Backstory and Context
Railroad Park's first three trees were planted in 1896 by Thomas L. Nelson and his son. Nelson had a contract with Ruston merchants to plant 50 trees along Trenton and Vienna at 50 cents each. He had three trees left over so he planted them in the park. One tree died in the 1970s and had to be cut. The others remained well into the 1980s. Before the large trees were removed, their shade brought relief to shoppers and those who watched the trains go by.
There is no record of when the fountain was installed but probably between 1900 and 1906. It appears in photos from 1906-07. In 1934, the T.L. James Company renovated the park and restored the fountain. Again, in 1952, T.L. James restored the fountain and built a bandstand and new sidewalks. The Ruston Garden Club added landscaping. In 2002, the Ruston Kiwanis Club paid $5,000 for a new fountain after the original one was determined to be beyond repair. In recent years, the Kiwanis fountain was removed and the original fountain restored and returned to the park..
Various issues, Ruston Daily Leader
Photo by Danny Tatum