Thursday, June 26, 2008

Bluegrass on the Green Grass

Thursday evenings in Bellingham mean friends and families and picnics and music and fun at the park! The Eldridge Society's summer concert series at Elizabeth Park continued as the Prozac Mountain Boys, keeping the Pacific Northwest safe for bluegrass, entertained the crowd with their lively tunes.Kriss arrived at the park by pedicab, compliments of Bellingham's new Cascadia Cabs, to join Sally, Fred, Catherine, Aaron and me as we dined on our gourmet picnic dinners. (Thanks Sally!)
Elizabeth Park, designed and built on land donated to the City of Bellingham by Captain Henry Roeder in 1884, was first named Walnut Park, but later the name was changed to Elizabeth Park after Roeder's wife, Mary Elizabeth Austin. Park development efforts and funding by the Ladies Cooperative Society provided the landscaping and the planting of the trees in the early 1900s. Those trees, part of what makes Elizabeth Park so beautiful, are still greatly admired by all.The fountain, another beautiful feature of Elizabeth Park, was initially part of the Haller Family Estate from the early Seattle days and was installed in Elizabeth Park in 1910 in the center of a small lake that had been created in the park. In the 1930s, WPA funds were used to upgrade the park, a portion of the lake filled in and the fountain was ornamented by a trio of small girls lining its bowl and two larger female statues, one at the base and one in the bowl, as commissioned by local Swedish sculptor Knute Evertz. In the 1950s, the fountain was put into storage and the remainder of the lake was filled in. The fountain was restored in 1989 and put back in the park again, this time with only the trio of small girl statues to line its bowl as it had been discovered that, sadly, the two larger female statues had gone missing from the storage area sometime between the 1950s and 1989. Now benches line the fountain area of the park and visitors can sit and enjoy the sound of the flowing water as it spouts from the center of the fountain and the mouths of those lovely girl figurines.
The fountain area is sometimes a popular place for hula hooping.

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