The Cooperstown group Friends of the Parks has announced the schedule for the 75th anniversary celebrations for Fairy Spring Park, starting with an Early Bird Splash on Wednesday, July 24.
The park will be open early especially for the event and will feature life-guarded swimming in addition to coffee donated by Stagecoach Coffee and homemade muffins. On Sunday, Aug. 4, a 75th birthday party will be held on from 6:30 to 8 p.m. On Wednesday, Aug. 21. there will be a children’s story time reading of “Fairy Boats” read by Cooperstown kindergarten teacher, Lisa Lippitt at 7 p.m.
The park, located on Route 31 in the town of Middlefield and owned by the village of Cooperstown, consists of 31.6 acres including five along the lake, a swimming area and boat dock, picnic areas, caretaker’s cottage and a guest pavilion.
According to a report prepared by Cynthia Hunt and Celestina Cuadrado of the Cooperstown Graduate Program in 2009, the first mention of “Fairy Spring” is in James Fenimore Cooper’s “Home as Found.” There it is described as a, “little fountain … gushing from the thicket … which comes glancing like diamonds into the lake.” It is also the site of Natty Bummpo’s hut in Cooper’s “Leatherstocking Tales.”
Private owners originally held the Fairy Spring lot as part of the larger Bower Patent until the mid-18th century when Robert Sterling Clark sold the lot to Otsego County in 1936. Knowing of the village’s interest in the lot, he provided the village with $15,000 to buy the lot and an additional $10,000 for improvements. Cooperstown purchased the lot in November of 1936 and began construction on the caretaker’s cottage, pavilion and bathroom facility designed by architect Alfred R. Cobbett in 1937. Fairy Spring opened to the public on May 30, 1938.
All events are free and open to the public. For more information or to get involved in the planning, visit the Friends of the Parks’ Facebook Page or call Susie Knight at 547-8333.