Fell Park History
Fell Park is Normal’s first and oldest public park. Two acres of land was donated to the Town for public use in the late 1880’s by Jesse W. Fell. Jesse Fell was a Quaker who later became known as one of the “founding fathers” of Normal, Illinois. The two acres donated by Fell were thought to originally have been used as a public farmers market, since the Town had no funds allocated for recreation use. In 1898, Fell’s widow Hester sold the land to Normal for $1, under strict demands that the park would still be intended for public recreation use despite a new water tower to be built on the property. In March of 1898 a brick and steel water tower was built to fulfill the desperate water demands of the growing community. Part of that tower remains today, and has become an iconic landmark for the Town of Normal. In 1922, the park was dedicated Jesse Fell Park by the Women’s Improvement League, who provided a new playground for the park. In 2008, a monument was dedicated in honor of Jesse Fell. Today, the park offers residents a playground, picnic area, ballfield and basketball court along with some insight to Normal Parks and Recreation history.