History of Green Bay's Parks

Seymour Park

In 1929 negotiations were started between the Green Bay and Western Railway Co., the Wisconsin Public Service and the City of Green Bay for land north of the tracks along an area known as "The Slough" - an eyesore used for dumping. The property would be filled within 3 ½ years and developed into a park, which was named after the president of the railroad, F. B. Seymour. It took several years to clear up disputes over boundaries and titles before legal documents could be signed and recorded, and it was dedicated as a park in 1936.

1941 - The City leased property from the Green Bay and Western RR for $1.00 a year for additional space at Seymour.

1952 - A shelter was constructed.

In 1955 a group including Harold Fuller and H. Weldon McGee approached the Park Board with a request to locate a "steam locomotive as a memorial to the railroad men of Green Bay" a in one of the parks. The park area committee "unanimously agreed to place the locomotive in Seymour Park, east of Ashland at north end of park, with the stipulation that the committee requesting the location of the locomotive contact neighbors and obtain their consent." b By September, Fuller wrote, "all of the residents on Ashland Avenue near Seymour Park have now been contacted" and the members of the committee "are currently engaged in getting a locomotive." a c These plans were overtaken by a proposal to create a railroad museum at Cooke Memorial Park, a plan which was officially proposed in May of 1956. d

1970 - Several adjoining parcels were purchased using matching federal funds, which improved the configuration of this park for further development of facilities.

The inner city group known as Co-Care received a grant from Fort Howard to construct a Little League ball diamond, and it was ultimately located in the western part of the park.

1973 - The Boys and Girls Club of Green Bay approached the Park Commission with the request and plan for building a permanent clubhouse in this park. This was never finalized due to their choice of location on a portion of WPS property, complicating the agreement and also due to restrictions placed on land that is purchased with matching funds.

A push by the newly formed Seymour Neighborhood Association and their Alderman resulted in the closing of Oakland Avenue and the development of a "Town Square" themed sprayground. Approximate cost of this project was $275,000, which included vacating Oakland Avenue, widening the alley, sprayground construction and park lighting with funding coming from CDBG money and bonded funds from the City.


a Letter from Harold E. Fuller (on letterhead of Norcor Manufacturing Co. Inc.) to Tom White of the Green Bay Park Board, dated September 9, 1955. PRF file "Park Areas: Seymour Park".
b Undated copy of report of the park area committee meeting about the location of the locomotive. The document notes the committee membership: "Present at the meeting was Chairman Tom White, Marie Van Vooren, [M]arshall Simonds and Ken Wagnitz." PRF file "Park Areas: Seymour Park".
c Letter from [H.] Weldon [McGee], " Vice President - Operation" of the Green Bay and Western Lines (on GB&W letterhead) to Harold E. Fuller, dated September 6, 1955, listing the residents McGee had contacted. PRF file "Park Areas: Seymour Park". This letter was enclosed with Fuller's September 9 letter to White.
d See Cooke Memorial Park.

Only annotated statements have been verified. Any other historical statements are unverified and based on personal knowledge or informal notes kept by the Green Bay Parks, Recreation & Forestry Department.
Last update: February, 2012
Last major update: November, 2010
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