Silver Springs Park - Springfield, Missouri
N 37° 13.350 W 093° 16.541
15S E 475542 N 4119591
Quick Description: Aside from being a nice park, Silver Springs is a historically significant park in North central Springfield, just off of N. National Ave.
Location: Missouri, United States
Date Posted: 9/23/2013 3:08:34 AM
Waymark Code: WMJ4NZ
The 18-acres on which the park sits was originally known as the Fairbanks Pasture. In 1833, the first church in Greene County, Missouri, a Methodist Baptist Church, was built in the pasture. Although there are no signs of the church in the park, there is a historical marker telling the church's story near the park gates. An old Springfield News-Leader article indicates that the building was also used for Presbyterian services.
In 1918, the pasture became a city park and also became a historical focal point of Springfield's African-American community. It was the first and, for a long time, the only park serving that community in Springfield. Over the years it became the host of the Miss Silver Springs Pageant, which is still held to this day, and a very large annual picnic celebrating the Emancipation Proclamation. although that is commonly referred to as Juneteenth and is celebrated around June 19 in many parts of the country, it has historically been celebrated in August and is now called the Park Day Reunion.
The park is named for a spring on the grounds which empties into Jordan Creek, which also crosses the grounds. One of many WPA projects in the park was the lining of the creek bed with stones. Those are still visible today. The WPA also build the park gates, still visible along N. National Ave., and the original swimming pool. The latter has been replaced.
Aside from its historical significance, the park has everything which one would expect: pavilions, lots of open space, playground, horseshoe pitch, a modern swimming pool, facilities for baseball & basketball, etc.
(Part of the information recited here is based on Mrs. Team Blakelylaw's personal knowledge, having grown up in Springfield; part is based on the Springfield Reunion Club's Park Day Reunion site.
The "Official Tourism" URL link to the attraction: [Web Link]
Hours of Operation:
Open during summer months
Thursday-Tuesday, 1:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Admission to park is free. Admission to pool unknown.
Transportation options to the attraction: Personal Vehicle or Public Transportation
The attraction’s own URL: Not listed
Approximate amount of time needed to fully experience the attraction: Not listed
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