Two Harbors in Lake County, Minnesota — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
Thomas Owens Memorial Park
[Text interspersed with photos]
Thomas Owens was affectionately known at "T.O.".
The White Houses located between 2nd and 3rd Avenues on Poplar Street were once owned by Railroad Superintendent George White. After his passing and by the late 1920's they were thought to pose a great fire risk to the community.
Thomas Owens who lived at 509 2nd Avenue took up a collection and along with D&IR Superintendent Horace Johnson agreed to purchase all the properties on the street and donate them to the city under the agreement that it would be reserved as a public park. This allowed the City of Two Harbors to forgo any legal action required if they chose imminent [sic - eminent] domain to acquire the property.
The buildings would be purchased and the park created in 1930 but it would be another year before the park was officially dedicated as Thomas Owens Memorial Park.
The dedication of the Iron Ball Monument took place in August of 1934 in conjunction with the 50 Year Anniversary of the first shipment of iron ore. The Iron Ball was designed by George Watts and built by the Carlstrom Brothers. It
From left to right, Carl Wepson, Oscar Kulander, Arvid Carlstrom, Oscar Carlstrom, August 1934 [with the Iron Ball Monument]
The next addition to Thomas Owens Memorial park would be the Two Harbors City Bandshell in 1937. The bandshell is dedicated to longtime City Band Director Paul Gauche.
After the death of his wife in 1941 Thomas Owens donated the statue known as the Water Babies to the City of Two Harbors for placement in the park. Today this statue is on the Lighthouse grounds.
The park remains a treasure for the community of Two Harbors enhancing our Historic Waterfront District. We can all thank a foresighted Thomas Owens for this great gift to our community.
Erected by Lake County Historical Society and Paul Iverson.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Charity & Public Work • Entertainment • Parks & Recreational Areas. In addition, it is included in the Time Capsules series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1930.
Location. 47° 1.264′ N, 91° 40.248′ W. Marker is in Two Harbors, Minnesota, in Lake County. Marker is at the intersection of 6th Street (County Route 20) and 2nd Avenue, on the right when traveling north on 6th Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Two Harbors MN 55616, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. 50th Anniversary of First Shipment of Iron Ore From Minnesota (here, next to this marker); John Dwan Office Building (within shouting distance of this marker); World War I German Cannon (within shouting distance of this marker); Duluth and Iron Range Depot (about 800 feet away, measured in a direct line); Duluth Missabe & Iron Range Yellowstone Mallet #229 (approx. 0.2 miles away); Duluth and Iron Range Railroad Locomotive #3 (approx. 0.2 miles away); Hand Car, Velocipede, Sleigh, Station Wagon (approx. 0.2 miles away); First Ore Taken From A Minnesota Mine (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Two Harbors.
Also see . . .
1. Friends of the Band Shell Park. (Submitted on November 12, 2014, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
2. Two Harbors Farmers Market at Thomas Owens Park. (Submitted on November 12, 2014, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
3. Thomas Owens Manuscripts Description. (Submitted on November 12, 2014, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
Credits. This page was last revised on December 10, 2020. It was originally submitted on November 12, 2014, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 505 times since then and 94 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on November 12, 2014, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.