Continuing my trek through Riverside to see the sights and find sites of interest, I drove over to Fairbank Road east of Barrypoint (at least I think it’s east?”directions are confusing in my village) to look for a boulder I had remembered seeing at one time.
The Fairbank Road boulder is located on the river side of the street and bears the date of July 4, 1932. It says “The Women’s Reading Club and the Chicago Historical Society.” Because the area around the dam was used by early settlers and Indians the inscription “marks the old river crossing used by the Indians on the trail from north to south, by the fur traders and by early settlers in the development of the west.”
We tend to forget the area in which we live holds much in the way of history. And did you ever wonder why they call the area near there Indian Gardens? I bet you can figure it out.
A little further, in what is referred to as the “First Division” is a small triangular park located at Scottswood and Coonley roads. The park is the location for a small stone with a plaque dedicated to the Avery Coonley House bearing the date 1971. Designated as a registered Historical Landmark by the U.S. Department of the Interior National Park Service the inscription reads “site possesses exceptional value in commemorating or illustrating the history of the United States.”
Much discussion was held prior to the placement of the stone as to where would be the appropriate place, since the estate had been subdivided, and which part was more significant. It was apparent that even though the estate was divided, all portions were of importance. In the interest of fairness to the owners, the Riverside Historical Commission decided the park would be an appropriate site. And so on a Sunday afternoon, the dedication was held with the owners present.
Heading back to Guthrie Park in downtown Riverside, one can relax with an ice cream cone from Grumpy’s and also take the time to look at the horse trough which now contains flowers. The trough is in memory of “Edward A. Driver, 1840-1904.” It was given to the Village of Riverside by his heirs. Driver was the owner of a large building in town, but that’s a history lesson for another day or column.
The restoration of the historic water tower in the center of town overlooks a monument proclaiming the area a Riverside Historic District and a registered as a National Historic Landmark by the Department of the Interior, National Park Service and bears the date 1970.
Finally in the northeast corner of the village, on Parkway Road, we find Patriot’s Park and Cori’s Corner in memory of Cori Sikich. The area also has memorial benches and pavers purchased by residents in memory of loved ones or bearing the names of present day residents.
Scattered throughout the village in the many parks are benches with small engraved plaques purchased through the generosity of residents.
So there you have my mini-tour around Riverside and an introduction or refresher of what can be found around town and some of the history that surrounds us.