History of Green Bay's Parks

Sullivan Park/School

In 1920 Mitchell Joannes and his wife, Fannie gave several parcels of property on both sides of the East River which came to be known as Joannes Park and East Joannes Park. The City acquired additional land on the East Side of the river in 1934 from Hagemeister Realty and William Laundrie. Hagemeister had agreed to donate their property in exchange for having the City grade and fill in the low areas along the river. But when it came time to deed their property to the City, there was a legal dispute as to the use of the land, which had been designated for "park purposes" only. The City had been asked by the Athletic Association to put in a softball diamond and tennis court. They would furnish and maintain the lighting if they could use the diamond and charge admission twice a week. Hagemeister maintained this was not the purpose of the land donation, therefore the City had to go to court to get a final deed dated June 6, 1940. The Common Council was petitioned in 1957 to purchase another parcel (38) to add to the area, which was never approved.

1960 - The Park Commission turned over to the County and the State the use of East Joannes Park for the purpose of establishing a University Extension Center.

1974 - The County purchased Lot 38 for building when the new campus and university was built northeast of the City and the Deckner Ave. facility was returned to the city and the Board of Education purchased the building. This was named after Ann Sullivan who was handicapped by poor vision and also was a teacher for Helen Keller. The school is operated for handicapped students, and the Board of Education has used the parking lot off of Main Street for a Driver Education range during the summer months.


  1. 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.
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