Who named Cherokee, Iroquois, and Shawnee Parks? When and how? And why these names?
Louisville’s public parks are among the city’s most important assets. Yet relatively few Louisville residents are acquainted with the early history of our park system, including how our three largest parks got the names they still have today -- 128 years later.
Some have speculated that it was Frederick Law Olmsted himself -- the prominent landscape architect who contributed so much to the park system’s design and subsequent reputation -- who named Cherokee, Iroquois, and Shawnee parks. But the archives tell a different story. As usual, the history surrounding this subject is much richer and more complex than it might initially seem.
Dr. Richard Hume Werking, Library Director and Professor of History Emeritus at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, grew up in Evansville, Indiana. A graduate of the Universities of Evansville, Wisconsin, and Chicago, he is the author of The Master Architects: Building the United States Foreign Service, 1890-1913. Among his other publications are biographical essays on Admiral Raymond A. Spruance and General Walter Bedell Smith in Indiana’s 200: The People Who Shaped the Hoosier State.