State Park Road 1928

1928: Looking northwest along the State Park road.  City of Bellevue is in the background.

This year 2020 marks the 92nd anniversary of Bellevue State Park, which is one of the most scenic, largest and oldest state parks in Iowa.

It was nine decades ago in the summer of 1928, when the iconic park first opened to the public during what was called ‘Bellevue Homecoming,’ (which was similar to what we now call Heritage Days).

On the week of the big shindig in August 1928, Iowa Governor John Hammil came to Bellevue to participate in the dedication.

Joe Young, a Bellevue businessman and successful inventor in his time, presided over the event. He was instrumental in making the park a reality in the years leading up to 1928.

He welcomed the Governor and then gave a history of the acquisition of Bellevue State Park to the thousands gathered near the scenic overlook.  Young described the creation of the park this way.

“In early October 1924, the opportunity for having a park on the bluff south of Bellevue arose.  About 35 acres of land was involved in the option available to the city.

The park commission and the Bellevue Commercial Club were mainly instrumental in engineering the early phases of the purchase, and they enlisted the aid of various sportsmen’s clubs to assist them.  

The plan for a park on the south bluff was particularly appealing because of the marvelous view of the Mississippi and the surrounding area that is available from that eminence.”