Park to Be Dedicated to Louisa Carpenter

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The recreational area of Chestertown’s Washington Park is to be renamed to honor the late Louisa D’Andelot Carpenter in ceremonies Saturday, June 25.

The Chestertown Council approved the renaming at its meeting Monday, June 19, upon a request from members of the Washington Park Committee and Brant Troup, chairman of the Chestertown Recreation Commission.

Brandt Troup (L) , chairman of the Chestertown Recreation Commission, and representatives of the Washington Park Committee at the town council meeting Monday

Louisa Carpenter (1907-1976)

Carpenter, who died in a private plane crash in 1976, was a DuPont heiress and philanthropist whose projects included donating the land for Camp Fairlee, building the former bowling alley on Church Hill Road, and the creation of Washington Park, for which she donated the property and arranged funding for low-income families.

Councilman Sam Shoge, in whose ward Washington Park is located, put the request before the council, He said the dedication ceremony would be at 9 a.m. Saturday, and open to all. He said the community would install signage to recognize the new name at a future date. The park is at the intersection of Lincoln and Kennedy Drives, off Flatland Road.

Councilman Marty Stetson said he had known Carpenter, who he said “did a lot of good in the community.” He suggested that the committee see if there are any Carpenter relatives still living and extend an invitation to them. He said former mayor Elmer Horsey had worked for Carpenter and suggested contacting him to see if he knew of any relatives.

Shoge said the committee had gone through Horsey to contact the Carpenter estate about the use of her name, for which they received permission, He said they would follow up with him to see if there were any relatives who wished to attend the ceremony.

Troup also reported that the Recreation Commission and the Washington Park Committee are working with Zoning Administrator Kees de Mooy on an application for a Community Parks and Playgrounds grant from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. He said a similar application a few years ago was unsuccessful, but he hoped that the community’s involvement in working to upgrade the park facilities would work in favor of receiving the grant this time. Among the upgrades are the addition of benches, a swing set, and horseshoe pits. Future projects would include a walking trail, a pavilion and some landscaping, and renovation of the small basketball court, He said the application would go out in the early fall.

In the event the grant application is unsuccessful, Troup asked if the Recreation Commission budget would remain stable over the next  couple of years, so as to provide a contingency fund for more gradual upgrades on the park.

Mayor Chris Cerino said that in his experience the Community Parks and Playgrounds grants are very competitive. He said that if the application is turned down, the commission should plan on more gradual upgrades, as were done with the Ajax playground near the rail trail.

Troup also said that the Recreation Commission is planning to team with the Kent Athletic Center to sponsor a kickball league, which he said might draw as much interest as the very successful bocce league.

Finally, Troup said his term as chairman of the commission expires at the end of the month, and the bylaws prohibit his return in that capacity. He said he has a prospective candidate to replace him, and would give the name to the council to consider. He said he would be glad to continue on the commission as a regular member.

 

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Letters to Editor

  1. Jewell Carpenter Marsh says:

    To whom it may concern, My name is Jewell Carpenter Marsh, one of Louisa Carpenters granddaughters. Robald was my father. I live in Frederica, De. If I was going to be around this weekend I would have loved to attend. I am leaving for Texas early in morning and won’t return until Monday.

    Yes she loved to help people in anyway possible. Jewell Carpenter.

  2. Bill Anderson says:

    Ms. Carpenter also funded an expansive addition to the Chestertown Hospital — probably in the 1960s.

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