CARDINGTON — It is a dream realized and although the man with the dream is no longer with us, the family of Cecil and Kathryn Maxwell and the community, expressed their appreciation for his “dream” when Maxwell Park was dedicated Saturday, Sept. 25.
It was almost 20 years ago that Cecil, a former Cardington mayor, sent a letter to village council, in which he laid out his plans for park land development along the Whetstone Creek within the village limits. This land was part of the Riverside Dairy Farm, a family heritage that began with his father, Paul Maxwell.
To “jump start” his vision, he donated to the village, the 32 acres of the dairy farm that is today, the Maxwell Park.
Since then, the village has worked to develop this land into an attractive park with a huge shelter house, gravel parking lot, nd a nature trail to tour by foot or small pedal vehicles. Serenity surrounded by nature is the key to this park located in the village limits but removed from noise.
During the ribbon cutting ceremony, Cardington Mayor Susie Peyton thanked the Maxwell family for the donation. “ I am sure Cecil and Kathryn Maxwell would be very pleased with the progress,” she said.
The park is located off of East Main Street just after crossing the bridge.
Peyton said the project would never have reached this level of completion without the work of Danny Wood, Clint Johnson, Tim Edgell, Cheyenne Marteney, Kameron Smith, Pat Moodispaugh, Milt Wallace, Deb Fry, Jim Clinger and all past or present village employees, each of whom deserves credit for this work which includes clearing the land, expanding the walking paths and planting grass seed.
“They salvaged and refurbished used picnic tables for the shelter house and the trails,” she said. “They also designed and built the Maxwell Park sign that includes the Maxwell Park history and trail maps.”
“Most importantly,” said the mayor, “they spend a lot of time maintaining the beauty of Maxwell park by mowing and landscaping every week.”
The mayor said the park is used by many people including school chlldren and later that afternoon a cross country meet was being hosted by the local high school.
Cutting the ribbon to officially open the park were Cecil and Kathryn’s daughter, Janice Maxwell Haynes, and her husband, G. Haynes of Delaware
Offering comments was the Maxwell’s daughter, Jeanne Vaughan of Avon Lake. “I am overwhelmed by how fabulous the park looks. I know how hard they worked. It’s great to know the town has taken such great care of the park. I’m so proud of them.”
She also gave credit to Larry and Jean Smith and Don and Linda Harvey “who worked on this from the very beginning.”
Present were members of the Cardington Village Council: Diane Haycook, John Nippert, Troy Ruehrmund, Nancy Edwards and Steve Burton. Traveling from Lakeside were several former neighbors of the Maxwells when they owned Hospitality House.
Single cups of Riverside Ice Cream were distributed to guests courtesy of Rob Lil, Riverside Ice Cream, Marion. This is the same ice cream recipe used by Cecil and Kathryn in the operation of their dairy business.
Kathryn Maxwell passed away in 2010 and Cecil in 2014.