By LeaAnne Klentzman
In the shadow of the historic Richmond department and near the century old Wessondorff Lumber Company, the City of Richmond has announced a new city park on the north side of town.
The Wessendorff Park Project, as it is known, has been made possible by a grant from the Henderson-Wessendorff Foundation. Richmond city spokesman Master Sergeant Lowell Neinast said the facilities will be developed in two phases. He said, “Phase I will include landscaping and a gazebo in the park area between the Richmond Police Department and Morton Cemetery and is anticipated to be completed by September of this year.
Phase II will include the construction of a lake and a trail system around the perimeter of the lake along with two bridges crossing the lake. Additional grants have been applied for through the George Foundation and Texas Parks and Wildlife. Phase II is expected to be completed by the end of 2013.”
This quadrant of Richmond, which has long been in need of revitalization, is steeped deep in Texas history. The Morton Cemetery is the final resting place for Jane Long, and just one block north on Morton Street is the ground of the former Carrie Nation hotel, and just to the east along the river, is the old launching area for the ferry that traversed the Brazos River.
City Manager Terri Vela said “the idea of the park has been around for a few years and making it a reality is going to be a wonderful experience for everyone.” The project will include restroom facilities which are going to be installed near the large parking area of the park. Neinast went on to explain that the goal of this park and trail system is to enhance the beauty of Richmond while allowing the residents a safe and relaxing place to enjoy with their families.