I’m reading a Morrow County Independent dated June, 1956 and one of the lead articles focuses on the poor condition of the Cardington Community Park.

What a difference 65 years makes. The writer of the 1956 story was lamenting the condition and lack of activity areas for the public. “Can you visualize a playground area complete with tennis and basketball and other recreation facilities in the town park?” asked the writer.

He noted there was hope for improvement with the reorganizing of the Cardington Businessman’s Association. “The association appears to be coming out of its state of comparative inactivity which has characterized this organization for several years. Free movies once the popular past time of children and parents on summer Wednesday nights, are again being sponsored by the group.”

They also adopted a set of by-laws and formed a board of directors. Officers were Zeb Russell, president; Dwight Blayney, vice president; Mrs. Howard Boone, secretary-treasurer. Other directors were Ralph Porterfield, William Johnstone, D. D. Dunham, Carl Burggraf, Clyde Collins, and Mrs. Richard Orewiler.

This committee felt this should be a community project so they enlisted the aid of the American Legion; Mother’s Study Club and The Rotary Club.

Suggestions for the park made by the writer: “Asphalt or concrete area for basketball, roller skating, tennis, etc. The area might be covered with a roof to provide all year recreation; enlargement of the picnic facilities in the park which would include more tables and maybe a shelter house.

“The only picnic facilities now in the park are a table, fireplace, built under the authorization of the Garden Club and a non-functioning water spigot; restoration of the log cabin and reconstruction and beautification of the bandstand. Some day even a fountain might flow in one corner of the park.”

This story was accompanied with a photo of a family from New Castle, Pennsylvania, visiting relatives in Akron, who stopped and had a picnic on the lone picnic table in the park.

I can’t help but wonder if the writer could see our park today — just about all of his suggestions and more have been realized — thanks to a diligent and determined community.

Looking back

80 years ago: J. J. Kientz was placed in charge of Cardington’s scrap aluminum collection drive for defense purposes.

50 years ago: Mr. and Mrs. Don Lee of near Cardington were named as the 1971 Blue Ribbon Farm family from Morrow County; Mary Gantz retired after 25 years as a teacher in the Cardington School District.

40 years ago: Village Council members Barbara Cowles and Bob Perry indicated they would not seek re-election in the fall.


By Evelyn Long

Contributing Columnist