2016-06-29 / Sesquicentennial Edition

History Of Ruihley Park

Highlights of the start of Ruihley Park were written by the late Orrin R. Taylor, a member of the original park board.

August Ruihley served as mayor of the village from 1916 until his death in June 1928.

Shortly after he became mayor, Ruihley suggested the village have a park near the business area, centrally located near the school and residence areas.

In 1922, Council authorized the purchase of 13 1/2 acres of farm land extending north from West Holland Street to a point north of West Williams Street. Eight acres were secured from Rudolph Seifert and 5 1/2 from John Diehlman.

The real estate extended west to the farm land owned by William Buehrer where council opened a new street connecting West Holland and Stryker Street and named it Ruihley Avenue.

The purchase was made with money from the general fund.

By 1927, Council had authorized the appointment of the first Board of Park Trustees, named by Ruihley.

They were E.A. Murbach, Glen J. Vernier, Peter C. Short, and Orrin R. Taylor. Various volunteers helped raise funds to buy shrubs and trees and draw up plans for the park’s recreation facilities.

Ruihley suggested and helped organize yearly homecoming celebrations to raise funds to maintain and develop the park.

In February 1928, the park was officially named Ruihley Park, as suggested by members of the Exchange Club. A plaque in honor of Ruihley’s services to the village was dedicated at the ceremony.

Later, Owen Nofzinger, owner of Archbold Greenhouse, volunteered to sell the remaining acreage west of his property bordering on Walnut Street to the village for park purposes.

Funds were secured by donations, and the size of Ruihley Park was enlarged to 26 1/2 acres.

Funds accumulated by Homecoming celebrations were earmarked for a swimming pool.

Council authorized construction of the large pavilion in 1928, and by Aug. 6 a public picnic was held in celebration of the new facility.

The Archbold Band gave a concert and a baseball game was played on the new field.

A new pavilion of brick and wood was constructed in 1981.

Homecoming celebrations continued to provide park maintenance funds until 1949. At that time, a 1-mill tax levy was approved by voters for park maintenance.

In July 1976, a one-quarter percent (.25%) income tax became effective with the money going to parks. It was renewed in 1980.

The income tax provides extra funds for park improvements and maintenance.

The Park Board continues to collect revenue from the income tax.

Today the Archbold park system features a total of six parks, including Ruihley Park.

Memorial Park, on Lafayette Street across from the Archbold elementary and high schools, features more than 40 acres.

The park was designed specifically to host baseball from Little League on up, and softball. Plans have been under development for some time for additional diamonds to the park.

Woodland Park is located on the south side of the village, on the east side of South Defiance Street.

The park, which is just shy of 60 acres, was developed in the early 2000s, and is the center for soccer and flag football.

There are three smaller neighborhood parks: Lions Park, located on East Holland Street; South Street Park, at the corner of South Street and West Street, and North Pointe Park at the intersection of St. Anne Street and Primrose Lane.

-----

John Imthurn had the first saloon in Archbold in the Flory building.

The first hardware in Archbold was started by a Mr. Sloan.

Later, it was bought by Jacob Vernier.

Return to top