The Ghosts of Epworth Lake Park
What lies beneath Wilderness Park? Joint us as we go back in time to explore the remains of Epworth Lake Park, the largest summer gathering place in the US from 1903-1940.
In 1903, the Methodist Church Epworth League established a 32-acre resort and gathering place in a pleasant, wooded meadow along Salt Creek. It would become the largest summer gathering place west of the Mississippi. People would come from surrounding states to hear speakers including William Jennings Bryan, Billy Sunday, Carrie Nation, Enrico Caruso, and other famous personalities in an auditorium that could accommodate over 5000 people. There were 500 campsites, a lake for boating, hotels, grocery stores, even a post office. But by the 1940’s, the Park was gone. It was swallowed up by Wilderness Park.
Today, many hikers and cyclists follow trails where Epworth Lake Park once stood. But many hidden traces and the history of the Park endure. On Saturday, October 15th, Steve Larson will lead a walking tour where the remains and the ghosts of Epworth Park will be revealed. The tour begins at the original entrance to the Park located at 1st and West Calvert Streets.