With the completion of Cool Spring Reservoir in 1877, an adjoining parcel of unused land was reserved for park purposes. Formally designated as Cool Spring Park, the grounds were managed by the Wilmington Water Department until 1967, when the City Parks Department assumed responsibility. The reservoir and park were named for the natural springs of the area. Cool Spring was also the name of the nearby home of Caesar A. Rodney, a member of Congress and United States Attorney General in the administration of President Thomas Jefferson.

Construction of the reservoir resulted in rapid growth and development on the West Side of the city. The park soon became the center of a thriving neighborhood that was home to many of the city’s businesspersons and shopkeepers. A focal point for the community, the park has been used for various activities including the annual Wilmington Flower Market, which was held from the 1920s to the 1950s. The park’s interesting variety of trees is a result of the tradition of adding one each year during the Flower Market. In 1983, Cool Spring Park and the surrounding neighborhood were formally listed in the National Register of Historic Places as the Cool Spring Historic District.

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LOCATION:Corner of 10th and Van Buren Streets, Wilmington.