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RECREATION AREAS SIXTY YEARS AGO
Tuesday, January 10, 1978


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EDITOR'S NOTE: One of the most popular Potluck articles about the streetcar era, appeared sometime ago. Unfortunately, even though it consisted of three installments, it was impossible to include photos and some additional data about the two parks...Reeves and Meadowbrook. The column today provides interesting photos and data about them, as well as other spots in the Fostoria area where kids frequented years ago.

Reeves and Meadowbrook parks were actually built to increase the traffic on the electric lines that served them.

The TF&E (Tiffin, Fostoria & Eastern) served Tiffin, and Bascom where Meadowbrook was located then and still is today.

The TF&F (Toledo, Fostoria & Findlay) served Reeves park at Arcadia. It was located where Dicken Mfg. Co., is now, at the north edge of Arcadia.

Reeves Park was named after Sam Reeves, President of the TF&F, who also headed up reeves Steel & Mfg. Co. at Canal Dover, Ohio.

Meadowbrook was built by those affiliated with the TF&E. It was in the approximate area it is now, but the entrance to the park was west of Gem Mfg. Co. The accompanying photo shows how the pavilion was reached by a boardwalk, which the old-timers will remember.

Both parks offered ample picnic facilities and swings and slides for the kids. Both had dance floors in the pavilions and picnic areas for inclement weather.

Reeves had the added inducement of bowling, roller skating and a baseball diamond.

The original Meadowbrook pavilion, shown by the photo, burned in 1925. It was rebuilt in 1933, but again burned and the present pavilion was rebuilt in 1935.

The Reeves pavilion was struck by lightning and burned in the late 1920's. It was never rebuilt and the other buildings were later demolished.

There were other places in the Fostoria area that were not in the same class as Meadowbrook and Reeves Parks, but still frequented by the kids... especially boys.

One such place was Woods Pond, where Gray Park is now, prior to the time George M. Gray purchased it. It was popular spot in summer for the boys to cool off with a dip in the water - even though muddy. In the winter time it provided a place to ice skate.

Another place I enjoyed when a boy way Wolf Creek. Older Fostorians know about Wolf Creek, but younger ones or newcomers probably pass it on their way to Bascom and Tiffin, unaware of its location. The bridge spanning it is just a few feet east of the defunct motel and bowling alley.

Wolf Creek was named by early settlers because wolves frequented the area.

In summer, my older sister, Ruth, took the neighborhood kids for picnicing and swimming. It was a pleasant place then, as can be seen by the accompanying photo. There were fish and turtles in the creek for catching.

Often we went there aftwe we had stopped to visit with the Kinnaman family, who lived in the house next to the site where the Arthur Kaubisch house is now.

As you drive toward West Independence you pass Lakeland Golf Course at Hancock County Road 216, known years ago as Bull Frog Road. Today there is a housing community there, but 60 years ago it was all farm land and a good creek is where "Jake" Seever's mother, Sarah, took him and all his neighborhood friends for picnics, fishing and swimming on hot summer days... both boys and girls.

Older Fostorians will remember "Jake" Seever as the popular executive secretary at The Ohio Savings & Loan for many years. He was one of my boyhood friends.

Those who frequented Meadowbrook and Reeves parks could get there by the electric cars...open-air models in the summer, which were a delight to ride.

But to get to the old swimming holes, it required hiking...distances that most kids would scoff at today.

The walking and the not too clean water didn't seem to bother us then. In fact the hike in the country where the ari was fresh strengthened our bodies, improved our lungs and got us closer to nature.

There are many other photos which show places to go sixty years ago, and some dialogue to accompany them, but space is not available in today's column. I'll tell you more another time.

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