Macpherson Park named after nine-time mayor

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It’s Tiny Tot Park no more.

After more than four years of prodding municipal staff and local government, the Macpherson family stood Friday beside a new sign carrying the park’s proper name.

“I’m very happy with this sign,” said Mary (Macpherson) Culbert. “I’m especially pleased with the design. It’s lovely.”

The Macpherson family’s latest efforts to publicize the park’s history - a letter in The Independent – resulted in the new sign, which the municipality put up last week. The new sign sits just off Lambton Street, at the entrance to the playground.

For many years, the park – which is situated between Harbour Street and Lambton Street – has been incorrectly referred to as Tiny Tot Park, after the playground built by the Kinsmen Club. However, the park is officially named after James A. Macpherson, and has been since the land was donated to the town in 1921.

Macpherson family decsendants stand with the new sign naming the park at the foot of Lambton Street. Pictured are, from left: Mary Culbert, Myrna Queen and Murray Macpherson. A second sign will be installed on Harbour Street some time next spring. (Kiel Edge photo)

 

Sir Alexander Mackenzie purchased the land from two locals at a cost of $15,000. He then donated it to the town, but included a number of stipulations in the land transfer. According to the deal, the land must always remain a park, and can’t be used for commercial development.

Mackenzie wanted the park land to be named after his friend Macpherson, a nine-time mayor of Kincardine. He died in 1927, but, his family said his legacy has continued to live on.

“Everybody spoke highly of him,” Macpherson said of her great-grandfather’s brother. “We’ve been here a long time.”

The Macpherson family can trace its roots in the area back to the early 1800s. Mary’s grandfather owned a gas station on Queen Street and her father was heavily involved in the Geddes Mill.

Macpherson remembers coming to the park as a young child. The land includes the lawn bowling green, tennis courts and a public parking lot beside the Harbour Street Brasserie.

“It’s a well-used park. I’m surprised to see so much grass on it,” Macpherson said. “It’s a beautiful (piece of land) and it’s grown an awful lot since I was a kid.”

The municipality paid for the sign and has plans to erect a second sign on the Harbour Street side of the park in the spring. In the meantime, Kincardine residents will have to walk the area and get used to calling the park by its original name.