Fine Recreation Plot Emerges From Site Of Old Pottery Here
Transformation Within Year Leaves Land Already Near Status Of Best Play Center In Tri-State Area.
Take philanthropy, add the opportunity provided in an unused industrial property, mixed with an organization's efforts for better recreational facilities and sprinkle well with the youngsters to enjoy it and from that recipe you have:
The "Y"Vodrey recreation lot on Bradshaw Avenue, once an eyesore – land going to waste until W. H. Vodrey donated the property to the Y. M. C. A. A year ago – now a major unit in the recreational property of the East Liverpool district.
Former Pottery Site
Approximately 4 acres in area, for the most part it was hilly. In addition, contained thousands of pieces of broken dishes, left on the lot when the Knowles, Taylor, and Knowles Co. pottery that formerly occupied the spot was razed.
Since then, however, the "Y" with the cooperation of the national youth administration, under the supervision of Robert Bloor, has developed the plot into one of the most attractive recreation centers in the tri-state area.
A large portion – 430 by 225 feet – was leveled. The Western end of the field was raised almost 5 feet. The broken dishes either were removed from the lot or buried deep beneath the surface so that today a smooth, level area now provides an excellent spot for the many events staged daily.
Scene Of Football Games
One of the busiest corners is that which holds the softball diamond. Boasting a high, sturdy screen backstop and spacious playing field, it was a locale of much of the city's softball activity this summer.
Directly opposite the ball field, on the eastern side of the lot, is a volley ball court which next spring will be converted into a double tennis court.
Then, directly above the tennis court site is the "tiny tots' terrace", a spot reserved for youngsters just beyond the "toddling" age. It's equipment includes swings, teeter trotters a large sandbox.
Over on the Minerva street side, the hill is being terraced down to a stone retaining wall, also constructed by the NYA. The terraces in time will be made into seats for spectators at ball games played on the second diamond, intended for competition next year.
Three Horseshoe Courts
In the northwest corner of the lot for three horseshoe courts – to be the scene of tourney play September 23 – the large marbles ring. The latter was used last spring when East Liverpool held its first "mibs " meet.
More horseshoe courts and a basketball court are planned for the northern portion of the field facing Minerva street.
Much work still remains. For instance, passerbys to of been amused at workers who dig long, wide trenches only to fill them in again, might be interested to know the "Y" has saved many dollars by the process. A rich sand loam underlies the entire field. It is ideal for service dirt and NYA boys virtually have "turned field outside in", removing the loam from beneath and spreading on the surface.
Underground Spring Diverted
In addition, an underground spring, encountering excavations early this year, has been piped and routed to the sewer main in Bradshaw Avenue.
"We feel we've done a lot"said Earl Carlton, general secretary of the "Y", "but much remains to be done. However, work is progressing nicely and we hope all major improvements will be completed by next year."
Situated within half a square of the district center population which includes Chester and Newell, the play lot seems to be fulfilling the wish of its donor that it become a focus of play interests for all in the tri-state area.
On hand at all times to direct activities are two WPA supervisors under the direction of the "Y". They are Edward B. Massey and Adrian Wright.
East Liverpool Review, September 16, 1939. Courtesy of Frank Dawson, From the Frank Dawson personal collection of photographs and others items.