Oak Park Historical Walking Tour
Saturday, July 23, 2016 - 10:00 a.m.
Tour meets at the parking lot across from the Neogen Administrative Offices - 620 Lesher
The creators of Pokemon Go probably didn’t know that their app would lead gamers to the location of a former Lansing cemetery where it’s been rumored ghosts played in a wading pool.
The Historical Society of Greater Lansing is hosting a walking tour of Oak Park and the adjoining eastside neighborhood 10 a.m. Saturday, July 23.
The tour is free and will meet near the parking lot across from the Neogen Administrative offices at 620 Lesher Place. The 16 acre historical park is accessible off North Pennsylvania on Linden place or off Shiawassee on Durance St.
Oak Park, also known as East Side Park, was once a cemetery which was moved in the late 19th century to Mt. Hope Cemetery. In 1900 the site became Lansing’s second park and it featured a wading pool which attracted thousands on hot summer days.
In the center of the pool was a large cast iron fountain which served as a launching point for youngsters.
The park was immensely popular and hosted numerous youth pageants which would attract upwards of 10,000 viewers. Today, it used for soccer and softball and has a popular children’s playground.
The tour also will include the Oak Park School (now Neogen) and the 1929 Lansing Children’s Home adjacent to it. A short walk away on Pennsylvania Ave. are two Darius Moon homes which will be viewed and discussed.
Today, Oak Park is just as likely to attract Pokegon Go followers Bill Castanier, president of the Historical Society, said.
“The tour delves into a period of time when outdoor recreation was at its height and there were daily summer programs at the Park for neighborhood youth,” he said.
“The kind of fun children had in the early twentieth century is an amazing contrast to today’s search for Drowzee and Vulpix, two Pokemon Go characters which can be found in the Park, among others,” Castanier said.