PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — City officials, neighbors and school children gathered on the banks of the Delaware River Wednesday to celebrate a $576,000 newly constructed playground at Penn Treaty Park.
A.J. Thomson, a member of the Friends of Penn Treaty, whose members tend to the park, detailed the land’s history, as a part of the Lenape Indian village of Shackamaxon.READ MORE: Family, Friends Hold Candlelight Vigil For Slain Temple University Student Samuel Collington
“Does anybody remember was Shackamaxon means? This is a place where chiefs meet,” Thomson said.
According to legend, William Penn signed a peace treaty with the local Turtle Clan chief under a nearby elm tree in 1683, says Barbara Morehead, another member of the Friends of Penn Treaty.
“The tree was right over there,” she said, “and it brought the Indians and William Penn close.”
There are turtle references at Penn Treaty Park, including a sculpture for children to climb on.READ MORE: Jolly Trolley And Main Street Light Spectacular Bring Joy To Manayunk Following Ida Flooding, Pandemic
Two elementary school age children read brief snippets, a prayer from Penn, and a Turtle Clan Native American blessing.
Thomson pulled a surprise on students who attended the ribbon cutting event from nearby Adaire Public and St. Laurentius Catholic Schools.
“Guess what? Free ice cream for all of the kids who are here,” he said.MORE NEWS: Fantasy Football Start Or Sit Week 13: Elijah Mitchell Looks To Take Advantage Of Seahawks' Defense
They also gave out commemorative coins and distributed backpacks.