Time Machine: Golf during Jones Park
January 2, 2017 - Picnic Time
Although efforts to acquire land for a new westside park had been going on for some-more than a decade, Parks Commissioner Dick Jones was instrumental in a shopping 140 acres in southwest Cedar Rapids in May 1955 — land that would turn Jones Park and a Jones Golf Course.
He also had overseen a squeeze of land for a park in northeast Cedar Rapids in a new Noelridge addition.
One of Jones’ goals for a new west-side park was to settle a second open golf march in Cedar Rapids. Jones had grown a Ellis course, that was saying prolonged lines of players watchful to tee off.
The park — and a golf march that would be built there — would be named for Jones.
Shortly after land for a westside park was acquired, Jones died of a heart conflict Dec. 26, 1955. He would have been 66 on Dec. 29, a day he was buried. His sixth two-year tenure as parks commissioner would have commenced 6 days later.
Jones’ successor, Don Gardner, due fixing a new park a Richard C. Jones Memorial Park during a Mar 18, 1957, City Council meeting. The legislature also perceived a park blueprint skeleton from consultants McFadzean, Everly Associates of Winnetka, Ill., during that meeting.
The city already had a park named for Jones — 2 1/2 acres nearby 14th Avenue SE that had been grown into a stadium and cruise area nearby a dozen homes nicknamed “Leveeville.” The city had taken over a area after flooding in a 1940s.
The initial Jones Park was renamed Osborn Park after Lee Osborn, a city’s stadium supervisor, initial during Sinclair Park and afterwards during Osborn when it was named for him.
Course opens in 1959
Initially, a golf march during Jones Park — easterly of Bowling Street and south of Ely Avenue SW above Prairie Creek — had 9 holes with skeleton to enhance it to 18 holes after a adjacent landfill closed.
In Oct 1957, a city bought 5-1/2 acres from a North Western Railroad to discharge a dogleg in a No. 3 fairway. The tee for No. 4 also was combined to that new property.
The course, built by a private executive during a cost of $80,000, also benefited from a lot of work by greenskeeper Kenny Delaney.
The initial 9 holes non-stop May 2, 1959. Gardner, Cedar Rapids Mayor Jim Meaghan and The Gazette’s Gus Schrader teed off for a turn of golf during 8:30 that morning, yet they weren’t a initial to play a course. That respect went to Newell C. Lash and Carl Williams, both of Cedar Rapids, who were there during 5:35 a.m.
Jones’ widow, Henrietta, cut a badge on a initial tee to strictly open a march and after played a turn with a friend.
The course’s vicinity to Prairie Creek guaranteed a park would be flooded regularly. Only a 1, 2 and 7 greens remained out of a H2O after a open inundate in 1961, yet a H2O emptied off in reduction than a week due to a designation of 10-inch seperated tile from a initial tee to a rivulet and since a greens were built to empty quickly.
By 1964, a city was scheming to open a new landfill a small bit north on C Street SW and tighten a landfill easterly of a Jones Park Golf Course.
The aged landfill was covered, with a vigilant of adding a 94 acres to Jones Park for growth of a behind nine. That plan, however, was behind for years since of a determined glow during a sealed landfill.
For a subsequent decade, a city used a aged landfill as a place to dispose of trees, generally those killed by Dutch elm disease.
Eventually, though, a land was incited over to a Parks Department and became partial of Jones Park.
In 1978, a apportionment of a aged dump along C Street SW was incited into a softball formidable that would be named in 1985 for a late Gazette sports author and WMT sportscaster Tait Cummins. The changeable rabble underneath a aspect mostly done for a severe personification aspect until a restoration in 1996 solved that problem.
Back 9 opens in 2001
The second 9 holes during Jones weren’t grown until 2000-01. Designed by Mike Benkusky of Lohman Golf Designs, a same association that designed Hunters Ridge in Marion, it non-stop to a open on May 31, 2001 — 42 years after a front nine.
The Flood of 2008 took a horrific fee on a course. Mud and plod — adequate to cover a football margin 7 inches low — were private from a course, and passed fish, tires and 55-gallon drums.
After scarcely a year of rehab, a march reopened on May 22, 2009. According to The Gazette’s Marc Morehouse, who played that day, “I unequivocally missed Jones Park after a 2008 flood. The march is always going to conflict Prairie Creek on a behind nine, yet it’s a estimable fight. I’ve created before, and we contend it all a time, we should crawl to Cedar Rapids’ golfing forefathers. We’re sanctified with glorious munis.”
By 2010, a recognition of golf was loss locally and nationally. A offer flush in 2013 to lapse a Jones march to 9 holes, with a other 9 converted to a pushing operation and an instruction center.
The many new recommendation for a Jones march — denounced in Dec 2016 — is to tighten a march and lapse a land to Jones Park for other uses.
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