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Armistice Service in Graydon Park
November 8, 1931

On Sunday November 8, 1931, Ridgewood's Community Armistice Service in Graydon Park had three purposes:

 

To honor "the fourteen Ridgewood men who yielded up their lives for the glory of America in the World War" (now known asWorld War I)

 

To dedicate 29 George Washington memorial trees

 

To dedicate the park and name it "Graydon Park in honor of Samuel D. Graydon who did so much to make Ridgewood a place of beauty"

 

In 1931, fourteen ash trees were planted to honor Ridgewood's young men who made the ultimate sacrifice in World War I. Each tree was marked with a bronze plaque mounted on a concrete base. Today, many of the plaques are missing. The memorial honors:

Thomas M. Boyd, John A. Cadmus, Thomas W. Connor, Leonard DeBrown, George R. Denie, Jesse E. Douglass, Lindley de Garmo,  William Kruskop, Frank M. Patterson Jr., Floyd A. Stevens, Ulmont A. White, Charles Wolfhegel, Daniel S. Yeomans, Jacob A. Yeomans

Early postcard showing the line of 14 ash trees planted in 1931 as a memorial. Five of those trees remain in 2011.

The American Tree Association promoted the planting of 10,000,000 trees to commemorate the 200th anniversary of George Washington's birth. Ridgewood responded to the call by planting the 14 memorial trees and an additional 29 trees dedicated to Ridgewood organizations: the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Junior Sons and Daughters of the Revolution, the Columbus Cadets of Mt. Carmel Catholic Church, the Lions, Rotary, and Exchange Clubs.

Three of the trees were dedicated to the three service clubs--the Lions, the Rotary Club, and the Exchange Club. Each of these trees was marked with a bronze plaque as well. They are the oak trees in the south west corner of the park along Maple Avenue.

Linwood Park, which had been in use since 1910, was renamed Graydon Park in honor of Samuel Dayton Graydon, who not only had made possible the early land acquisitions, but had led the Shade Tree Commission for many years. The newspaper called him a "peace hero."

Due to his efforts, and many who followed him, Graydon Park has evolved from a cow pasture to a recreational and community center.

In 2010, the 100th Anniversary of the creation of Ridgewood's park system was celebrated with a program at the Ridgewood Public Library and a "Happy Birthday" sign at Graydon Park.

Veteran's Day Service in Graydon Park
November 11, 2011

On Friday, November 11, 2011, the memorial to Ridgewood's World War I casualties was  rededicated with the placement of a new bronze plaque and the commemoration of Veteran's Day in Graydon Park.

  

Images from the Local History Archives at the Bolger Heritage Center.
Visit the Bolger Heritage Center at the Library for more information.

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