One place that residents and visitors consider to be Danville’s leading attraction is Ballou Park. Located only a short shuttle ride from the future casino site, Ballou Park was named after Captain Charles A. Ballou, the City Engineer who was also, the Superintendent of Public Works (1878) who envisioned the Park and, on its site, a water reservoir.
That naming was well-deserved; Ballou also engineered Danville’s functional sewer system that eliminated most of the City’s new typhoid cases.
As for the Park, three tracts of land, purchased by the city in 1886, 1887, and 1921, comprise the entire area as it is today.
Although Ballou Park is used for meetings and family gatherings, it also offers areas for many sports activities, including tennis courts, horseshoes, baseball, and frisbee events. Also, the Festival in the Park is an annual event that always draws large crowds. So, too, does the Christmas exhibits.
Located conveniently near the front and side entrance is a building that has long been referred to as the Nature Center. The two-story building provides spaces for meetings in addition to having a room for playing pool.
Its front steps lead to a large room that has been used for decades as the site for playing competitive bridge tournaments at least two days a week. Often, that same large room is reserved for family events on weekends.
What makes that room especially appealing is its display of photographs. All feature pictures of nature in different seasons. Most were shot at Ballou Park.
All are museum quality images that add an interesting dimension to the room. One aspect that makes them especially attractive is that, like the park, they are free for visitors to see.
In so many ways, those photographs serve as a welcoming greeting to all who visit the Ballou Park, as intended by the photographer.
I’m absolutely sure of that because I am the photographer who took the pictures and who donated them as a thank you for all that the park has meant to my family and friends.
As intended, they’re easy to find. And you won’t need a ticket to see them.
I’m sure that Captain Ballou would heartily approve!