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 land that comprises the neighborhood surrounding Hunt Park was known as "Hiscock's addition," named after Daniel Hiscock who owned the land and had it platted as an addition to the city in 1859. Maria Hiscock, Daniel's wife, was a daughter of Eber and Polly White, who are commemorated today in the names of Eberwhite Nature Area and Eberwhite Elementary School. Daniel Street, which forms the park's eastern border, is named after Mr. Hiscock. Other streets near Hunt Park pay tribute the Hiscock family also. Daniel and Maria Hiscock had two sons named Charles and Edward, and streets near the park bear their names. An 1864 Plan of the City of Ann Arbor maps out the land that was known as Hiscock Addition in the Northwest part of town. For a deeper dive into the history read Hunt Park History by Martha Hill written in 2021.
The land comprising Hunt Park was given to the city in 1943 by Ormond E. Hunt, who was the vice president of General Motors at the time, and his second wife Maud Quinlan Hunt. While the story behind the gifting of the land, like so many things, remains a bit of a mystery, the deed to the city specified that the land was for "school and park purposes and for such purposes exclusively". The Hunts chose the official dedication to read "Donated by Ormond & Hazel Hunt". Hazel was Ormond's first wife and mother of his four children; she had passed away in 1927. The
gifting of the land was in response to Eli Gallup (who
Gallup Park is named after) writing to Hunt asking if the idle land could be used for "victory gardens." Victory gardens were established during the World Wars to help support the war effort and the troops abroad and were the original 'community gardens' as Project Grow references
The first improvements to the park were finished in 1953. In 1963 the
park shelter was constructed, after the park had been growing and improving. In 1973, the Parks department documented Hunt Park history notes and outlined the amenities of that time. In 1981 a dedication was held in the park after numerous improvements were made to the park, including a new play area, new trees planted with funds from the
Elizabeth R. Dean Fund, new benches and picnic tables, a memorial grove, new entrance walk and more.
View more historical articles and pictures of Hunt Park from the AADL here.