It’s official: Call it Fruit Grower’s Park

With approximately 150 community members responding to a survey conducted by the city of Susanville, and at the direction of the city council, Riverside Park will be renamed Fruit Growers Park.

Next year, after its previously planned remodel, the park will be renamed at a possible ribbon-cutting ceremony presenting a plaque or monument to commemorate the change. The city council will also need to approve the change through the form of a resolution in the future, however at the meeting’s conclusion, most members shared their verbal approval of the change at the council’s Nov. 7 meeting.

The survey ended with 55 percent of respondents in favor of the name change after councilmember Mendy Schuster’s Aug. 1 request of a discussion on the matter. At the Sept. 5 Susanville City Council meeting, the matter was brought back and at the direction of the council, a poll was conducted. Surveys were sent to residents in the form of questionnaires, in bill-mailings and through the city’s online platform.

The city of Susanville’s program manager, Quincy McCourt performed limited research into the history of the park and interim city administrator Dan Newton delivered the findings to the council at their Nov. 7 meeting.

Staff found that in 1919, Fruit Growers purchased the 20-acre millpond and opened the Story Club, a three-story clubhouse, shortly after in 1922. A fire destroyed the clubhouse in 1944, and the company opted to make the grounds a park instead of rebuilding.

In 1963 Fruit Growers sold the mill to Eagle Lake Lumber, which later changed its name to Sierra Pacific Industries. Thirteen years later, in 1976, the city of Susanville purchased the park for $23,000. As far as could be inferred from its history, the park was purchased in the name of Riverside Park.

The documents provided in the council’s provided documents show the company offered to sell the park to the city, with payments to be made on or before March 31, 1977. Former councilmember Jim Chapman made the motion for the acquisition.