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May 31, 2005 > Irvington Park

Irvington Park

John Horner surveyed a road from Washington Corners to Centerville in the late 1800s. The road pattern left a triangular piece of land where Bay Street joined the road from Washington Corners to Centerville. George Walters donated this lot the town for a park. The community erected a 110-foot flagpole there in 1887.

Early pictures show a wrought iron fence around the park. Speaker's platforms were sometimes erected for special celebrations and several trees were planted for shade and beauty.

An El Camino Bell and two highway signs were erected here June 13, 1909 by the Ladies Aid Society of Irvington, assisted by the Women's Club of Washington Township. A postcard photo shows the bell and signs on the iron post. One sign marked the road to Mission San Lose and the other to San Jose.

A contract for painting the town flagpole was given to Manual Gomes in 1913. Gomes was described as a skillful painter and able seaman, apparently a reference to the 110-foot high pole. A reporter wrote, "The Park at Irvington is one of the prettiest spots in the Township. It's a good example for the rest of the township to follow, cleaning away rubbish and making vacant lots attractive by a well-kept lawn and a few good shade trees.

The park was occasionally mentioned in the local news. Mary Beardsley, the local librarian, was the custodian of the park, but people often helped her with the work and community organizations sometimes assisted on special occasions. The Junior Chamber of Commerce appropriated $5 for improvement of the park and appointed Wayne Day to see that the work was done. The Ladies Auxiliary helped keep the park clean in the 1940s. A fountain was planned in 1916.

The Irvington Chamber of Commerce installed a sprinkler system and planted shrubs in 1948. The flagpole was painted again and a new rope installed. The Irvington Improvement Club replaced the Junior Chamber and installed a yellow flashing light on the top of the monument (see accompanying story).

The Irvington Business Association restored Irvington Plaza Park and dedicated it as A.F. "Andy" Anderson Memorial Plaza. Andy was a key member of the association and a leader in the restoration work.

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