Skowhegan native Abner Coburn, Maine’s governor during the Civil War, willed land on the Kennebec River for a public park upon his death in 1885. Abner’s descendants donated additional land in 1905, resulting in the current 12.5 acre park. The property is bordered by the river on one side and by residential neighborhoods, forest and farmland to the north.
The park’s design evolved over time under the leadership of various commissioners appointed by the town. In 1907 a pond with two islands was constructed, its edges planted with iris, ferns, rushes, weeping willows, and pond lilies. Soon thereafter a collection of young trees was planted from Bar Harbor Nurseries, who had exhibited in a nearby fair. By 1928, 108 different tree species existed in the park; today there are over 200. A pair of stone entrance pillars capped with lanterns, designed as a memorial to Park Commissioner Sarah L. Eaton, lead to the main road which encircles the park. Following World War I, the Daughters of the American Revolution donated a sundial and formal flower garden to memorialize local soldiers lost in the war; today the sundial remains without its formal garden. A bandstand was constructed in 1989, located near the river at the bottom of a sloping lawn dotted with mature shade trees. A gazebo was added near the entrance in 2000. Both structures serve as gathering places for community events.