Fell Park is Normal’s first and oldest public park. In
the late 1880s, Jesse W. Fell donated 2 acres of land to the Town for public
use. A Quaker, Jesse Fell later became known as one of the “founding fathers”
of Normal, Illinois. The 2 acres donated by Fell were thought to originally
have been used as a public farmers market. In 1898, Fell’s widow sold the land
to Normal for $1 under strict demands the park would be used for public
recreation despite a new water tower to be built on the property. In March 1898,
a brick and steel water tower was built to meet the water demands of the
growing community. Part of that tower remains today, an iconic landmark for the
Town of Normal. In 1922, the park was dedicated Jesse Fell Park by the Women’s
Improvement League, who provided a new playground. In 2008, a monument was
dedicated in honor of Jesse Fell. Today, the park offers a playground, picnic
area, ballfield and basketball court along with some insight to Normal Parks
and Recreation history.
Town of Normal Parks & Recreation added educational signs about monarch butterflies and a photo-worthy set of butterfly wings to Underwood Park in addition to new birdhouses designed to attract birds to the
native habitat area. Read on...