Oglesby is a city that has always believed in parks and the citizens enjoy and use them to the fullest.
Memorial Park is one our oldest parks. Many of us can remember the big and “baby” sliding boards, the swings, the jungle gyms and the merry-go-round of yesteryear.
Memorial Park, A Tribute to our Veterans
The local veterans began a campaign to honor those who served in the military during times of conflict. It began with a celebration in 1996 to recognize the veterans of the World War II fifty years after the end of the war. The highlight of the celebration was a parade followed by the dedication of the WWII Monument in Memorial Park with the names of 706 veterans chiseled into the granite monument.
In 1998, the 163 veterans who served during the Korean War were honored in a similar fashion, as were the 189 veterans of the Vietnam War in 2000. In 1999, the veterans group was awarded one of the Governor’s Home Town Awards for the 1998 Korean War Veterans Memorial Celebration.
In 2002, as part of the Centennial activities, a military copter was added in Memorial Park But we were blessed with not only our local city parks, but also by being very, very close to such beautiful parks and places as Bailey Falls, Deer Park/Matthiessen, Starved Rock and Buffalo Rock State Parks.
Lehigh Park was donated to the city by the Lehigh Cement Company to honor the veterans fighting in World War II. Be sure and read the plaque mounted by the veterans at the park to learn more about it. This lovely wooded area with its shelters has long been a favorite spot for picnics and other family gatherings. Small children delight in the varied play equipment and toy horse and who has not enjoyed the carnivals and other happenings during Oglesby Celebration Days and other festive times?
Dickinson Field continues to grow and expand and is the site of an outstanding ball diamond today. In the mid-1950s, it was the favorite landing spot for Santa’s arrival via helicopter each December, courtesy of the NewsTribune that paid to hire the helicopter.
Check out the Photo Gallery for the latest images of our parks.