Linn's Park

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This article is about the first public park in Birmingham, located near the Relay House. For the later park at the head of 20th Street, see Linn Park.

Linn's Park (also called Linn Park) was a small public park created in the early 1870s by Charles Linn on a lot owned by him between the Railroad Reservation and 1st Avenue North and between 19th and 20th Streets.

According to Max Heldman members of the First Baptist Church of Birmingham held a baptism in July 1872 in a pond Linn created by damming a surface stream in the park diagonally opposite his bank. He was said to have also installed benches and constructed a foot bridge over the stream. Mortimer Jordan's Image:1873 cholera map color.jpg of surface water in the city during the 1873 cholera epidemic shows a stream on the eastern edge of the block, but no pond or structures.

In 1874 Linn graded and enclosed the lot and erected a central fountain "throwing up Village Creek water by the tun." [sic]. Linn installed landscaping and rustic seats and benches for park visitors. He also erected two lattice-work "summer houses" in the park: the "Bachelor's Retreat", near 20th Street, and the "Maiden's Bower", near the corner of 1st Avenue and 19th Street, opposite the Ruby Saloon.

The Birmingham Iron-Age proclaimed that "no prettier spot in our city could have been selected for a park, and we give Mr Linn credit for his judgment in the matter," and that the park "will be a favorite resort of evenings for our sentimental lads and lassies."

On Saturday July 11, 1881 Linn celebrated his birthday at the park, inviting the city for ice cream, music, and the spectacle of a lunar eclipse.

The park was, however, poorly maintained over the years. By 1885 Linn's pride was no longer recognizable as a park. Of the two summer houses, only the "Maiden's Bower" remained, "rapidly going to decay and falling to pieces."

References

  • Birmingham Iron Age (June 18, 1874)
  • Weekly Iron Age (August 27, 1885)