The Park was named for the on-site stadium, which originally seated 15,000 and was the largest high, school stadium in the country at that time.
The stadium was named for John A. Fawcett, a former member of the Canton Board of Education and a well-known athlete, who succumbed to pneumonia at age 44, a few years before the stadium was built between the years of 1937-1939.
The stadium was built at an estimated cost of $500,000. The federal government, in the
form of the manpower of the WPA, paid $400,000 while a school board bond issue paid
for the materials.
Originally the park department planned to build an indoor shelter at Stadium Park. The
Timken Family then donated an l8 acre track of land and the Timken Foundation gave a
gift of $35,000. At that time, the Timken family designated the land be used for the home
of the Canton Garden Center. Area garden clubs donated over $6,000 toward the construction of the building.
Mr. Carl Weis, Superintendent of the park department, continued to collect donations for
In 1955, the Canton Garden Center was completed. The building was erected over the former outdoor swimming pool. Using Park Department labor for the construction, the total cost of the building was estimated at $60,000.
In 1961, The Canton Park Department leased to the Football Hall of Fame two parcels of land for both the Hall of Fame building and parking lots on a 99-year lease.
The John F. Kennedy Fountain was dedicated in 1966 in his memory. It is located directly in front of the Garden Center Building, and was built with contributions from the citizens and school children of Canton.
In 1972-73, a two-story addition was added to the Garden Center and funded by its members. The Park Department has continually improved the park system. Flowers and spring bulbs cover the park.
A walking track was completed in Stadium Park in 1986. The walking track was made possible by a community effort, initiated by the Canton Jaycee's and funded by the Timken Foundation. The Walking Track was later named in honor of Herbert L. Fisher, the longest member of the Park Commission.
The Christmas Light display was begun in 1999 with new displays constructed every year by park employees.
Stadium Park is one of the most historic and scenic parks in the over 800-acre Canton, Ohio Park system. It is adjacent to President McKinleys Monument, Monument Park, and the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Text excerpted from the links below:
The Canton Garden Center
The 330: Ohio Events
Canton, Ohio City Parks
Pro Football Hall of Fame