#104 Cessna Park West – 5701 E Kincaid
Background: The park was donated by Cessna Aircraft Company in 1960. This is classified as its own park. Cessna Park East along Mt. Vernon is used for sports, while Cessna Park West is used for picnicking and other recreation activities. The park is of course named after the Cessna Company, and it’s founder, Clyde Vernon Cessna (December 5, 1879 – November 20, 1954)
Cessna was born in Hawthorne, Iowa, but moved to Kingman County, Kansas, at two years old. In 1911, he built his first airplane, the “Silverwing”. After 14 attempts, Cessna made his first successful flight in June 1911.in 1925, Cessna, Walter Beech and Lloyd Stearman, created the Travel Air Manufacturing Company in Wichita, Kansas. After two years, Cessna left the company to start his own business.
On September 7, 1927, Cessna and Victor Roos paired to form Cessna-Roos Aircraft. Roos resigned one month later and sold his shares back to Cessna. The company changed its name to Cessna Aircraft Corporation in December 1927. You can take a look at our post about Cessna Park East.
What we did: It was a perfect spring day in Kansas, so we had a picnic in the park. On Jeremy’s recommendation, we went old school and got fried chicken. We found a nice table in the shade, sprayed it down with Lysol and had a nice lunch. The park has a frisbee golf course, a bike path, and plenty of open fields. From several points in the park, you can look over and see the Cessna plant. I spent many days in that parking lot waiting for my grandfather to appear along the metal fence as his shift wrapped up. He spent almost his entire adult life at Cessna. To this day (I bought my grandparent’s house) I still get the occasional letter from Cessna to Norville Crockett.