Walker Park


Walker Park is a three-acre park located 3.5 miles west of Lone Tree in the small town of River Junction.  It features a picnic shelter, tables and grills under a stand of oak, walnut, and hickory trees. 

The Old Settlers Association assists the JCCB with the preservation of a historic log cabin and the 1912 Henry Walker Memorial Building on the site.  They also host several special events each year.



Location

Riverside, Iowa (3.5 miles west of Lone Tree).

Features

This little park is located 6 miles west of Lone Tree and one half mile south of Highway 22 in the ghost town of River Junction. The park actually predates the existence of the Conservation Board in Johnson County by more than fifty years. It is named in honor of Henry Walker, an early settler of the county. Walker donated the land for the site of the former River Junction Methodist Chapel and the adjoining 3 acres for a park. The church building was removed many years ago.

Walker donated what was described in an old account as "the beautiful grove for the use of the Old Settlers of Johnson County. Where, under the shade of the great oaks, maples and hickories, the first settlers of Johnson County, with their wives and descendants, could fittingly celebrate the anniversaries of their yesterdays and meet together in neighborly feasting and conversation." A concrete block building, known as the Henry Walker Memorial Building, was erected there in 1912. It was paid for by public conscription. The building originally housed artifacts and antiques of the pioneer era.

In 1916 a replica log cabin was built south of the memorial building as "a rustic monument to pioneer days." The Old Settlers Picnics were an annual event for many years and the Old Settler Organization maintained the park. As the older generation passed on and families moved away, interest in the organization waned. Walker Park was deeded to the JCCB in 1971. The Conservation staff erected a small picnic shelter and latrines on the site in the fall of 2000.

The park and memorial building was nominated for listing on the National Register of Historic Places in June 2001.

The Old Settlers Association host spring and fall festivals which are an integral part to the success of this little park.



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