A long-standing community icon of Freedom Memorial Park in Millersville Borough recently enjoyed a rebirth and dedication in September.
Borough Manager Ed Arnold re-dedicated the new Rutter Gazebo to Worthington J. & Martha Rutter, a prominent family with ties to the community over several generations.
Descendants of Lancaster County pioneers, the Rutters were known for their love of horticulture and philanthropy. Their local relatives, supporting the same concepts, put the “fun” in fundraising with events like “Strawberry Pie Day,” which was a community-wide pie sale. All proceeds were given to various community initiatives that included the park.
Through the efforts of Dorothy Bender, a cousin to the Rutters, plans were laid for Millersville Borough’s municipal park. Over the years mostly through her volunteerism to Millersville Borough, she initiated the momentum necessary to create the 22-acre Freedom Memorial Park, as well as the original Rutter Gazebo in 1976.
“About five years ago, however, we had to remove the original, wooden structure due to natural wear and tear,” explains Ed. “So, we wanted a new shelter that was higher-quality and would be durable for many years to come.” Steve Hemler and his team at General Recreation provided a concrete base and steel structure that met the need. “What’s great about the gazebo in addition to its utility,” says Steve, “is that it complements the natural beauty of the area. It sits at the park’s highest point, providing a 360-degree view, and is an example of the range of uses for shelters in unique settings.”
Ed and his team appreciated Steve’s approach to the project. “Steve enabled us to visit other parks to see how they fit newer components into their parks. These visits were a selling point for us. We really appreciated the field testing and seeing how everything worked together,” says Ed.
“We’re excited our gazebo’s structure and how it is built to last. It’s a tribute to the Rutter family’s legacy,” he adds.