Roundtree Park


Christmas carols at the Vidalia homes of blacks and whites on the Christmas Eve of December 25, 1960 by the Dickerson High School Choir, a gift of $100.00 from Mr. and Mrs. Gerry Achenbach, and refreshments at the home of Mrs. Flossie M. Easter-Hayes generated pride and excitement and inspired plans for a recreation facility in East Park.

From the happy evening's experience grew the idea for a black Citizens' Organization whose purpose would be to provide a recreation park for the community; an unstructured committee was formed-with Flossie Hayes, B. Ernest Moore and Henry Bentley, Sr. as principals to seek funds to purchase the Old Roundtree Park and develop it as a recreation center.

The dream became a reality, the name of the area was changed to East Park Recreation Center, providing facilities for baseball, softball, other recreational pursuits and later a swimming pool was built.

This civic club set a goal that would provide more participation in civic and municipal affairs of the city including participation by the Reverend R.L. Lambert, H.W. Miller, Melvin Edwards, Alfred Jackson, J.R. Turner, Eloise Allen, Ernest Moore, Henry Bentley, Flossie Hayes and other black citizens.  Expressing concern for a perceived deficit of black employees in public employment, banks, Vidalia City Hall, and other businesses, the group became involved in the formation a credit union, registration of voters and charity endeavors.

In 1970 when Mayor Hugh Dixon requested that they sell the former Roundtree Park area to the city for construction of an elementary school the property was donated to the city for the erection of J.D. Dickerson Elementary School in exchange for a parcel of land at the end of Roosevelt Street.  There the Vidalia Recreation Department built a park with swiming pool, shelters, and provided playground equipment and space for competitive games.  This park was completed and dedicated in 1975 and named Flossie Hayes Park.  During the ceremony, then Mayor Norwood Rhodes accepted a cash donation from the Vidalia Citizens' Club and Mrs. Hayes for the purchase of playground equipment.

The name of the organization was changed to Vidalia Citizens Action Club, Inc. in 1976, with Flossie Hayes, President; Alfred Jackson, Vice-President; Lillie B. Jackson, Secretry; John Raymond Turner, Treasurer; and Eloise Allen, Laura Corbett, David Hodge, Melvin Edwards, Sol McClain and Curtis Richardson, Directors.

Meeting regularly with planned programs the organization was to provided scholarships to college bound students and actively assist those in need in the community.

The organization purchased two buses to transport children to school before the Vidalia Board of Education instituted a city busing program.

This information was taken from Toombs County Georgia History:  As Sweet As Its Namesake   Pages 28-29 of 69 for history purposes only.


Brenda G. Spivey-Jones, Site Founder/Administrator

DTS/JDD 1904-1970 Mult-Class Alumni Website