Stead's Park - Macoupin County Illinois
Stead's Park - Nilwood Township, Macoupin County IL
Picture of Pond-1 Picture of Pond-2 Picture of Pond-3 Picture of Pond-4
In 2009, using the 911 road names, you would leave east out of Nilwood on the Waggoner Road about 3 miles to Stead Road. About 1/4 mile south on Stead Road. The pond is located on the east side of the road. When the area was a park there was a grove of trees on the east side of the pond where you could picnic.
Raymond Dennis drowned in the pond August 2, 1914. Later in years, two brothers, last name ?Turner, drowned in the pond. After the two brothers died, the dam was torn up.
In 2009, John Boehler owns the pond and land around it. John's father Roy Boehler cleaned up the pond and rebuilt the dam in 1954. It is a nice looking pond. Allen Boehler, another son of Roy, said, at one time, there had been a horse race track there.
From the History of the Nilwood Baptist Church, History Committee, 1969
(copying the Wild Rural Park part as the intro to Stead's Park)
"At this time there existed a wonderful recreation park at Sulphur Springs, in the southeast part of Nilwood Township, across the road east of Union Church. It was visited by many of the Nilwood townspeople. Called "Wild Rural Park," it consisted of sixty acres, including an Animal Park, in which were kept a variety of wild animals of the West; a park in which there was a small lake, and on the lake shore, the Amphitheatre. The grounds were made available free to "all civil societies for holding their mass meetings, picnics, celebrations, etc., excepting on the Lord's day, which is reserved especially for religious worship." (Several of today's members recall attending church picnics at Wild Rural Park about 1915 to 1920. Later, Stead's Park, a pond and picnic grounds, would be developed on property settled by Samuel Stead, three miles east of Nilwood and one-half mile west of McVey. Many are still around who have fond memories of pleasant hours spent at Stead's Park, which at one time was leased by Nilwood.)"
Some remember swimming in the pond as late as the 1950's.
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