J. H. Grenville Gilbert (1851-1932) together with his wife, Grace (nee Brown), donated Grenville Park in memory of their son, Grenville Gilbert, Jr. who died while attending preparatory school. Construction of the park took many years and it was officially accepted by the town in 1907. In 1911, the Gilberts donated an additional 30 acres west of the river in order to continue the roadway; and another 10 acres on the east to enhance and protect the view. In 1917, suitable land in the park was plowed and given over to gardening under the Food Conservation Committee. In the early 1920s, Sylvester Baxter wrote an article for the Boston Transcript which described Grenville Park as Massachusetts’ “most notable instance of a public park established as a memorial”. He called the park “Ware’s loveliest adornment” which “preserves the landscape by uniting the woodlands with the river”. (Conkey, 1961) Tennis courts were constructed in the mid 1920s and in 1941 it also boasted a ski jump! J. H. Grenville Gilbert, a philanthropic citizen of Ware, was a longtime supporter of the Young Men’s Library Association and donated the WWI honor roll to the town.
Today, Grenville Park is open year round with the back section closed to vehicular traffic seasonally.
Among its 100+ acres, you will find:
2 Little League baseball diamonds
1 multi-purpose field
1 bandstand (under reconstruction in 2013)
1 boat ramp
2 handicap fishing piers
1 picnic pavilion
6 picnic areas
1 steel-framed playground area
1 regulation-sized basketball court
2 miles of oil/stone roadway
Walking trails leading through 80+ acres of woods and along the Ware River
Winter walking, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and sliding
Opportunities for bird-watching and wildlife viewing
We also plan to repair the footbridge, and build horseshoe pits and bocce ball courts near the T-Ball field
For the safety of everyone, please observe all posted signs including speed limits, parking and one way signage.