The Jerome R. King Playground had its origin in 1922 when Greencastle native David D. King, a prosperous business man from Chicago and a strong advocate of Old Home Week, made available $5,000.00 for the purpose of establishing a playground to memorialize his brother, Jerome.
A five acre plot was purchased with Mr. King’s gift and with the aid of local funding, secured through a communitywide drive, the play area became a reality in time for the Old Home Week celebration of 1923.
The initial lighting of the playground and the shelter were provided for by the Greencastle Lions Club.
This gift to Greencastle has expanded from that early tract to a recreational center of fifteen acres. In 1941, a wooded plot, donated by Jessie McLanathan Nelson, as a tribute to her son, Daniel, became a picnic area, with a rustic picnic pavilion and a bandstand that serves as a memorial to the veterans of the Greencastle-Antrim community. In 1962 lands to the north of the original playground were purchased, representing legacies to the community by Mrs. William R. Davidson and Mrs, J. Edward Omwake as memorials to their husbands. The last land acquisition came in 1973 when the area adjacent to the railroad bridge, along North Carlisle Street, was purchased from the Penn Central Corporation through public contributions and a grant from the Greencastle Borough Council.
Today’s Jerome R. King Playground, occupying approximately 15 acres, with its picnic facilities, play areas, tennis courts, softball field, volleyball court, basketball courts and baseball field, stands as one of the leading recreational facilities in the Cumberland Valley.