A debate that simmered for weeks over the possession of a park once owned by means of the scion of a Southwestern Ontario metropolis’s founder is now settled, with the college board that’s maintained it for eight a long time announcing it’ll relinquish any claims to it.

In 1865, George B. Tillson, son of Tillson burg’s founder, registered numerous parcels of land in his call, including belongings he become later the region into public care. He also later deeded an adjacent parcel for instructional use, land on which Rolph road school was eventually constructed.

But the college closed last 12 months, and the Thames Valley District school board lately despatched out notices it intended to sell its property.

The question turned into: Which parcel? “A portion of the belongings which the Thames board intends to sell is registered in the name of George B. Tillson,” the board stated in a prison be aware seeking out Tillson descendents to breakthrough by April 29.

And that didn’t take a seat right with Jenese rate Derrough, a first-rate-great-grand-daughter of George B. Tillson who lives in North Carolina. She stated Tillson’s vision for the assets ought to be upheld because he never surpassed over possession.

“George Tillson’s entire intention for the belongings was schooling,” she said. “If he wanted them to have it he could have deeded it to the college board and said, In 100 years, you can promote it.”

She feared the school board turned into grabbing the land and could sell it for improvement.
Rolph Street school. (File photo)
However that’s no longer the case, stated Kevin Bushell, head of facility offerings for the Thames board.

He said the board became getting ready to sell the college property and had to recognise wherein the school belongings ended and the parkland commenced Add Crazy.

Now that descendants — Derrough and others — have come forward, the board has suspended any capacity sale. “We’re genuinely doing whatever however a land grasp. We’re giving it lower back. We’re trying to make it proper,” Bushell stated.

Dealing with pre-Confederation files has its challenges, he stated.

A number of the ravine location is already used as a part of the metropolis’s Participark.

Bushell gave assurances that gained’t alternate, even if the board in the end puts the college property up on the market.

“We’re going to paintings with the town to switch that (parkland) parcel to the city.”

And, he stated, the board will make sure there’s a strip of land so that it will offer get entry to from the street to the park on the returned.

The town intends to maintain the park in public fingers, city clerk Donna Wilson stated in an e-mail to Derrough late last week.

“The town’s lawyer has advised us that the college Board will now not try to promote any parcel that’s inside the Tillson call and the town’s lawyer could be operating closer to clearing up the title to a number of portions of belongings within the town which are presently green area or parkland presently inside the Tillson name . . . The property will remain inexperienced area and there’ll know not be any try to promote the land.”

George Barker Tillson changed into only a boy when his pioneering mom and his father — who became the metropolis’s founder, George Tillson — moved to the region from Maine in 1825. George B. became the eldest of 9 children and part of a own family that owned tons of the land in and round what’s now Tillson burg.

Derrough emphasized she isn’t the family spokesperson, and different family in her father’s era need to have a voice in what happens to the belongings.