BIG NEWS! 27 acres along route 20 in Westfield and 7/8ths of it in Russell lies Tekoa Park which first began as public land prior to 1792 at which the boundaries separating Westfield from the town of Russell was established by the State Legislature. This caused it to become a private ownership of the Sackett family as a quarry.

When Mr. Sackett passed away it was handed down to his son Daniel who sold it to his kinsman Mr. Roland for $200.00. Four years later Mr. Roland sold it to his son Ashman Roland in 1855. The City of Westfield aquired the site for Mr. Ash in 1870 for $1,000.00 or $ 30.00 per acre that was six times the going rate of land in which was selling for only $5.00 per acre at that time. The deed in exchange for any inhabitants of Westfield could quarry stone from the area free of expense for private use subject to restriction by the town fathers. In 1904 the area was designed a town park known as Homer Park due to the efforts of sheriff W.W. Homer to have the city control and improve the property. In 1919 the area was named “Tekoa Park” the trees were cut back in the 1920’s in a lumbering operation. In 1930-1931 W.P.A. created a picnic area, pavilion and planted mountain laurel through out the area that overlooked a pond. The new park was rededicated in 1932.

As the years went back the park became neglected and in 1957 the Massachusetts Turnpike Bridge was constructed through the park. Mayor Alice Burke, known as the first female mayor in the country had the park closed as an economy measure. In 1969 a complete historical, biological and geological study was done on the area with governmental funding, through the auspices of “Project Epic”. In 1970 Mr. Ayers, Director of Parks and Commission tried to renew interest in the site to bring it back as a picnic recreational area. In 1976 the government funded a program called “Ceta” cleaned the area and overgrown trees. courtesty

To this day, the area sits idle and unused by the public due to being so isolated in the woods off the Route 20 highway. BUT NO LONGER! We reached out to Westfield Parks & Rec about this park, met with the board and offered up stewardship to clean up this amazing park and its trails on Homer’s Lookout. The City is just as excited as we are! Our deepest gratitude for letting us bring it back to life!…the work begins today!

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