9. Jewell Park
Central Avenue (Between Forest and Grand avenues)



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Google Map of Jewell Park

Historical photo of the roque courts c. 1940 (courtesy The Pat Hathaway Collection) and a photo taken in 2007. Both images show the corner of Forest and Central avenues.


This park is named for Dr. E.F. Jewell, the first minister of the local Methodist Church, whose cottage once stood at Forest and Park Place. Jewell Park was the site of the town's earliest outdoor Methodist camp meetings, beginning in 1875.    

When Steinbeck tells the history of P.G.'s "Great Roque War" (Sweet Thursday, Chapter 8), he drew on actual events surrounding the roque courts that used to be located here. (Roque is a croquet-like game played on concrete with short mallets.)

At the time, the construction of the new museum focused civic attention on the park. One faction believed that the courts and run-down shack were an eyesore and should be removed, while the other side contended that this was the traditional location for the courts. In 1933, the P.G. City Council could not reach a consensus regarding the courts, and put the question on the local ballot. By an overwhelming majority, the citizens of P.G. voted to retain the courts. They survived until a few decades ago.  


This tour is also available in a pdf version. Click here to open it.

At the corner of Central and Grand, turn right. On your left is . . .