Dedication ceremony planned for new neighborhood park

Tue, 10/06/2020 - 09:45

On October 15, 2020 at 11 am, the City of Winchester will officially dedicate a new neighborhood park at the corner of E. Cecil and S. Kent Streets to Ruth Jackson, a late Winchester resident and business owner (rain date: 10/22 at 11 am). The new park was officially named the Ruth Jackson Memorial Park by City Council as recommended by the Winchester Parks & Recreation Advisory Board on February 11, 2020.

The community is invited to the dedication ceremony to honor Ms. Jackson and her family.

Dedication event inviter

Ms. Jackson was the original owner of Ruth’s Tea Room formerly located on the site of the new park from 1925-2005. Ruth’s Tea Room opened in 1925 and was managed by Ms. Jackson until her death in 1953. Her husband Boyd, ran the restaurant until he passed away in 1983, leaving their daughter Vivienne in charge until it closed in 2005. Vivienne was still in high school when she took over for her mother in the kitchen.

“Ruth’s Tea Room was a one-of-a-kind institution,” stated Timothy Youmans, City Planning Director and local historian. “During segregation, the restaurant served people of all races, incomes and social groups. Race was not a big issue at Ruth’s. It was one of the only places in Winchester at the time that would stay open serving food late into the early morning hours. Parents knew that their children were safe at the restaurant and the owners enforced good manners.”

A historic marker and park sign will be installed and unveiled at the ceremony to tell the story of Ruth Jackson and her Tea Room. Please remember to wear a mask and to social distance while attending the ceremony.