Forest River Park

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  • In 1907, Maj. John Spencer acquired a 25-acre parcel, once part of the Hemenway estate, on the northern side of the Forest River and later sold it to the City of Salem for a park.
  • The park consists of 29 acres of rolling grassy parkland with shade trees plentiful. A swimming pool in tucked away in the corner of the site. There is a Little League baseball field and a beach.
  • Over the next decade, the Salem Park Department would build a swimming pool and football and baseball fields on the site and would also use it for a city plant nursery.
  • In 1929, Salem built Pioneer Village on a 10 acre parcel, a re-creation of what Salem would have looked like when John Winthrop arrived in 1630 with the first settlers.
  • The salt-water pool was added in 1919. A new fresh water pool was built at the location of the salt-water pool and opened late June 1999. The new pool is 180 feet long, not including the baby pool.
  • In the early 1920's the city opened the first automobile campground at Forest River Park. The site offered toilets, showers, fireplaces and picnic tables. This was phased out as other campgrounds were opened in the city.
  • A permanent cement slide was built in 1943 on the grounds under the direction and plans of Park Commissioner Alfred Audet. It proved to be popular right away. Most children use cardboard pieces to slide down.
  • Today the swimming pool is very popular in the summer and the city has teamed up with the YMCA to use their lifeguards at the pool.

See Also

  • Vertical File in Salem Collection - Forest River
  • "Forest River Park is one of the finest combinations of 'country and seashore' attractions to be found in East" Salem Evening News, July 22, 1922, p ?
  • "South Salem neighborhood many things to many people" Salem News, Feb. 26, 2007, p. B5
  • "Salem pool dives into new technology" Salem Evening News, June 25, 1999, p. A1
  • "Mayor wants Forest River pool fixed" Salem Evening News, July 23, 1998. p.C3
  • City Documents 1943, p. 198-199 (cement slide added)