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Gorman Park

Features


  • Benches
  • Drinking Fountain(s)
  • Gazebo
  • Grill(s)
  • Picnic Table(s)
  • Playground
  • Restroom Stalls Ladies/Mens
  • Softball Field Non-Regulation

History

This park near the center of the city was named in honor of Willis A. Gorman (1816 to 1876), second Minnesota Territorial Governor (1853 to 1857) who was a landowner in Saint Peter. Gorman was a veteran of the Mexican-American War, and served in the US House of Representatives representing Indiana before being appointed Territorial Governor of Minnesota by President Franklin Pierce. As Governor, he devised a plan to move the state capital from St. Paul to St. Peter, but the papers he was to sign were stolen by Legislator Joe Rolette, who kept them in a hotel room in St. Paul until the Legislature adjourned. St. Paul remained the capital and Gorman's land holdings in Saint Peter became much less valuable. Gorman served as Brigadier General in the First Minnesota Volunteers in the Civil War. He returned to St. Paul and practiced law until his death in 1876.

Park Location


The 4.8 acres of Gorman Park are directly adjacent to the Saint Peter Community Center and Library. For many years in the 1800s cattle grazed in the park. In the early 1900s the park was cleaned up, a small pavilion was built in the center, and it became a popular picnic spot. Between 1913 and 1931 there were Chautauqua programs (entertainment and educational lectures) in large tents in the park.
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