“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Austin in Travis County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)

Rosewood Park

Rosewood Park Marker image. Click for full size.
By Kim McKnight, Austin PARD, June 3, 2020
1. Rosewood Park Marker

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, African American enclaves were spread throughout Austin, but the 1928 Austin city plan codified segregation of communities of color to the east side of the city by restricting utilities and services in other parts of the city. As a result, Rosewood Park was established as a recreational facility for African Americans.

The land for Rosewood Park was carved from the 40-acre homestead along Boggy Creek of local merchant, Rudolph Bertram, and his family, including a two-story limestone house built here in the 1870s. Rudolph’s daughter, Emmie Huppertz, sold 17 acres to the city in 1928 to establish the first public park for African Americans in Austin. When Rosewood Park opened in 1930, it featured a swimming pool, clubhouse (the remodeled Bertram-Huppertz home), and baseball diamonds. Segregated sports leagues, concerts, pageants, and holiday festivities were frequent and popular uses for the park. Juneteenth, a holiday commemorating the emancipation of enslaved African Americans, has been celebrated here each year since the park opened.

During The Great Depression, the Civil
Rosewood Park Marker image. Click for full size.
By Kim McKnight, Austin PARD, June 3, 2020
2. Rosewood Park Marker
Marker with Henry Green Madison cabin in background.
Works Administration (CWA) and Works Progress Administration (WPA) provided partial funding for park improvements ranging from roads and lights to the bandstand. During World War II, the city’s recreation department provided African American servicemen stationed in Central Texas with dances, picnics, and sing-alongs, culminating in construction of Doris Miller auditorium in 1944. After the war, the auditorium was a popular stop on the “chitlin’ circuit” of African American performers. In the summer of 1963, Austin city pools and parks quietly integrated. Rosewood Park continues to serve as the heart of the neighborhood and as an important space in the cultural history of Austin.
Erected 2018 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 22397.)
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African AmericansParks & Recreational Areas.
Location. 30° 16.244′ N, 97° 42.854′ W. Marker is in Austin, Texas, in Travis County. Marker is on Rosewood Avenue west of North Pleasant Valley Road, on the right when traveling west. The marker is located in the Rosewood Neighborhood Park. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2300 Rosewood Avenue, Austin TX 78702, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Henry G. Madison Cabin (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct
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line); Laurine Cecil Anderson (approx. 0.4 miles away); Site of Old Anderson High School / Kealing Jr. High School (approx. half a mile away); Downs Field (approx. half a mile away); Simpson United Methodist Church (approx. half a mile away); Mount Olive Baptist Church (approx. half a mile away); James L. Farmer, Jr. (approx. half a mile away); Blackshear Elementary School (approx. half a mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Austin.
Related marker. Click here for another marker that is related to this marker. Henry G. Madison Cabin marker
Also see . . .
1. Henry Green Madison. Handbook of Texas (Submitted on January 14, 2021, by Richard Denney of Austin, Texas.) 

2. Austin Parks and Recreation Department. Video about the marker dedication and park. (Submitted on January 14, 2021, by Richard Denney of Austin, Texas.) 
Credits. This page was last revised on January 16, 2021. It was originally submitted on January 14, 2021, by Richard Denney of Austin, Texas. This page has been viewed 27 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on January 14, 2021, by Richard Denney of Austin, Texas. • J. Makali Bruton was the editor who published this page.
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Mar. 6, 2021