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Shore Acres Park

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In 1995, Shore Acres Clubhouse was named to the National Registry of Historic Places. Shore Acres Clubhouse is the only building in Chillicothe to be named to the registry, and this honor will ensure the protection and integrity of the building.

In 2018, the Chillicothe Park District announced the Shore Acres Park Master Plan. This plan will protect the integrity of the park for future generations.

History

The most popular park among Chillicotheans has been used by residents since the early 1890s.  During James Kinloch’s term as mayor, the “Old Woods” property came up for sale.  The mayor was farsighted enough to realize that it would make an ideal city park.  Called Columbia Park, the property became a popular gathering place almost overnight.  Picnics, family reunions, and neighborhood ball games all found their way to the new park.  Sunday crowds were so large that a dance pavilion was built and band concerts filled the air with music each Sunday afternoon.  Columbia Park became so popular that steamboats had to stop there to let off picnickers from Lacon, Henry, Pekin, and Peoria.

About 1913, the name of the park was changed to the Peoria Auto Club.  A clubhouse was built, and it became a special place for those wealthy enough to own a car.  By the early 1920s, the newness of the car was wearing off, and the name of the park was changed again, this time to North Shore Country Club.  A nine-hole golf course added to its popularity and prestige.

In the late 1930s, Frank Myer bought the property and changed the name to Shore Acres Park.  1948 found the land in the hands of the Chillicothe Park District.

Today, Shore Acres is still the most popular gathering place for area residents.  The old clubhouse has been rejuvenated by local organizations and the park board.  The new aquatic center is in constant use during the summer, and the lighted softball field attracts teams from throughout the area.  Tennis/Pickleball & basketball courts are located south of the swimming pool. Two beautiful pavilions can be found at the north and south ends of the park, and a disc golf course and Riggins River Walk provide scenic views of the Illinois River.

The clubhouse and grounds are being watched over by the park board to ensure area residents will always have this beautiful park.


Shore Acres Master Plan

In 2018, the constituents of the Chillicothe Park District were asked to provide input on the future of Shore Acres Park. Public input was instrumental in the master planning process for Phase I and will continue to be needed to ensure that future phases of the master plan implementation reflect the desires of the community. With assistance from the Chillicothe Parks Foundation, this project will enhance accessibility and provide much needed improvements to Shore Acres Park.

Goals:

  • Make necessary interior improvements to Shore Acres Clubhouse to promote the historical integrity of the building and provide a desirable facility for community use.
  • Remove unsafe and underutilized tennis and basketball courts.
  • Based on community input, provide an active recreation facility that could include: basketball, tennis, pickleball, hockey or other active recreational activity
  • Begin trail system for Shore Acres Park
  • Improve Parking for Shore Acres Pool
  • Update/Replace Shore Acres Pool Bathhouse

Activity:

Goals:

  • Enhance the ADA accessibility for all Shore Acres Park features and opportunities
  • Revitalize and enhance “Tippett Field”
  • Provide the community with a playground that offers “play for all”
  • Provide additional riverfront pavilion space
  • Infrastructure improvements including but not limited to roadways, parking, electrical and water.

Activity:

Check back here often for opportunities to help the Chillicothe Park District in the next phase.

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