Ann Arbor's city parks sit on the ancestral and traditional homelands of several indigenous Native peoples. Read a
land acknowledgement from the city and learn more about the early history of the land
Douglas Park is one of the oldest parks in the city. It was established in memory of Henry W. Douglas, a member of the first Board of Parks Commission. Several triangular parks had been established, and this was already in place by 1918. This park was designated in 1928, which is the year the land was donated to the city in honor of Douglas.
Henry (called Harry) was born in 1867, the son of Silas Douglas (sometimes Douglass) and Helen Welles Douglas. Both the Douglas and Welles families were part of the Ann Arbor elite in the 19th century. Silas Douglas was a professor of chemistry at the university and also oversaw the building of the Detroit Observatory in 1854. He also founded the Ann Arbor Gas Company in 1858 and served as its superintendent until 1891, at which point Henry took over. Douglas was a University of Michigan graduate of the class of 1890. His burial site is unknown.