The island at the confluence of the Elkhart and St. Joseph Rivers belonged to Charles Beardsley. As the story goes, the Potawatomi named it for its apparent likeness to the shape of an elk's heart and thus the name of the city--Elkhart. This photograph shows Island Park's second bridge built in 1888 when ice built up from the winter destroyed the original bridge. The area was sold to James Rufus Beardsley and Sarah Davenport who deeded it to the city on November 9, 1887. This wooden bridge included a gate which was locked to keep individuals off the island after dark. It was replaced in 1891 with one of the spans taken from the Main Street bridge. Island Park covers about 7 acres and is the city's oldest park.
Elkhart Public Library
No Copyright - United States;
Elkhart County (Ind.)
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