289 Pearl St
Dunn State Park is named after its benefactor, John Ainsworth Dunn who had a lifelong career in the chair manufacturing industry. Dunn was born on November 2, 1831 and died May 31, 1919 living to the age of 87. Dunn eventually founded the John A. Dunn Company in 1864 with a large factory in Gardner and warehouses in Boston, Chicago, and St. Paul. Sadly on March 26 of 1902, the factory in Gardner was destroyed in a fire. Luckily, Dunn was able to rebuild a more modern, larger, and fireproof brick factory without having to lay off any workers.
Dunn was seen by the people of Gardner as a man of strong personality who made the city known for its woodworking and chair industry. He was also very involved in the civic life of Gardner. In his will, Dunn gave a valuable piece of his property to the city of Gardner. This land was then turned into a public park and pond, called Dunn’s Pond. At that time, a picnic area, 7-acre pond, field for baseball games, tennis courts, and horseshoe pits were added.
The area is now called Dunn State Park, and has grown to the current 120-acre area that includes a 20-acre pond, playground, beach, picnic area, and trails for the community to enjoy.
Research Contributed by Maddy M. of Troop 7006, Gardner