Statesville, NC

Mac Anderson Park in Statesville - The Park the Feet Find

Kim McKinney

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Photo by Kim McKinney

July is National Parks and Recreation Month and we're checking out some of the great parks in the Statesville area.

Many of Statesville's walkers find their way to Mac Anderson Park, found at 433 North Race Street. This is a particular favorite because of the two miles of walking trails located on the 35-acre piece of property, not far from Mitchell College and downtown Statesville.

The walking path varies, at times straight and open, while other times curvy with a bit of incline. Sometimes it's a matter of which direction you head on the path as to the kind of walk you take.

The setting is beautiful and you can move through at a comfortable pace for you. No matter what kind of physical shape you are in, you'll be comfortable there. The walkers run the gamut from fitness buffs to folks getting off their couch for the first time in ages. The trail itself is an easy walk, though, and perfect for someone beginning a walking program.

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Some of the exercise stations around the parkPhoto by Kim McKinney

If you want to kick your workout up a few notches, there are exercise stations around the park to mix up your workout. (No, you won't look silly. We'll be cheering you on.)

If you're just starting or resuming a walking program, you'll find benches around if you need a little rest. Remember that it's fine if you need to do that. Enjoy watching the squirrels and the others walking by. Sit and have a conversation with a friend.

But who is Mac Anderson? I never knew, so decided to do a bit of research.

The answer? There was no Mac Anderson.

In a 2009 column in the Statesville Record and Landmark, the late Gene Krider shared his memories of the Queen Anne Anderson house that used to be on Walnut Street. He discussed various members of the Anderson family and their contribution to the Statesville community.

Tom Anderson was a teacher, linguist and physical culturist, who lived from 1894-1977. He lived in the family home with his sister Grace (until they fought and he slept in the barn), but spent most of his time on the family farm on Race Street, which is now Mac Anderson Park.

Tom was the one who laid out and cut the paths still used in the park today.

During the Depression in the 1930s, Tom allowed the federal government to use the land for a Civilian Conservation Corps camp, where young men were given jobs clearing land and streams and building bridges.

After World War II Tom let the government build temporary housing on the farm known as Veterans Court.

Krider said you can see the remains of stone chimneys and concrete slabs from both projects as you walk around the park.

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Photo by Kim McKinney

When Tom died, the City bought the property.

So why name it Mac Anderson? The Mac is a nod to Tom's mother's mother Ina MacCall.

As you walk around Mac Anderson Park next time, see if you can find glimpses of the land's history. It will add new dimension to your walk and maybe make time pass quickly!

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I love stories of people and places and enjoy telling these stories. I live in my hometown of Statesville, NC, in the Charlotte area, and love to show how lovely life is here. More is going on than may meet the eye. I also enjoy expanding throughout North Carolina to show the places and activities and people that make me believe life is fascinating and travel as much as I can, so write about that, too. I also have a passion for justice and a special interest in accessible healthcare, including treatment for drug and alcohol dependency. I am a woman of faith, joy, laughter, adventure, and live life to the full. Follow me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/kimmckinney719 or my blog KimberleyMcKinney.com or https://kimmckinney719.medium.com.

Statesville, NC
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