Who renamed Wonderly Park?
Editor’s Note: The following query letter was sent to Public Works Director Brian Caldwell as well as this newpaper:
I was given your name by my cousin’s daughter, Laurie Heisey, who works for the Oakwood Police Department. As a child, I lived in Oakwood, on Claranna Avenue, just one block south of Wonderly, where my cousin, Cynthia (McKnight) Heisey lived. We spent many happy hours at Wonderly Park, across the street from her house.
Wonderly Park was named after the gentleman who owned the farm and the land on which the park and other homes on that acreage were built. His name was Jacob Wonderly and his farmhouse may still be standing in the 400 block of East Drive. Claranna, we were told, was named after his two daughters, Clara and Anna. It was always nice to think that there was a little bit of that family still existing in that neighborhood. It tied everything on that land to its heritage. The main entrance to the park was always considered to be on Wonderly. That is where the pool was and the tennis courts, the slide, and merry-go-round. The swings that my cousin and I loved to swing so high on, backed up to Delaine. I think there were baseball diamonds on the side of the park that faced Orchard Drive.
My question? I would like to know why Oakwood decided to change the name of Wonderly Park. I know that Orchard is the street to the north, but the word “Orchardly” is not even a word. It also isn’t a name. It is not a noun and may be an adverb if anyone were to call it a word at all. Wonderly, however, is the name of the real person who lived in that area for years farming that land. “Orchardly” sounds like someone may have used poor grammar when renaming the park. I don’t understand why it had to be renamed and I find it hard to believe that anyone researched the origin of it’s name. Wonderly Park is the most obvious and best name for that park, because it faces Wonderly Avenue.
We have always loved Oakwood, because the integrity of that little city has not changed. It is as we all remember it and it will always be “home” to those of us who have lived there, attended Edwin D. Smith Elementary School (I hope that name wasn’t changed), Oakwood Junior and Senior High, the beautiful Wright Library on Far Hills, and the lovely homes throughout.
How you value your history is a true testament to the love of your city.
I would appreciate your response to my question and also your consideration regarding restoring Mr. Wonderly’s name to your lovely neighborhood park.
Susan (Schmidt) Lozano
See Orchardly Park Master Plan in photo gallery >
Re: Sidewalk Repairs
I’ve recently returned from a visit to Boulder, CO and I was impressed with their sidewalk repairs. A very pedestrian friendly and proudly “green” town had many sections of sidewalks that had become uneven. But unlike Oakwood’s approach, they had ground the edges off at an angle. There was no problem walking on those repairs, and I assume it was much less expensive than replacing the entire section.
I agree that an owner couldn’t “chip away” at the edge and produce a safe walking surface, but I wonder why having the edges ground down by a professional isn’t an
option in Oakwood.
331 East Schantz Avenue
Dayton, OH 45409
Stop cutting down trees
I think we should stop cutting down trees. I see lots of deer on the streets. One day when I was going to soccer, I saw a deer on a person’s lawn and when we passed that I saw all of these machines and chainsaws. Half of the forest was gone.
There is a place called Salt Fork. They have lots of trees and the deer have plenty to eat and water and millions of trees. And I think we should do the same.
Jackson Shillinglaw, age 8