Melodye Park

Historical Marker #2031 commemorates Melodye Park, a former Frankfort destination. Frankfort's first public park, it was located on the west bank of the Kentucky River in South Frankfort.

Louis Horwitz developed Melodye Park with his own resources and named it for his daughter. Although the park was privately owned and operated by Horwitz, it was always open to the public at no charge.

Horwitz owned and managed Frankfort Cooperage, which supplied barrels for distilleries around Frankfort. The beauty of the Kentucky River influenced him to move to the area and inspired him to share his love of the river with others. He began buying land along the Kentucky River and spent nine years developing what became a nine-acre park. The development of the park is estimated to have cost at least $60,000. The park was an ongoing project and Horwitz employed five, full-time park employees.

The park had a variety of features including fishponds, four thousand rosebushes, boat docks, diving boards, and two Chinese pagodas where movies, concerts, and dancing were held on summer evenings. Red, white, and blue trimmings adorned the park, approximately 350 light posts illuminated the nine acres, and stone paths covered the grounds. Fountains, bathhouses, and a manmade waterfall were other attributes of the park. It is said to have drawn large numbers of visitors from Louisville, Evansville, and Cincinnati on the weekends.

After the 1937 flood, Horwitz spent an estimated $15,000 to build a flood wall encompassing his property to prevent further damage. However, the park closed in the mid-1950s due to extensive flood damage.

Images

Louis Horwitz

Louis Horwitz

Louis Horwitz was a popular businessman who, in essence, created Frankfort’s first public park and did so with his own money. View File Details Page

Louis Horwitz' Houseboat

Louis Horwitz' Houseboat

Louis Horwitz’s houseboat was elaborate, with paneled oak walls and rich colors created by its carpet and drapes. It was filled with ornate furniture, including a baby grand piano. The boat had electricity, city water and telephones, too. View File Details Page

Louis Horwitz with Melodye

Louis Horwitz with Melodye

Louis Horwitz sitts with his daughter, Melodye, on their houseboat on the Kentucky River. View File Details Page

Pagodas in Melodye Park

Pagodas in Melodye Park

In its heyday, the Melodye Park gardens were filled with roses, peonies, tulips and poppies. View File Details Page

Cite this Page:

Kate Sowada, “Melodye Park,” ExploreKYHistory, accessed April 26, 2017, http://explorekyhistory.ky.gov/items/show/514.

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