Have you ever wondered exactly how Pine Banks Park came to be? Whose idea was it in the first place to turn the land into a park? Well the answers to these questions lie within the Converse Family, beginning with “rubber-soled shoe tycoon” Elisha Slade Converse also known as the first Mayor of Malden (Malden Public Library). Yes, the founder of the shoe brand Converse was a Malden resident who also founded the Malden Hospital, Malden City Hall, Malden Public Library, Malden YMCA, Malden Historical Society and Pine Banks Park. Converse donated 107.5 acres of land to create Pine Banks Park back in the late 1800s. There’s so much more to know about the impact Elisha and his family have had on the Malden community, if you’re interested in learning more be on the lookout for Malden Public Library’s lecture event series Converse 2020. While this event won’t take place till next summer, as it will pass through Elisha Converse’s 200th birthday, here is a brochure of some of the events and lectures planned for the series. In the meantime, still check out the Malden Public Library website if you’re curious about the Converse family and look at the Converse Art and Archives section for more information. Also below this article there will be a few pictures and some articles about the Converse family and Pine Banks Park. It’s important to remember where we’ve come from and the people that have shaped the community we live in today. Without the generous donation of land from Elisha Slade Converse we wouldn’t be able to enjoy the beautiful public park that exists today.
Link to Malden Public Library: http://maldenpubliclibrary.org/