Since You Asked: Prescott Park has its origins in 1929

I was reading the Wikipedia entry on Roxy Ann Peak the other day and saw the section on Prescott Park. It said the Lions Club donated 200 acres of their land to the city. What was the reasoning for this, and why haven't I ever heard about it before?

— D.M., Medford

Be careful about reading Wikipedia, D.M. You know, those online sources can't always be trusted for accuracy.

There's a fairly simple reason why you may not have heard about this land deal — it's old news.

The park that would eventually be known as Prescott originated in 1929 when the Medford Lions Club bought two tracts of land near the summit of Roxy Ann Peak and deeded it to the city for use as a park. In 1930, more land was acquired, bringing the total to nearly 1,740 acres.

By 1933, the New Deal-era Civilian Conservation Corps began developing recreational amenities in the park. Over the years, the Mail Tribune has mentioned the kind donation by the Medford Lions Club in many articles.

Does Wiki tell you the origins of the park's name?

In 1937, the Medford City Council named the park to honor Constable George Prescott, who died in the line of duty in 1933 when he was shot by Llewellyn Banks, one of the leaders of an anti-establishment movement known as the "Good Government Congress."

The GGC was one of those short-lived organizations that arose during the despair of the Depression, when people were losing their homes and their livelihoods.

Banks was tried in Eugene for murder. A jury found him guilty of second-degree murder, which carried a mandatory life sentence. He died in prison in 1945.

Send questions to "Since You Asked," Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by e-mail to youasked@mailtribune.com. We're sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.

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