If there’s a place to pop up at this weekend, it’s the Pop-Up Park at Roseland Park. While our City celebrates 75 years, it’s hard to imagine Baytown without its first park. Roseland Park is actually older than the consolidated City of Baytown by a year according to the park deed. The park was named after Rosie Kilgore who, along with her husband E.R. Kilgore, donated the land with the purpose of creating a “park and place of amusement.” A rose garden was also installed as a nod to Mrs. Kilgore.
Wanda Orton and Wybra Holland both remember the early years of the park and the fun they had there. Wanda said, “When Roseland opened, it seemed to take a life of its own, a unique personality unlike any other entertainment in town.”
Wybra said, “As a kid, I spent many a day there playing on the playground and of course swimming in the pool.”
Baytown opened its first swimming pool at Roseland Park in 1949.
Wanda said, “With boating on the bayou, picnics on the tree-laden terrain and swimming at the sparkling new pool, we thought we were in summer heaven.”
She added, “Across the road from Roseland we could play miniature golf. How much fun could a kid handle?”
There was also a concession stand and a loud speaker that would play the big hits of the day. A few years later, a Southern Pacific locomotive was moved to the park.
Wybra said, “I remember when we could climb on the locomotive before there was a fence.”
Years after, the Roseland Pavilion and boat ramp were built. Despite Mother Nature bringing hurricanes and other bad storms, Roseland Park is thriving today. The train has been restored and fenced in to protect it. The boat ramp has also been renovated over the years. The swimming pool is a distant memory, but in its place is a splash pad that kids enjoy daily. The old Roseland clubhouse flooded, but a new one, that will open soon, is in its place.
The new clubhouse features a private porch, roll-up garage style doors, private restrooms, and a private grilling area with a clear sight-line to the splash pad, sand volleyball courts, and more. The facility is big enough for your family gatherings up to 100 people.
Kyle Frye, Parks and Recreation Superintendent, said, “It was one of the most popular rental spaces in town and now our new and improved clubhouse will be ready to make its return this summer. We hope you will come and see it.”
This Saturday’s Pop-Up Park, from 2pm-5pm, is the perfect time to see the clubhouse, while enjoying free games, crafts, and inflatables. Enjoy music from DJ Boris while cooling off with free snowcones.
While Roseland Park has changed over the last seven decades, its footprint still remains, giving children and adults an amazing public park to enjoy in the decades to come.