Onondaga Park

When I first saw this bathhouse on a postcard, I thought how really interesting it is.
People used to be able to swim in this lake – called Hiawatha Lake.
In fact, they used to dive off the upper part of the bath house. I have the post cards showing people diving and swimming.
There is a pool on the other side of this bath house, which used to be part of the lake.
But not anymore. Now it’s just the pool on the other side that people are allowed to swim in. But that’s okay, because this is still a very cool park. Another structure I love is the band stand.
I have an old picture where, instead of this walkway, they had a structure on a rail that would take the band members back and forth to the island.
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Why is this photo crooked? I was sitting on the grass waiting for the Stan Colella Orchestra to start. And then came along some talkers, who talked throughout the entire concert. I don’t know why people who want to talk just don’t stay home.
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Ah yes, what I could hear of it, the orchestra was excellent!
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Oh, I love the sax!
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And the trombone! What is with the pictures? I need to work on this crooked thing!
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The evening was wearing on, and the lights came on.
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A storm was brewing.
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The concert was over with, and the sun was setting, and I was just enjoying the peace and quiet and coolness of the evening.
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Another feature I love about Onondaga Park is this stone bridge.
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Here it is with the flash turned on.
I found a better photo of it.
I have photos showing a small lake on this side of the bridge, too. Now it’s just a grassy area.
There was a fountain and Japanese pergola here, too, and a waterfall.
There still is a nice picnic grove.

Here’s a bit of history:
When the Woodland Reservoir opened on South Geddes Street in 1894, the old Wilkinson Reservoir was no longer needed to supply Syracuse’s drinking needs. In 1898 the 71 acres around the Wilkinson Reservoir was bought by the city to form Onondaga Park. In 1903 more wooded land (the Olmstead Grove) was acquired and became a popular picnic area near the old reservoir that is still in use today. In 1911 Wilkinson Reservoir was renovated and renamed Hiawatha Lake. Today it is the central focus of Onondaga Park on the southwest side of Syracuse.


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