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Simonds Park

Simonds family members
That’s Marshall, second from left.


The Daily Times and Chronicle, Tuesday, April 29, 1980

Burlington Past and Present, by John E. Fogelberg
(Article # 045)

Simonds Park

Marshall Simonds was born on his father’s farm in 1825, went to Burlington’s South School and possibly from there to Warren Academy in Woburn. He married Ann Munroe of Charlestown. When still a young man he went to Chicago, invested in real estate in that fast-growing city, and made fortune. He returned to his home town and bought the Gleason-Bennett property in the center. That area is now Simonds Park, because when Marshall Simonds died in 1905, item five of his will states, “To the Town of Burlington, Mass., the place of my birth, I give and devise the farm that I purchased of George H. and Edwin A. Bennett, with the buildings thereon, situated in the center of the town, to be used as a public park . . . and to be known as Simonds Park . . . ”

For several years, there was little improvement to the Simonds Park property. But in 1931, and the following depression years, much work was done there. The hill was reduced and a baseball diamond laid out. The retaining wall bordering Church Lane was built (this wall has just been rebuilt). Two tennis courts were built in 1938. Spring water was piped from the spring in the grove to the tennis courts and the ball field long before the advent of the Burlington water district in 1949. Some playground equipment was purchased, and a road built from Bedford Street to the parking lot overlooking the ball field. An observation tower once envisioned to cap that high spot in the park was never built.

Beginning in 1920, the Simonds Trustees began a systematic program remove homes around there. They purchased the Rogan house in 1920, the Alley house or Parsonage in 1944, as well as the Pearsons or Symmes house and the Pollock house in 1951. The houses were sold and moved, and the land become today’s common. Now that area contains only the Theodore Murray bandstand and several memorials.

Despite the numerous members of the family Simonds who once roamed Burlington acres, not one descendant is listed here today.