|On May 4, 1926 the City of Manhattan entered into a contract with The Long Oil
Company for a term of fifteen (15) years, wherein the Long Oil Company was granted
permission to erect improvements on a swampy piece of property (one square block) at 17th
and Colorado for the purpose of operating a free tourist park. This property was located
along the southern extension of US highway 40 to Colorado Springs where Long has been
operating a filling station since 1918. Also adjoining the station is a small grocery
store and meat market operated by the station attendant.
After filling in the land the
grounds were landscaped and a shelter house was built. At the rear of the lot space was
leveled off for tourists to camp.
In the shelter house is a fireplace, tables, and chairs for holding picnics indoors,
rest rooms with showers and a kitchen. Gas is provided for hot plates in the kitchen by
"Dime in the slot meters" This is the only charges made at the park. There is a
registering book in the shelter and 7400 names were entered in 1929,
The grounds are maintained by a paid caretaker. The drives are hard surfaced, and the
grounds landscaped with tree, shrubs and flowers.
Concrete and wooden benches and tables have been placed about the grounds. On the edge
of the table tops is the name Long Oil Co.
The park is free to the public, and many picnics have been held there by groups from
Manhattan. Many tourists stop at the park, overnight or for a rest, as the register
contains names from many distant cities on both coasts and from the south.
Beautification of the swamp land is in line with A. W. Long's bent for flowers and
shrubs. Where possible he has his service stations landscaped and at the bulk plant in
Manhattan a large room is used for winter storage of shrubs and ferns.
View of Long's Park taken from west side of US40 looking southeast.
Filling station to right and grocery store south of station. Community building far left.