Heise Park's Continuing Revitalization
|UPDATE: The Heise Children's Park and The East Park Swimming Pool Replacement will be started this Spring (2004)||The status of the Ferd Project
has not been released at this time.
|Heise (Hi'-see) Park
Frederick Heise came to Galion from Germany, and here he worked industriously as a patternmaker. He never married. After years of hard work and thrift, he went back to Germany to visit relatives. When he returned, he told friends that his relatives had not been cordial.
When his health began to fail, Mr. Heise called in his lawyer to make his will. He left his money, ten thousand dollars, to the Galion Public Schools, and disinherited his relatives. The will was written, but when the attorney returned to the sick room, Mr. Heise had died leaving the will unsigned,
The German relatives contested the will and won their suit, but when the Galion Board of Education prepared to appeal the case, the Heise relatives agreed to settle the matter, and as settlement, the Galion Board received $2,500.00 in cash. The money was used to buy land from B. B. Gill for a park, and the deed of transfer was filed in 1913. The park was named in honor of the German immigrant who had loved this town.
Mrs. Olive Gill, former city librarian, remembers that the park land was once a portion of the original estate of James W. Gill who came to what is now the site of Galion in 1824.
The park soon became a recreational center. A wooden grandstand was built for fans who attended the baseball games, and wooden bleachers were provided for the football crowds. There were tennis courts, too and swings and slides for the children. In the summer, Heise Park was a favorite spot for picnics.
When the Redpath Chautauqua came to Galion every summer, the big tent was pitched on the rise of ground now occupied by the Community Center.
In the early 1930's the swimming pool was build with federal funds, a project of the Franklin Roosevelt administration and the first of its kind in the area.
Now the Tiger Stadium accommodates large crowds on football nights, and the Fieldhouse has facilities for the teams.
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