Ford Park – James St, Strathfield South
Ford Park is located on land granted to James Wilshire in 1808 and known as ‘Wilshire’s Farm’. Wilshire’s grant runs from Redmire Road to the Cooks River and is bounded at the east by The Boulevarde and Coronation Parade. Wilshire’s grant was acquired by Samuel Terry in 1824 and renamed the ‘Redmire Estate’. The ‘Redmire Estate’ was subdivided in 1867 by surveyor Ferdinard Reuss for owner William Billyard. Deposited Plan 35 is the subdivision of the Redmire Estate.
Ford Park is built on Lot 68 of the Redmire Estate. It appears that the land for the park was acquired in various stages, commencing in 1931 when the Cooks River Channel was straightened and covered. Additional land was acquired in 1933 and 1935 through NSW Government subsidised loan schemes. The west ward of Enfield Council was amalgamated with Strathfield Council on 1 January 1949.
Ford Park was named in honour of Ebenezer Ford [d.1932]. Ford was Mayor of Enfield [1915-17, 1920-29] and is credited for the straightening of the Cooks River.
Ebenezer Ford [d.1932] was a prominent resident of Strathfield and Enfield. He was a builder by profession and was extensively involved in land and property development in Enfield, owning most of the Broadway shopping centre. He served as an Alderman on Enfield Council for over 20 years and he was Mayor for 12 years. Ford was proud of his record of never missing a Council meeting, until his final illness in 1932. His obituary on page 17, Sydney Morning Herald 17th August 1932 also notes that he was president of the Western Suburbs Hospital and had been a member of the board for about 15 years. He was president of the Burwood District Friendly Societies Dispensary, which office he held since its inception more than 20 years ago.
Ford was survived by his wife, daughters Mrs T M Stevenson and Miss M F Ford and his son Emil Ford. Emil Ford was a solicitor, who established law firm Emil Ford & Co in 1917. Both Ebenezer and Emil Ford lived in Wakeford Rd, Ebenezer at ‘Amaroo’ and Emil at ‘Telerah’. Harvey Ford, Mayor of Strathfield [1965-66], was the son of Emil Ford and the grandson of Ebenezer Ford. Ford Park and Ford Street are named for Ebenezer Ford.
The Jessie S. Broomfield Water Fountain is located in Ford Park in South Strathfield but the water fountain was intended for the convenience of dogs, not people.
When Jessie Stuart Broomfield died in 1935, her will not only bequeathed that money be distributed to various homes and institutions for dogs in the city of Sydney, but that that drinking fountains and troughs for dogs be erected with her name inscribed on them.
In 1941, the Trustees of the Estate advised Enfield Council that Jessie Bloomfield had requested that drinking fountain or water trough for dogs be placed in either Jackson or Ford Park. This work was completed in 1948. Another Jessie Broomfield fountain is located on Anzac Parade, La Perouse.