Historic Markers Across Alabama

Oak Park Montgomery's First Public Park / Forest Avenue's Medical Facilities

Marker ID: AHA 
Location: on Forest Ave at Oak Park Dr., Montgomery, AL
County: Montgomery
Coordinates: N 32° 22.126    W 086° 17.193
  32.36876666    -86.28655
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: WMD4VW


Oak Park Montgomery's First Public Park

Streetcar and land developers opened Highland Park in 1886 at same time adjacent suburb with that name was developing. In mid-1890s, City purchased park and renamed it. Oak Park became popular with zoo, pools, pavilion and picnic areas. A segregated facility, the City closed it in 1957, but re-opened it in 1965 as integrated park and gardens. In 1968-69, City built W.A. Gayle Planetarium, operated by Troy University. For years, the well-loved Myers Pop Corn served thousands of happy customers who proved his slogan "By My Corn I Shall Be Known." Marcus B. Myers's stand was just outside the Oak Park gates on Forest Avenue; he was known throughout the neighborhood for his generosity and kindness to the children who were patients in nearby hospitals.

Forest Avenue's Medical Facilities

With the growth of the Highland Park suburb in the 1890s, a medical community developed along Forest Avenue. In 1895, Dr. Isaac Watkins opened Highland Park Sanatorium in three frame houses in the 500 block. In early 1920s, Watkins sold to Dr. T. Brannon Hubbard who practiced in one and conducted a nursing school in another. Later, he built Hubbard Hospital adjacent to them. Dr. Hubbard closed his hospital in 1956, but continued to practice until 1968. In the 1930s, a Children's Hospital provided services by pediatrician Dr. C. Hilton Rice. Following World War II, in 1946, Dr. Frank Jackson and twelve other doctors founded Jackson Hospital that expanded into one of the largest in the area. In addition to the hospitals, hundreds of individual doctors have devoted themselves to the community, carrying out the medical traditions established here in the late 19th century.

End of Oak Park Montgomery's First Public Park / Forest Avenue's Medical Facilities