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 Fuller Park property dates back to a 1907 acquisition with 10 more property deeds being added in 1926-1931. More property was added in 1955 and 1980-81 to give us the Fuller Park boundaries we have today. Fuller Park was the site of the city's first municipal golf course. The course was known as the "Rock Pile" from the 1930s through the 1960s. Seven holes of golf which the City maintained were on University of Michigan land east of the river. This was part of a land use lease agreement.
In 1938, this
photo from the golf course shows the golf course 'starting house' and the University hospital across the street. Another picture from the Ann Arbor District Library shows golfers playing the course. Over the years, many have played a round at the 'rock pile', a course that required travel over the Huron River (south of Fuller Road). View the bridge that connected the course over the river
here or after lots of rain, the
high waters of the Huron. You can see the golf course and the bridge in this 1947 aerial photograph.
Longtime resident Don Simons was hired as an 11 year old in 1954 to pick up newspapers and clean the toilets. He made 40 cents an hour getting a dime raise the next year. Plus, "they gave me hotdogs and chocolate milk for free". You can listen to the entire interview
In the 1960s, the City Junior Tournament was played at the Municipal Golf course. View a 1964
picture of the juniors starting. The Ann Arbor District Library has some photos as well:
"Setting Up The Tee" and
"Hitting For The Green".
In 1961, Eli Gallup retires to end a 42-year career as the parks superintendent. You can see him here standing on a green at the Municipal Golf Course.
Voters in April of 1966 had approved a $900,000 bond issue for three swimming pools and ice rinks at Fuller Park, Buhr Park and Veterans Memorial Park. With this bond, plans for a pool and rink at Fuller Park were started.
In 1967, the
City was notified that the University of Michigan was looking to end its lease agreement. The city planned to reduce the golf course to 9 holes and add swimming, ice skating and tennis on the city owned land. This
site plan shows the proposed swimming pool-ice rink complex. In 1968, the Fuller Pool final design is OK'd by council.
In February of 1969, Betty Jane Wilson presents achievement ribbons to Ice-Skating Winners.
In 1972, Richard Blake receives award for saving boy's life at Fuller Pool.
In 1974, the golf course is grown over and
plans for soccer fields are in the works.
In 1981, the
Fuller Pool solar idea is pursued to demonstrate that "solar heating of domestic hot water is feasible".
The Mixer Playground structure, dedicated to Scott and Sally Mixer, was designed and built by volunteers in the community. It was designed to be accessible for children with disabilities. It was
opened in 1989 and is one of the largest playgrounds in the city.