Stewart Park was originally part of the James Renwick estate. It was military lot No. 88 which had been granted to Andrew Moody of the Revolutionary Army on July 9, 1790. It was then sold to James Renwick on December 12, 1790 and remained in that family, undeveloped, for 104 years. In the early 1890's, two separate events occurred that resulted in what is known today as Stewart Park. Land was purchased by the Cascadilla School to develop athletic facilities followed by the construction of a trolley line to the lake and the development of an amusement park by the Cayuga Lake Electric Railway Company. The purchase of 40 acres between the Cascadilla School property and the hamlet of Port Renwick was developed into Renwick Park which opened to the public in 1894. The park contained a zoo, a merry-go-round, and the renovation of the dance pavilion for use as Ithaca's first vaudeville theater. In 1908, due to the decrease in ridership, the Cayuga Lake Electric Railway Company was dissolved and the Renwick Park and Traffic Association was formed to replace it. Sometime around 1915, trolley access to the park was discontinued. At this same time, 55 acres south of the park were set aside as a bird sanctuary and maintained by the Cayuga Bird Club. This area was named after the club's president
|Map of Stewart Park - Click to Enlarge|
Today, Stewart Park is a regionally active park with several facilities including tennis courts, a playground with several play structures including a carousel, athletic fields, a duck pond, a spray pool, a municipal golf course, and a bird sanctuary.
Swimming occurred in Stewart Park for a brief time prior to any beach or water safety requirements. For more information on why swimming is an unlikely use of this area in the future, please read the following articles: