Front View of Thomas House

Ward-Thomas Museum

Ohio Association of Historical Societies and Museums

Five images of buildings and grounds

Waddell Park Plans 1930

Ward — Thomas Museum
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503 Brown Street Niles, Ohio 44446

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Waddell Park Land Donated to Niles
Niles Daily Times, September 4, 1930

Waddell Park was donated to the City of Niles by J.D. Waddell August 7, 1928, their first gift included a 72-acre tract. Two months later, Mr. Waddell supplemented his first land gift with an additional 23 acres to the west of the original acreage extending the park from the city limits to the Erie railroad tracks on the west and including all of the land between Warren and Park Avenues.

This land, owned by the Niles Chamber of Commerce, is ideal for park purposes, being heavily wooded and located within walking distance from the center of town.

This land was accepted by the city council and turned over to the park commission for improvement. Work on clearing away the underbrush started immediately and the section facing Warren Avenue was scraped and leveled in preliminary work for a ball diamond.

General Plan of Waddell Park, 1930.

Extensive work on the park started April 1 of this year (1930) when a topological survey was made and from the plan of landscaping the park developed. The baseball diamond was completed and the first game played there June 1. Mrs. J.D. Waddell threw the first ball on the new diamond and appropriate ceremonies preceded the game.

The cleaning work at the park was practically completed this summer and sewer and water connections are now under construction. This work has held up further improvements in the park but will be completed within 10 days after which rapid progress is expected.

A complete landscape map of the park was prepared showing the park as it will look when the entire program of improvements is completed.

Waddell Park - one of the picnic shelters.

Waddell Park - one of the picnic shelters. Donated in 1931 by Jacob and Mary Waddell.

The main entrance to the park will be on West Park Avenue just east of the railroad bridge. The main picnic grounds will be between Warren and Park Avenues east of the railroad tracks and Lover’s Lane.

The baseball diamond and athletic field entrance is near Warren Avenue and the entrance is from that street.

A smaller picnic ground west of Lover’s Lane near Warren Avenue has been in use several times this summer. The triangular section of the park on West Park Avenue west of Lover’s Lane and bounded by the railroad tracks has been reserved for a swimming pool which will be built in the future.

One of several baseball diamonds.

One of several baseball diamonds. PO1.1078

The land west of Lover’s Lane will be used for tennis courts, shuffle board field and a general playground.

The two large natural groves of the park will be supplemented by the planting of 200 additional trees.

When completed, Waddell Park will provide Niles with a recreation center which will make this city second to none. The civic leaders of Niles are united in expressing gratitude to Mr. Waddell for his gift which will remain as an everlasting memorial to his philanthropy.

The 'Bowl' with Wilder Field in the background at Waddell Park.

The 'Bowl' with Wilder Field in the background at Waddell Park.

Named in honor of John Wilder, a Niles citizen who guidded the development of Niles parks as a member and chairman of the Parks and Recreation Department for 30 years. It was the first baseball field to have lights. PO1.1076

Aerial View of Waddell Park, before the pool was built.

Aerial View of Waddell Park, before the pool was built. Note the ice skating rink on what is now 5 ballfields. RMI is the industrial complex in the foreground and the Girl Scout office is in the lower right. 1930 ca. PO1.1545

Mrs. Mary Waddell tosses out the first pitch at the opening of Waddell Park baseball field.

Mrs. Mary Waddell tosses out the first pitch at the opening of Waddell Park baseball field.

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