtown Bessemer. The park occupies Block 244 between 2nd and 3rd Avenue North and 16th and 17th Street.

In the original plat for Bessemer, drawn up by the Bessemer Land & Improvement Company in 1887, Block 244 was subdivided into 40 lots available for purchase. None of those lots were sold, however, and the land became known as "Berney Park", in honor of the company's vice-president William Berney. In November 1888 the company agreed to lease the block to the city of Bessemer for three years for $1 per year, provided that they maintained the property for park purposes. The property was eventually turned over to the city and the park was renamed for industrialist Henry DeBardeleben in 1907.

Bessemer's World War I monument, "Spirit of the American Doughboy" was moved from the corner of 19th Street North and Carolina Avenue to the site of the former central fountain in DeBardeleben Park. The park also has a bandstand.

In 1962 a group of Bessemer citizens successfully challenged a proposal by the Bessemer Board of Education to construct a school in DeBardeleben Park.

The park is used for the annual Bessemer Christmas Parade, the Bob Sykes BBQ & Blues Festival and numerous other events.

References

  • F. M. Reid, et al. v. City of Bessemer et al. (March 29, 1962) Alabama Supreme Court
  • Chambers, Jesse (September 6, 2013) "DeBardeleben Park is "a natural oasis" in the middle of downtown Bessemer." The Birmingham News

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