There’s a Duck Pond Pavilion in Ellis Park – but where’s the pond?
There’s evidence it existed back in the 1920s according to a July 9, 1921 edition of The Evening Gazette:
WATER LILIES PUT IN POND IN ELLIS PARK
Lovers of natural beauty particularly those persons who have scoffed at the phrase, “Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these,” should go to Ellis park early tomorrow morning and view the water lilies of varied hue which have been placed in the duck pond, according to an announcement made today by Harry Whitfield, park commissioner. For many months the sensitive bulbs have been carefully cultivated in the Bever park greenhouse and it was only yesterday that they were deemed sufficiently hardy to weather outside elements. There are two varieties of lilies, namely, “Nympheas” and “Marliacea.” To appreciate them one must go to the park at an early hour when they flaunt their beauty.
I visited often with my mother in the 1950s and ’60s, and with my children in the 1970s and ’80s. It got a major overhaul in 1976. It was drained, dredged and new shrubs were planted on the island in the middle.
Then in 2002, then-Parks Commissioner Wade Wagner had it filled in in a vain attempt to control the city’s population of wild ducks and geese.
Prior to that, the pond had been a popular spot for youngsters and their parents to watch and feed the ducks and occasional turtles from behind a wire fence.