Come celebrate Jacksonville’s long history, interesting characters, and myriad of connections with Mauvaisterre Creek (and its urban tributary the Town Brook) in Brook Tales, a play by Ken Bradbury. Performances staged by students in Ken’s Lincoln Land Community College traveling theater.

Proceeds to benefit the Jacksonville Park Foundation. Admission by donation. Performances at . . .

Lincoln Land Community College students bb creek

Cast of Brook Tales, play by Ken Bradbury

The play is based on stories from the Town Brook History Project plus interviews by Ken Bradbury and students. Performances feature a human map of the Town Brook, Lonnie the Tomato King, slideshow by Steve Warmowski, refreshments at intermission (trying to find a turtler so we can serve some good soup), music composed by students, plus two banjos and a guitar.

The Jacksonville Park Foundation focuses on health, recreation and families. The non-profit is starting several initiatives to improve the quality of life in the community.

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Town Brook History Project

The Jacksonville community has a long history and a myriad of connections with Mauvaisterre Creek and its urban tributary the Town Brook. The town grew up near its banks; the creek was used as a byway for travelers on the Underground Railroad; its waters were dammed to provide a water supply to support development; generations of kids grew up playing in the brook – hunting for snakes, looking for crawdads, exploring its banks.

Did you or someone you know grow up playing in the Town Brook? Have any family history along Mauvaisterre Creek? Or do you know a really good yarn? You can submit your story.

By submitting a story you agree to be a part of the Jacksonville Park Foundation history project. under CC0/Creative Commons Zero “No Rights Reserved” licensing. Emails will be added to a newsletter list for Town Brook updates.

Contest winners

The Town Brook Initiative of the Jacksonville Park Foundation held a Town Brook History Contest to celebrate this history. Winning stories were from:

  • Cora Lee Lacey, who would catch snakes at the State Hospital Farm and tie strings around their “necks” so the snakes wouldn’t get away during lunch.
  • Sarah Angleton, recalling at 8 years old was stuck with her brother in the basement during a storm, with their parents cut off from the house by flooding.
  • Sue Ann Hackett, who recalled story of friend finding pop bottles floating in the Town Brook with notes pleading “Help! Help! Captured. Let us out!” from men working at the State Hospital Farm.
  • Dan Moy, for memories of playing baseball near Franklin School and having to clamber down into the Town Brook to retrieve home run balls.
  • Roger Deem, who sought shelter from bullies at Franklin School at the edge of the Town Brook, later organized a cleanup of the waterway as an Eagle Scout project in 1975, and felt the connection of critters living along the brook.