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MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Huntingdon in Carroll County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)
 

Historic Thomas Park

June 2001

 
 
Historic Thomas Park Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane and Tracy Marsteller, August 14, 2021
1. Historic Thomas Park Marker
Inscription.  Thomas Park was established in 1906 by the Civic Improvement Club, a women's group whose primary objective was the beautification of their hometown. The Club took on the task of making the area on East Main Street around the train depot more enticing to visitors. The area was named Thomas Park in honor of Major John W. Thomas, Sr., president of the Nashville, Chattanooga and St. Louis Railroad, 1884-1906. The concrete arch was erected in 1909 by the N.C.& St. L. Railroad Company and remains today as a Huntingdon landmark. The train depot, located in the park until 1967, was the point where many young Carroll County soldiers boarded the train for destinations known and unknown in service to our country.

Oral tradition holds that John Philip Sousa's band played in Thomas Park sometime just prior to World War I. The train transporting the band stopped at the Thomas Park depot to take on water for the steam engine. The passengers were required to disembark, at which time the band was persuaded to perform for the waiting passengers.

A later group, the Huntingdon Women's Garden Club, maintained the park and made major improvements
Historic Thomas Park Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane and Tracy Marsteller, August 14, 2021
2. Historic Thomas Park Marker
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in 1985. Improvements included landscaping and walkways funded by the family of Jimmie Lee and Georgia Taylor. The gazebo was funded by the O.B. and Lela Enochs family. In 1993, the Huntingdon Beautification Committee was formed and assisted in seasonal upkeep of the park. In 1995, CSX Railroad donated the caboose, which was subsequently refurbished for display. Under the leadership of Mayor Dale R. Kelley, the Town of Huntingdon finally acquired legal title to the Thomas Park property from CSX in 1998. Original bricks from the train depot were incorporated into the paved walkway in front of the caboose.

Further renovations to the park by the Town of Huntingdon in the year 2000 were also made possible by local donations. Carroll Bank & Trust, Trustee for The Wright Charitable Trust, contributed funds for the War Memorial monument, fountain and flag poles. The memorial honors all Veterans and is inscribed with the names of Carroll County soldiers who died while serving in the wars of our country. Woodmen of the World Lodge #445 donated the first giant American flag to fly at the memorial. Friends and family of Danny and Joyce Carter donated two marble benches and two lampposts. Additional lamppost donations were made in memory of Dorothy Ellis and former Huntingdon Mayor Lee H. Chance.

The successful renovation of Thomas Park is due to these generous donations,
Thomas Park and a view of the old depot image. Click for full size.
Tennessee State Library and Archive, February 1913
3. Thomas Park and a view of the old depot
to the vision and leadership of Mayor Dale R. Kelley and to the dedicated efforts of the Town of Huntingdon employees. We commend their talents and hard work in making Thomas Park a beautiful focal point of our community and historic memorial to our past.
 
Erected 2001.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: ArchitectureParks & Recreational AreasRailroads & Streetcars. A significant historical year for this entry is 1906.
 
Location. 36° 0.223′ N, 88° 25.187′ W. Marker is in Huntingdon, Tennessee, in Carroll County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of East Main Street (Business U.S. 70) and Browning Avenue, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 20190 East Main Street, Huntingdon TN 38344, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Carroll County War Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); Oak Hill Cemetery (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Hawkins Cousins (approx. 0.2 miles away); A Divided Land (approx. half a mile away); Carroll County Veterans Monument (approx. half a mile away); Mudslingers Studio (approx. half a mile away); Nathan Nesbitt (approx. 0.8 miles away); Isaac R. Hawkins (approx. 2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Huntingdon.
 
Entrance to J.W. Thomas Park image. Click for full size.
Tennessee State Library and Archive, circa 1920
4. Entrance to J.W. Thomas Park
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on August 16, 2021. It was originally submitted on August 16, 2021, by Duane Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 63 times since then and 5 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on August 16, 2021, by Duane Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

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Jan. 22, 2022