We notice the crowds gathering for the afternoon concerts and decide to avoid the crowds by turning right and begin walking toward the lake and the natural section of the park. A look across the lake reveals the Lakeside Cafe. Perhaps we'll stop for a bite when we reach it.
As we continue around the lake we glance to the right, to the vast natural section filled with luscious trees and plants.
The 1897 promotional booklet includes the following description:
Shrubbery and Trees. In laying out WGP it was determined to enrich its natural beauties with the finest specimens of plants and trees obtainable. Seven hundred and fifty saplings of maple, oak, beech, ash, dogwood, Oriental plane, bum, birch, tulip, poplar, linden, Japanese maple and evergreen trees were planted. Also planted were thirty-five hundred pieces of assorted shrubbery, four thousand plants for hedges, one thousand honey-suckles, three hundred Ampelopsis, one thousand six hundred aquatics, five hundred rose trees and five thousand bedding plants, besides a large number of decorative plants and palms, many of which were the largest and finest that could be purchased. The hedges are now covered with honeysuckle vine, and when they break into bloom the fragrance of the Park will be intoxicatingly delightful. The entire planting has been so arranged as to leave a clear space from the Lodge at the entrance to the Casino on the hill.
There's one tree in particular that will delight the children this year more than all the rest put together. It is an old weeping willow with its branches falling around it like a huge green mantle and trailing in the water. During the day it presents the appearance of an old patriarch, heavy with the weight of years, keeping a fatherly eye... but by night... On every limb and branch will be hung powerful incandescent lights, and when they are all turned on together the old tree will present the most marvelous picture.
The rush of the fountain averts our gaze from the natural section back to the lake, and we are greeted by a beautiful scene. We read from the booklet:
(C) The Lake and Fountain
The Lake covers an area of four acres, and is a very charming spot. It is most popular with those who take delight in boating; an Electric Launch and fleet of twenty-five row boats glide over its silvery surface.
The pleasant aroma of some of the parks finest flora permeates the air.
Strains of violins bring our attention back to the Music Pavilion across the lake.
We've arrived at the Lakeside Cafe -- let's pause for a bite to eat.
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