The design theme of the park resembles the historic Phenix Quarry, near Willard, Mo., which used steam-operated saws to cut large blocks of limestone for shipment throughout the country. The Great Seal of the State of Missouri was carved on site at Phenix Quarry. There are five major areas within the park's boundaries:
A 250-seat amphitheater with a 18 by 30-foot stage, wired for sound and light equipment
A re-creation of the original spring used by our founders near the site of the park
An upland woods area depicting the natural hardwood forest which once existed on the site including a 10 by 120-foot historical mural covering the first 100 years of Springfield's citizens, buildings and local historical events
A historical timeline that describes the growth of Springfield during the first 100 years and how national and international events played a part in the city's development
An area for native prairie grasses which existed on the nearby Kickapoo Prairie
Founders Park is located on a 0.7-acre site at the corner of Jefferson Avenue and Water Street at 330 E Water Street. In 1829, Springfield founding father John Polk Campbell staked his claim to homestead what soon became Springfield by marking trees near a spring in this area. The site has previously served as the location for a stone quarry, a blacksmith shop, the Herman-Sanford Horse Collar Factory, the Silsby Stove and Hardware Company, a lumberyard, and a railroad right of way.
Parking can be tricky to find downtown, but there are plenty of free options if you know where to look. Please use public parking spaces identified on this map with orange markers. For more parking information, visit It's All Downtown.