Today, the Williamsport Park is home to the Warren County 4-H fair, a swimming pool, the senior citizen building, playground, a new shelter house, parks program, baseball diamonds, tennis and basketball courts.
The park was originally purchased by a group of enterprising men. It was then later purchased by the town of Williamsport and the Lions Club sponsored the park.
During WWII, the park was neglected. Furnaces and picnic tables had been destroyed, the outside toilets overturned and the park was overgrown with weeds.
In 1947, the Lion’s Club bought 12 acres of undeveloped ground west of Indiana Route 28 and north of Fourth Street. They donated the land to the town for a park and fairgrounds the same year.
At their March 1947 meeting, the Lions Club discussed future possibilities for the park and decided on a shelter house for picnickers. The club also discussed sponsoring summer programs like they had in 1943 and 1944. Future plans for the next two to three years included adding lights for the baseball diamond, playground equipment, toilets, and a swimming pool.
There also was talk of the American Legion locating in the park. Due to the scarcity and cost of materials, plans for a pavilion were placed on hold. The swimming pool was not constructed until 1962 and was built where the football field had been located.
The Lions Club sponsored park recreation program for 1947 ran from May 26 to Aug. 15. It was divided into three age groups: 9-10 a.m. was for children 6 to 8 years old; programs for children 9 to 11 years old were held between 10:30 a.m. and noon; children between 12 and 14 years old met from 1-3 p.m.
A new activity was provided each week. The second and 11th week consisted of volleyball. Softball was the third and ninth weeks. The fourth week was basketball and a kite contest and basketball again during the 12th week. Ping pong and badminton was the fifth week. Week six consisted of boxing and a mutt show. Touch and regulation football was scheduled for the seventh week. The eighth week was track and field events and a modern plane contest. Neighborhood games, hobbies and handiwork made up the 10th week.
Terri Wargo writes for Warren County (Indiana) Historical Society. Contact her at email@example.com