The site of the first settlement is part of the Public Square and Garden Lots Historic District. The park is host to many events including, the Gallipolis River Recreation Festival, Gallia County BBQ Festival, Harvest Moon Pow Wow, and the Gallipolis in Lights display, which has been listed on the Ohio Holiday Lights Trail for several years. The park sits along First Avenue in downtown Gallipolis overlooking the Ohio River. Swings, benches, picnic tables, and free public WIFI is available at the park. Public restrooms are also open close by and a porta potty is available in the park on the State Street side.
The park also has several memorials, including:
The Kerr Memorial Fountain was donated by the family of Charles D. Kerr, who owned and operated a drugstore on Second Avenue in Downtown Gallipolis. The fountain was “in memory” of their son who drowned in the Ohio River. In 2019 the fountain was restored.
Three Historical Site Makers have been placed around the park. The Second Avenue marker commemorates the founding of Gallipolis. Markers on the riverside recount the strategic importance of the city in the Union Army’s defense during the Civil War and the influence of the Ohio River in transportation, along with recognizing the importance of the Welsh settlement in Gallia County.
The Bandstand is of Eastlake influence. A focal point of the park, it was built by the Sterlings, father and son, circa 1876 as a memorial to Gallia County Civil War veterans. Two years after being built, the contractors threatened to tear it down as they were owed $40. The ladies of Gallipolis came to the rescue by hosting an ice cream social to raise money. A landmark of the City of Gallipolis, the Bandstand is still used today for events and performances.
The sandstone monolith at the center entrance to the Park on First Avenue marks the height of the Ohio River floods of 1884, 1907, 1913, and 1937.
The white shaft holds a replica of the rocker arm from the steamer John Porter. It is a memorial to the 66 people who died of yellow fever when the boat brought the disease to Gallipolis in 1878.
“Spirit of the American Doughboy” was erected in 1931 to honor veterans of World War I. The memorial was enlarged to include a wall listing the names of all Gallia County War Veterans.
Gallia County Convention and Visitors Bureau Reservations and Information:
1st Ave, Gallipolis, Ohio 45631, United States