"In Memory of My Dumb Friends"
Posted on Thursday, January 29th, 2009 at 12:03pm.
For years, I have driven by what appears to be a concrete monument at the south end of Jackson Park, on which is written the words "In Memory of My Dumb Friends". I have always wanted to know the back story to this piece of history, so I did some research. It was designed to provide water and a resting place for animals and their owners in and around the park. Built in 1920 by Isabelle Clark as a memorial to her husband, it orginally had a water trough set in the concrete. The remains of the bench still stand as a tribute to the efforts of a fine lady who wanted to aid the "dumb" animals in the area. At the time, the term "dumb" was used to refer to animals who did not have the gift of speech, and did not refer to their mental acuity!
Jackson Park is also the home of another piece of history. An old fashioned bandstand! The very name brings back memories of middle American picnics and ball games.
Surrounded by palm trees, this bandstand was designed and built for the use of the Alameda City Brass Band, and cost $200 dollars to construct. The band began giving summer concerts in the park in 1890.
The park had a facelift shortly afterwards. A local florist set out a careful pattern of trees, paths and lawns, and the park reopened officially in 1894. It still serves the needs of its neighbors who look out each morning to enjoy the view of the park and it's unique slices of Alameda history.
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