Park History

bridge-in-fall-slider

Baker Park is a 58 acre linear park running through the heart of downtown Frederick. Founded over 75 years ago through the generosity of one of Frederick’s leading citizens, it is one of the city’s greatest assets and encompasses playgrounds, walking paths, ball parks, tennis courts, a concert pavilion, lake, and gardens.

1916: Frederick purchases the initial property to be used for a Memorial Park, with the remainder of the tract envisioned for a municipal park and the extension of West 2nd Street.

1926: Upon learning in June that Frederick intends to purchase land between Bentz Street and West College Terrace for a park, Joseph Dill Baker offers to contribute $13,825 to the city to buy the land.

1926: Frederick commissions Baltimore landscape architect R. Brooke Maxwell in the fall to prepare a landscape plan for the park.

1926 – 1927: Park facilities are constructed in the late fall and winter, including:

  • Boating lake on part of Carroll Creek
  • Bath house and swimming pool
  • A gazebo
  • Widening of Carroll Creek

1927: Extending from Bentz Street west to West College Terrace, Frederick dedicates the park in June in honor of Joseph Baker.

1928: Bentz Street bridge is built, and Frederick relocates the Swinging Bridge from its original Bentz Street location crossing Carroll Creek westward to a spot crossing the creek behind the swimming pool.

1928: The Culler Memorial Fountain is installed by the main entry into the Park from Bentz Street.

1931: Frederick builds tennis courts at the corner of West 2nd Street and College Avenue and west of the swimming pool near the corner of Fleming and West College Terrace.

1935: Original band shell is dedicated on Flag Day, 1935. The American Legion Francis Scott Key Port #11 Drum & Bugle Corp plays at the dedication.

1938: Frederick expands Baker Park with the purchase of 6 acres of land from the Board of Education across from the new Frederick High School. Kidwiler Pond is on this property.

1940: Frederick renames Kidwiler Pond as Culler Lake in honor of Mayor Lloyd Culler.

1941: Following Joseph Baker s death in 1938, funds are raised to build a bell tower in his memory. Frederick dedicates the Joseph D. Baker Bell Tower and Carillon in November.

1964: Asa Watkins donates additional land to Frederick for use as park, enabling the park to extend west of Culler Lake. A little league baseball field is installed on this site.

1977 and 1986: Evelyn Krantz – whose family owns the house now called Schifferstadt – donates land along Carroll Creek west of the little league field, extending Baker Park to Route 15.

1990: The original band shell (date unknown) is demolished and an entirely new structure built.

1991: Friends of Baker Park is founded by Victoria Seward

Friends of Baker Park has put together a Powerpoint presentation about the Park that can be downloaded here in PDF form. This presentation contains the information above, plus other specific facts on the various features within the park. (file size 2 MB)

News from the Friends