Date in History: 1896

When Milo Jones settled in Fort Atkinson in 1838, he purchased 800 acres of land along the Rock River from the United States government. On some of that land he operated a dairy farm, but over the years, a slightly wooded portion on the southern edge of his property known as Jones Grove became a popular meeting place for the growing village of Fort Atkinson.

Festivals, Fourth of July celebrations, dances, firefighter competitions, ballgames and all other large gatherings were all held under the stately burr oak trees of Jones Grove.

In 1896 Fort Atkinson citizens petitioned the city to actually buy the grove before it was divided up into building lots, declaring that “a more delightful place of meeting can scarcely be imagined.” The city agreed and bought the land from Milo’s oldest son Newton Jones. The new park, called City Park, was dedicated in July of 1897 with over one thousand attending the Monday evening ceremony. It would later be known as Jones Park Every summer thousands of people continue to enjoy the beauty of Jones Park, whether using the pavilion, the playground or spending a summer day enjoining one of the best baseball fields in Wisconsin.

This historic document aired on the radio as an Historic Minute on 05/08/2006.