Gillam Park

History

The developed portion of Gillam Park occupies 34 acres of land at the foot of Granite Mountain in southeastern Little Rock. The park lies within a densely-wooded, 475 acre tract of city-owned property which is presently maintained in its natural state. The land which comprises Gillam Park was purchased with a bond issue in 1937. In 1940, the WPA built a picnic pavilion, but access to it remained difficult until 1948 when major road improvements were made. A second bond issue was passed in 1949 for park improvements including the construction of a swimming pool. During the 1950’s, 1960’s, and 1970’s, further improvements were made. The park was named after I.T. Gillam Sr., a Little Rock citizen who was born a slave and who served with the 54th Regiment for Black Soldiers during the Civil War. Following the war, I.T. Gillam began a long and successful career as a Pulaski County politician.