This park was established by the Hamilton Community Foundation on land owned by the city. It was one of several major legacy gifts to Hamilton by the Foundation in celebration of its 50th Anniversary. The Foundation wished to honor Hamilton's famous native son, Robert McCloskey, award-winning author and illustrator of children's books.
Nancy Sch?n, internationally renowned Boston sculptor and close friend of Mr. McCloskey, was commissioned to create a large bronze likeness of Lentil and his dog. Lentil was the popular character in McCloskey's first book, "Lentil", one of three of his books which reflect his Hamilton childhood. The dog (unnamed in the book) acquired the name "Harmony" as a result of a children's contest. Mrs. Sch?n is widely recognized for her sculpture of "Mrs. Mallard and her 8 Ducklings" in the Boston Public Garden (and later in Moscow), inspired by another McCloskey book, "Make Way for Ducklings".
Robert McCloskey received many honors during his lifetime. He was the first author to be awarded the prestigious Caldecott Medal twice. In 2000, the Library of Congress presented its "Living Legend" Medal to him. He was unique in that his talents were both literary and artistic.
His talents as an artist were demonstrated at an early age; when only 19 years old, he was chosen to design the bas relief carvings featured on both the exterior and interior of the new Municipal Building, which opened in 1935. His influence is evidenced throughout the beautiful art deco structure. A new organization, Heritage Hall, was formed in 2003 for the purpose of helping to promote and preserve local and county history. It is located in a portion of the former Municipal Building adjacent to this park. In addition to rotating exhibits, it includes a permanent McCloskey Museum with a large collection of paintings, personal items, films and other memorabilia. Please plan to visit Heritage Hall.
This beautiful park, dedicated with the unveiling of the Lentil sculpture on September 21, 2001, officially was designated "Lentil Park" by the Hamilton City Council in September of 2005.
The Hamilton Community Foundation May, 2007