Park in a Driveway; Drive on Park Street

Park Street begins at E Jefferson (near the courthouse) and continues north to Melbourne Road (where it becomes Rio Road). Although Park Street contains beautiful homes, it does not contain a “park.” However, if you head north on Park St and cross the county line you will eventually reach a park (technically located off Rio Road) called Pen Park.

The many Park Streets

This, however, is not the eponymous “park.” Rather, Park Street was named after Park Mill, owned by the same person who owned the plantation at Pen Park: Dr George Gilmer. Dr. Gilmer and his family lived at Pen Park from 1777 to 1800; many of these individuals are buried on the premise in a family cemetery. The mill was located along Meadow Creek. Today a sign marks the spot with its earlier name: Cochran’s Mill (built around 1754). All that remains standing today is the miller’s house, the mill has long since washed away (as it was located closer to the river, in the floodplain).

As an aside, variants on the name “Park” have been added within the last several decades to 2oth Century streets, such as “Parkway” and “Park Plaza.” These were not formal streets in the 19th Century. If anyone knows the origins of “Park Hill,” please leave a comment below.