Rustic Park History
Rustic Park History
Dwane (Benny) Bentrott, as Booster Club president in 1962, related the reasons for
establishing a public park at the 12th Annual Booster Club dinner.
Dwane (Benny) Bentrott, as Booster Club president in 1962, related the reasons for establishing a public park at the 12th Annual Booster Club dinner.
He said, “Sooner or later Lost Nation will
have to join with some other school district. When that takes place it is very doubtful that the public will have access to the school
grounds as they do now. We will have no place to hold 4-H Day celebrations…no place for the men and ladies to play kitten ball in
the evenings. We may no longer have a lighted tennis court and our skating rink may be a thing of the past.”
He said, “Sooner or later Lost Nation will have to join with some other school district. When that takes place it is very doubtful that the public will have access to the school grounds as they do now. We will have no place to hold 4-H Day celebrations…no place for the men and ladies to play kitten ball in the evenings. We may no longer have a lighted tennis court and our skating rink may be a thing of the past.”
“Lost Nation citizens have always been forward looking and this is our chance to keep that reputation so that when we transfer our school, the rest of the life in the community will be disturbed as little as possible.” He then presented his plans and specifications for a public park.
Leases were secured in 1962 from the railroad, Seng brothers and John and Ella Fleming for the land comprising the 13 acre park. Booster Club members and volunteers spent hours clearing the land and mowing each year until funds were adequate to hire someone.
In 1964 it took only 10 hours for many willing and able volunteers to build the first shelter. The park was sold to the city of Lost Nation for $1 in 1987 so liability insurance coverage would be available.
A bench in Dwane Bentrott’s memory was presented to Rustic Park during Rustic Days celebrations in 2010.
Four years ago a memorial tractor ride was started in Grundy County by friends of Drew Scott. It is held the last Sunday in August, along with an auction.
Drew was killed in an automobile accident April 5, 2009, outside of Wyoming. This year Drew's friends from the Wyoming area planned a ride as well. All proceeds go to the "Drew Scott" 4-H Memorial Scholarship which is awarded annually to a 4-H senior and is totally funded by the tractor rides and an open sheep show. Drew is the grandson of Konnie Edleman and RuthAnn Scott.
The ride began at 10 am at the Wyoming fairgrounds. Hayracks were available for riders. Lunch was served at Gilroy Rustic Park at 1:00.
Alex Paulsen organized the 2012 ride.
This is the first of a series of Rustic Park history in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the park.
In 1961, the president of the Booster Club, Dwane Bentrott, examined an area surrounding the old railroad right-of-way on the east side of the city limits in Lost Nation, IA. He strongly desired that Lost Nation should have a park. He stood there and envisioned a ball park on the south where the saplings and weeds flourished and a shady picnic area beneath the huge oaks on the north side of the discarded right-of-way.
When he was re-elected president in 1962, a committee of five was appointed to see about the possibility of a park. Those serving on the first committee were: Pete (Walter) Hamdorf, Joe McGonegle, Fred Dickman, Stanley Lasack and Ward Hollingsworth.
More Rustic Memories
"Community Effort Developed LN Park"
(Jackson Sentinel by Mrs. Leon Schmidt, June, 1968)
Lost Nation's Rustic Park, a popular spot for summer outings, is a reality because of years of hard work by the Lost Nation Booster Club.
The park was started in 1961 when Dwane Bentrott, then president of the Booster Club, tried to carry out a dream he had about building a park for Lost Nation citizens.
The ground, owned by the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Railroad, seemed like a good place to start. A house, located on the site, had been occupied by the section boss and his wife, who later moved away.
The Booster Club had the idea of a park as a project about three years before a park board was organized. When organized, board members and volunteers worked many weeks cleaning up, cutting brush and mowing weeds. It was a long time before the area could be cut regularly with power mowers. (to be continued...)
Rustic Memories continued…
Final—Mrs. Leon Schmidt (6-13-68)
Members of the Booster Club meet the third Thursday of each month. President of the group is Clay Dosland. Others on the board include: Frank Ihns, Vice president; Dick Witte, secretary; Fred Cutting treasurer.
Dwane Bentrott is president of the park board. Other members include Dr. Randolph, Douglas Witte, Larry Holtz, Grover Willey, Ed Sterk, Clay Dosland, Robert Miller, Ray Dosland, Charles Lasack and Paul Seng.