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
The park's namesake, Ernst M. Wurster, was a prominent figure in Ann Arbor in the early 1900s. He was born on September 21, 1873 and lived in the city his entire life.
Wurster was elected to the board of supervisors as a member of Ward 1 in 1913 and again in 1914. In 1915, he was elected as the president of City Council and became the acting mayor after the death of the Mayor C.A. Sauer. He was elected as mayor in 1917 and reelected in 1919. Wurster was elected as sheriff in 1926 and spent two years in this role. He was appointed to his last public office, city treasurer, by then mayor W. Staebler.
After his time in public service roles, Wurster was employed by the state highway department as a highway inspector. He also ran an army supply store at 217 N. Fourth Avenue. The second floor of the building was used as a temporary county jail while the official building was under construction. Wurster was also active in the Ann Arbor Rotary Club. He passed on January 2, 1937 at the age of 63.
View Wurster's obituary.
The property began as a gravel pit at the end of Fourth Street. In 1948, the city identified it as a spot to be graded for a "coasting hill". In 1955, the property was named Wurster Park. In 1957, the city purchased six lots on the east side of the park from Henrietta Wurster (Ernst Wurster's sister) for $5,000. Over the next two decades, the city purchased or received donations of several lots that are now Wurster Park. View this
map to see the lots.
In summer of 2021, a new information kiosk was added to the park, located by the playground. The kiosk was proposed to the city as a special project through Adopt-a-Park. Some of the materials and the time to construct the kiosk were donated by a park neighbor and volunteer. Visit the park to check out this great addition! Information about the park's features and upcoming volunteer opportunities will be added to the kiosk by volunteers and staff.