THIS PARK ISN'T JUST BEAUTIFUL.
IT'S HISTORICAL.

1907

Boston landscape architecture firm Kelsey & Gould publishes a plan for Greenville. The January 1907 report to Municipal League President Thomas Parker acknowledging the work of J.E. Sirrine is titled “Beautifying and Improving Greenville, SC.” In it, Harlan P. Kelsey proposes the idea of a string of parks stretching along the Reedy River, including one in an area of west Greenville referred to as Hudson Athletic Fields. The other two would later become Cleveland Park and Falls Park.

1920

City purchases lots from Edwin Mayberry on Westfield Street for a city incinerator and a women’s prison stockade

1924

About $15,000 of a $110,000 bond issue approved by voters in June 1924 is set aside to purchase 15 acres of marshy meadowland edging the Reedy River from Edwin Mayberry to create a park for “negro children.” 

Dec. 31, 1924

William Choice Cleveland gives the city 110 acres of land for Cleveland Park.

1927

The city commits money for an athletic field at Mayberry Park with bleachers and playground equipment. The field is used for football, baseball and fair grounds for the Johnny Jones Circus.

1929

Mayberry Park is used by Sterling High School for football, baseball and track. 

July 1933

As part of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal, a Works Progress Administration (WPA) project drained the meadow, deepened the river and put in tennis courts as well as more play equipment. Using a grant from the Reconstruction Finance Corporation and 400 workers under the direction of City Engineer Dan Hulick, the bed of the Reedy River is modified for several miles all the way to Cleveland Park.

1935

Mayberry Park hosts a Field Day program with proceeds benefiting Wilkinson’s orphanage.

Spring 1936

City Police appropriate 200 feet at the northern end of Mayberry Park for a shooting range.

June 1936

Mayberry Park hosts Colored Arbor Day involving African-American children planting trees in the park.

January 1938

The City appropriates seven acres of Mayberry Park (about half) to build a 5,000-seat baseball stadium to be called Meadowbrook Park for the newly organized Greenville Spinners. By summer the City appropriated another 200 feet for additional parking at the ballfield. African-Americans are restricted to 1,500 seats in the outfield and the Black Spinners team is allowed to play there when the white team isn’t using it.

January 1939

Members of the African-American community, including children, appeared before City Council to press their case for a new park on the west side of Greenville. Speakers included the Rev. E.B. Holloway, a retired mail carrier, and Henry Percival, head bellman at Hotel Greenville who in 1946 would establish the Negro Service League headquartered in the Temple Building at Broad and Falls and an agency of Greater Greenville Community Chest. Also speaking in favor of the plan were Mrs. H.J. Haynsworth and Hugh Aiken of the Greenville County Council of Social Agencies, Dr. C.P. Gandy and R.O. Johnson.

Mayor C. Fred McCullough assured them that their petition would be given careful consideration. The plan for the city to spend $33,000 to acquire 27 acres near Perry Avenue already had approval of the Greenville County Council for Community Development and John A. McPherson, chairman of the city Park and Tree Commission.

April 13, 1945

An estimated 15,000 gather alongside the Southern Railroad tracks as the train transporting the body of FDR stops briefly in Greenville on its way from Washington, DC, to Georgia.

1953

The City builds two tennis courts on the long-unused police firing range in Mayberry Park, as well as a recreation center.

1967

Mayberry Park hosts Christmas parties for children ages 7-13

1977

By 1977 the park consisted of the “poorly maintained” recreation center now housing the office of the Opportunity Industrial Center, five swings and a three-person merry-go-round. “A large park where we could provide a lot of different recreation would be a great asset to this area,” the Rev. C.S. Sanders, acting chairman of the Black Clergy of District 2 Fellowship, told The Greenville News.