Community park officially named

By Clara Glendale | Who else would we assign to this story?

Yet-unnamed teeter-totter. (Yet-unnamed photographer)
Yet-unnamed teeter-totter. (Yet-unnamed photographer)

After years of indecision (or forgetfulness), Bass Lake’s community park has a name.

Previously called yet-unnamed park, no-name park and “The Park,” a grassroots effort has resulted in a decision about an official title: Newlee-Tydald Park.

The name is inspired by the story of early settlers of the town, James Newlee and William Tydald. The former was a farmer, the latter another farmer. Both at one time (or another) had lived within a 45-yard radius of the park’s location, according to early platbooks found in a time capsule accidentally unearthed during a groundbreaking ceremony at then-Stadium Drive Stadium.

Discovery of the time capsule may have happened when a local dignitary “applied the shovel too efficiently,” someone on the Beacon staff joked.

"Soldiers at a Picnic," by Emilee Van Dickinson. (Antonio McDice)
“Soldiers at a Picnic,” by Emilee Van Dickinson. (Antonio McDice)

According to instructions contained within the capsule, the memory-box had been placed at the site in 1945, with instructions “not to be opened until September 2045,” according to instructions contained within the capsule. The main goal was to mark the 100th anniversary of VJ-Day — and apparently residents threw in a bunch of other stuff.

“The box was opened 30 years and change ahead of time,” said Carolyn Shee, vice president of Bass Lake Town Council. “That opens up a can of worms, or Pandora’s Box, or something. Be that as it is, we finally have a name for our park. Unidentified people will be kissing in the street!

Space for the park was cleared sometimes in the 1970s, after fire destroyed whatever was there at the time, according to nearly illegible microfilm records of the Beacon stored at Bass Lake Public/Private Library.

The park-naming drive was led by Jennifer Sparkle, exalted queen of the recently formed group Local Event Planners Anonymous.

For Sparkle, it’s a milestone that should not be taken for granite.

“Thousands of children have played at the park over the years, and families gather to eat at the picnic tables,” Sparkle said. “Now, they’ll know exactly where they are when they’re doing it, going forward.”

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