About a month ago my wife, Jasmine, and I made the 2.5 hour drive back to Canton, Ohio from Bowling Green, Ohio, where we now live. Both of us grew up in Canton, and our families are still there (with the exception of one of my four brothers and his wife, who live in North Carolina). We came into town for about 24 hours, mainly to see Jasmine’s sister graduate from high school, but also to see our families.
As soon as we arrived in Canton, via the downtown exit off I-77 (and Route 30), we stopped at Mother Goose Land Park. I was six years old in 1984 when this park was shut down, and we had just heard that it was about to be revitalized.
The “Three Blind Mice” still appear on the fence behind the parking lot.
“Willy, the Whale” is the only structure that remains from the old park. I’m not sure yet which structures, if any, will be recreated as this park is rehabilitated. (See the Mother Goose Land Facebook page for archived photos of the park when it was open, featuring “The Old Lady Who Lived in a Shoe”, “Humpty Dumpty”, “Goldilocks and the Three Bears”, “The Wizard of Oz” characters, “Miss Muffet,” etc.)
The word “LAND” still remains on the fence next to the rundown parking lot (restoration plans include a new parking lot).
The park is located on W. Tuscarawas Street, about a half mile from downtown Canton, and a very short walk from the church I attended from the age of three (in the photo above it’s just past the MGL sign and the trees behind it). Here are a few of the archived photos from Mother Goose Land’s official Facebook page:
After visiting the park, we spent a few hours with my family on the north side of Canton. Photo – view of my parents’ front yard as a storm was approaching:
From there we left to attend my sister-in-law’s high school graduation.
Photo – my sister-in-law and her cousin, who graduated from a different school the same evening:
Those who attended both graduations gathered at TGI Fridays afterward for dinner/appetizers. We made it inside just before another storm arrived (the ducks didn’t seem to be concerned about it):
The next day, before heading back to Bowling Green, we visited downtown Canton and met Jasmine’s older sister and husband who had also come up from Athens, Ohio for the graduation.
The husbands talked while the wives shopped: