County Connections: John James Audubon State Park features world class collection related to the famous artist

09/27/2017 02:00 PM

HENDERSON – Henderson County is home to John James Audubon State Park, established in 1938 and one of the oldest parks in the system.

While the park is named after the famous painter of birds, park director Mark Kellen says that there’s a whole lot more to the park than just art history.

“We have over a 1,300 acre park, we have some cabins with wood-burning fireplaces in them, we have camping, you have golf, we have a recreation lake where you can fish, picnic areas, we have a newly acquired wetlands featuring 650 acres of wetlands with a 950-foot boardwalk,” Kellen said.

The parks’ centerpiece is the Audubon Memorial Museum which features rare memorabilia and personal effects related to the famous painter of birds, including a complete set of prints from his famous Bird of America series.

“We have a full set of elephant folios in the museum, a lot of different paint brushes, just different things that Audubon had himself,” Kellen said. “The book of the collection came from Audubon’s heirs.”

As Kellen mentioned, John James Audubon State Park was constructed in the mid-1930’s by workers of the Civilian Conservation Corps, a public work relief program that operated from 1933 to 1942 in the United States for unemployed, unmarried men from relief families as part of the New Deal.

Originally the project was for young men ages 18–25, but it was eventually expanded to young men ages 17–28. During the time of the CCC, enrollees planted nearly 3 billion trees to help reforest America, constructed trails, lodges and related facilities in more than 800 parks nationwide and upgraded most state parks, including John James Audubon.

A monument at the park recognizes the young men who constructed Henderson’s state park.


Subscribe to email updates.

Subscribe and get the latest political intelligence delivered to your inbox.