Exploring the Tri-State: Burdette Park

*Post written by James Wethington, library assistant of the University Archives and Special Collections.

Lake View, Burdette Park, Evansville, Indiana. Circa 1947. (Photograph Credit: University Archives and Special Collection, RH 033-444).

Burdette Park Postcard, circa 1947 (Credit: University Archives & Special Collections, RH 033-444).

As we continue to discover various parks and recreation areas, look no further than our backyard in Evansville. Most Evansville and Tri-State residents have heard of and spent time at Burdette Park. It is a staple attraction on Evansville’s West Side for outdoor activities in all year round with an aquatic center, shelters, BMX track, and chalets.

Aerial view of Burdette Park, circa 1980. (Photograph Credit: University Archives and Special Collections, RP 031-013).

Aerial view of Burdette Park, circa 1980. (Credit: University Archives & Special Collections, RP 031-013).

Burdette Park has an interesting history in Evansville. The park’s origin is unknown; however, the naming of park was in memory of a local solider, Everette Burdette, from Evansville, who died in combat during World War 1. Burdette received their charter in 1921. By 1935, Burdette Park hosted between three to four thousand guests a week; however, it did not become a public park until 1936. By the 1950’s, Burdette was on the verge of shutting down until Vanderburgh County Commissioner, Charles Ellspermann, stabilized the managerial position at Burdette by hiring Francis DeVoy in 1961 (Burdette Park: Our History, 2017).

There is no cost to enter the park; however, as previously mentioned, Burdette has an aquatic center, shelters, BMX track, and chalets. One of newest features of the park is the USI-Burdette Trail. Completed in 2012, a three mile paved trail connects Burdette Park and the University of Southern Indiana allowing for “… hikers, bicyclists, and runner” to experience the beauty of Southwestern Indiana.

USI-Burdette Trail Logo (Photograph Credit: USI Web Services, n.d.)

USI-Burdette Trail Logo (Photograph Credit: USI Web Services, n.d.)

If you are interested in visiting Burdette Park or the USI-Burdette Trail, the costs of using their facilities is located on the Burdette Park and USI pages.

References

Burdette Park: Our History (2017). Retrieved from http://www.evansville.in.gov/index.aspx?page=3551

University of Southern Indiana (2017). USI trails. Retrieved from https://www.usi.edu/trails/

Exploring the Tri-State: Clifty Falls State Park

*Post written by James Wethington, library assistant of the University Archives and Special Collections.

As summer appears, there are beautiful parks and recreational areas located throughout Southern Indiana and Kentucky for individuals and families. Over the next couple of weeks in our newest blog series, “Exploring the Tri-State”, let us explore these stunning locations and as Levar Burton stated, “Don’t take my word for it”. Our first location is Clifty Falls State Park.

Clifty Falls at Clifty Falls State Park, 2006 (Photograph Credit: Wikipedia.org)

Clifty Falls, 2006. (Photograph Credit: Wikipedia.org)

The founding of Clifty Falls State Park occurred in 1920 in Madison, Indiana (United States Department of the Interior, n.d.). According to Indiana’s Department of Natural Resources (n.d.), “Clifty Creek’s stony bed is littered with fossil remnants telling of a long vanished marine ecosystem that teemed with life that included ancient corals, ancestral squids, brachiopods and more”. There are four waterfalls: Big Clifty Falls is 60 feet, Little Clifty Falls is 60 feet, Hoffman Falls is 78 feet, and Tunnel Falls is 83 feet (Clifty Falls State Park, 2016).

Clifty Falls State Park Railroad Tunnel, 2008. Photograph was retrieved from Sean Lewis from https://www.flickr.com/photos/transluminate/3154213938.

Clifty Falls State Park Railroad Tunnel, 2008. (Photograph Credit: Sean Lewis from https://www.flickr.com/photos/transluminate/3154213938)

The other attraction at Clifty Falls State Park is an abandoned railroad tunnel. It dates to 1852; moreover, there are numerous railroad fragments located throughout the park, known as “Brough’s Folly”. Named after John Brough, he tried to create a section of railroad for the Madison and Indianapolis Railroad; however, he was not successful (United States Department of the Interior, n.d.). Visitors may view the tunnel from May to October; however, the closure of the tunnel occurs from November to April to protect the bat population and prevent the spread of white-nose syndrome (Indiana’s Department of Natural Resources, n.d.).

If you are interested in visiting Clifty Falls State Park, the admission cost is located on the Indiana Department of Natural Resources page.

References

Clifty Falls State Park (2016). Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clifty_Falls_State_Park

Indiana Department of Natural Resources (2017). Clifty Falls State Park. Retrieved from http://www.in.gov/dnr/parklake/2985.htm

United States Department of the Interior (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.nps.gov/nr/travel/madison/Clifty_Falls_State_Park.html