Staff Person: Martha Elmore
Washington Park is on a peninsula of land adjoining Washington, N.C., on the east. The land was sold to John Humphrey Small, Sr., in 1839 and was the property of his son U.S. Representative John H. Small, Jr., at the time that the town was laid out just prior to World War I. Washington Collegiate Institute, a coed private school owned by the Northern Methodist Church, was established in Washington Park in 1913. This highly respected school closed its doors during the Great Depression of the 1930s. Washington Park has been the site of many picnics and celebrations through the years. Linda B. Small in her publication Early History of Washington Park, 1839-1925 recites, “An annual event every spring was the Washington Park Picnic. Long tables were spread on the river shore and fried chicken, cakes, lemonade, and ice cream were served.” Below you will see two photographs of Washington Park from the early 20th Century. One has the caption “Picnic at Washington Park,” (photo number p-329105) and the other is captioned “Easter at Washington Park. Waiting for running race,” (photo number p-329109). Washington Park was incorporated as a town in 1923 and has 440 residents according to the 2000 census. These photographs are found in the William Blount Rodman Papers, Collection #329 (box 168, folder f).
To learn more about this collection, please go to: http://digital.lib.ecu.edu/special/ead/findingaids/0329/
To learn more about Washington Park, please go to: http://digital.lib.ecu.edu/historyfiction and read Linda Small’s book that was referenced above.
To view an enlarged version of the photographs, click on the images.