Human History at Oakledge

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(UVM Special Collections Burlington Reference File: Oakledge Manor).

(UVM Microfilm collection of periodicals from 1978-1991)


Human History:

The history of Oakledge park has not only brought the city of Burlington a place to engage the water of the mighty Lake Champlain. But also is a place where history itself had some changes throughout the 20th century. What was once home to Dr. William Seward Webb where he constructed a large summer cottage is now a tourist attraction but the ruins are still present in the back reaches of the forest near the waters edge. Focusing on more recent events of the 20th century from 1980s to 2000s. Using a microfilm machine we were able to discover articles that give a hint as to the development and progression of the park and city through this time period. 1987 there was a picnic held in the now park to acknowledge diversity. To these locals it did not seem like such a big deal. 10 year old DeBose said “It is a picnic like any other”.  In reality it was a much bigger deal than young Miss DeBose has previously thought because this was the 1st multicultural picnic organized in Burlington. 40 people attended, organized by Shirley Boyd Hill, there were balloon making for the children and good conversations by all parents present. “The syncopated rhythms and sweet harmonies will resonate though Oakledge park this Saturday” (1987 Burlington Free Press Microfilm). Bobby Hackney was the director of the festival and 10 bands were lined up to play. It was a chance to bring an outside culture to promote peace and love. Although in last year’s festival there was some unruly behavior at battery park. The city refuses to co-sponsor this year but was given use of the park. Holding at Oakledge rather than Battery back might reduce some of the problems that a more residential park brought last year.

Improvements to the park have also been done to the park to benefit the patrons of Oakledge. In 1991 a 250,000 dollar renovation was approved for a new bathhouse, lifeguard office,and concession area. There was need for the new bathhouse that was not closer to the beach front property just purchased and a lifeguard house for better safety management of this new property. What was once a 7.8 acre strip of land is now shaping into a great place of history and modern advancement combined.


~ by tdiveley on December 6, 2017.

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