On a sunny Sunday afternoon in 1890, the townspeople of Sharon foregathered in Hadley’s Grove – a lovely stand of old pine trees on Route 123, next to what was The Sharon Arts Center – for the 6th “Reunion of Sharon Residents”.
At that picnic, Samuel Willard Bass generously offered to put up $75 to enable the town to buy the grove. The Rev. Burr, of Boston, donated a further $25 for fencing, and in 1891 the land was purchased and dedicated as Willard Bass Park.
It is in this park, ever since, that the citizens of Sharon gather in August for the Annual Town Picnic. According to the deed, “meetings” must be held in the park at least once per year.
Willard Bass Park is is approximately 1.6 acres and is owned and managed by The Trustees, not the town of Sharon. The list of past trustees contains many familiar Sharon names, such as Taggart, Perry, Newton and, of course, Nichols (including, from 1897 forward, Herbert, Maurice, Thomas, Richard, and Andrew).
The current Trustees of Willard Bass Park are: Claudia Lusky, Anne Booth, Karen DeBonis, Mark Fernald, and Dave Campbell.