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Orleans Bicentennial Sulphur Well Park Set To Open June 30th


ORLEANS —This coming Thursday, June 30th  the citizens of Orleans will gather to dedicate a new look and a new name to an old park.

Sulphur Well Park will become Bicentennial Park.

Sulphur Well Park was built around one of the town's mineral wells. It was mostly open play space, but over the years some playground equipment had come and gone. The park has been in place for more than 100 years on the town's southwest side along Vincennes Road between Fifth and Sixth streets. 

An ornate wooden structure was built over the well and a town-wide contest was held to name the structure. The name Kureoleo, a latin derivative noting the well's supposed healing qualities. Later a brick structure with a tile roof, resembling the town's bandstand was built over the well.

The demand for sulphur water decreased and the structure began to fall into disrepair. It was later removed and a playground was set up. It, too, fell victim to age and weather over the year. As Orleans celebrated its own Bicentennial during 2015, it was decided to revive the park as part of state’s Bicentennial observance and as the town’s “birthday gift” to Indiana.

As one of the town's official Bicentennial Legacy projects, the park features new lighting, landscaping, paved walking paths, a children's play area and parking. An historical marker will be placed tomorrow and a shelter house will be constructed in the future.

"The park will also be the home of an official Bicentennial art project," said Orleans Clerk-Treasurer Robert Henderson. "The Orleans Bicentennial Committee purchased a fiberglass bison as part of the Indiana Bison-tennial Art project. Local students will help paint the bison starting this fall with the 2016-17 school year." 

The bison will be placed in the northeast corner of the park when it is finished.

The main piece of playground equipment resembles a large tree with a slide. There are stairs, ropes and a make-shift ladder for kids to climb to the platform for the slide. There is a speaking tube that kids can talk into and communicate with kids on other parts of the playground. "Brothers Frank and J.C. Hall donated their time and equipment to go to Delano, Minn., to pick up the equipment," Henderson said. The north and west sides of the park are lined with trees. The north side features dogwoods and the west side are mostly redbuds. in the center of the park is a Liberty Elm tree as well as an oak. The Liberty Elm is a symbol of the American Revolution and the original tree, near the Boston Commons in Boston, Mass., was cut down by British loyalists in 1775. It had been used as a meeting place for colonists and was used as a rallying symbol throughout the Revolution. A bronze plaque now marks the spot where the tree once stood in Boston.

A large sign designating the park as an official Indiana Bicentennial project will be placed at the park Henderson said the project has been a community effort.