A look inside Vets Park (with video)
WORTHINGTON -- If a friend called and asked to take you to Vets Park, one might be forgiven for thinking that they would take you to Freedom Shore Park and Veteran's Memorial on Lake Okabena.
That assumption, although logical, would be wrong. Your friend would whisk you to the other side of town, to Milton Avenue, to a park that is small in size and little known.
This park, like Intercity Park, is located halfway down an alley and nestled against the backyards of neighboring houses. Vets Park was also created in a similar way -- it was obtained by warranty deed, in this case in 1949 from Lester Lundgren, for the bargain price of $500.
Amenities include playground equipment installed in 2008 and surrounded by woodchips, a bright blue bench and a small grassy area.
Former Daily Globe editor and Worthington historian Ray Crippen knew the entire story behind Vets Park.
"Immediately after World War II, Worthington was short of housing," Crippen said. "A town in Wisconsin was selling surplus Army housing, and the city purchased some.
That lot and the blocks around it were filled with one- and two-bedroom temporary houses. This was where Worthington veterans came home to and lived."
The city of Worthington obtained the property, and the new park was named Vet's Park due to the numerous veterans and their young families that lived nearby. The playground, according to Crippen, was intended for the veterans' children to play on.
"The houses deteriorated over the years and were removed, but that was the city's reaction to our first housing shortage."
One might wonder if in the near future, another new housing development and park will be made -- and perhaps, 50 years from now, someone will wonder why.