After 17 years in the making, the Captain Royal Melvin Heritage Park officially opened to the public on Tuesday, July 18th. Members of the City Council, Chamber of Commerce and relatives of Royal Melvin took part in cutting the ribbon to what has been nicknamed the “Gateway to the Harbor”. The park is located at 206 Harbor Boulevard.
“We are the sons of Captain Royal Melvin,” began Bo Melvin, as he and his brother Scott took to the podium. “It is an honor to be here today. It has been a long, long journey.”
Bo and Scott said it all circled back to their grandparents. “If it wasn’t for them, settling on this piece of property right here, five generations of Melvins wouldn’t have been able to live here or play here on this property,” said Bo. “Our father and grandparents would be humbled and honored.”
Mayor Bobby Wagner said, “We could never have done this without the partnership of the private entities, the City Council, the citizens, and the family members that that this is in honor of. This is really what community is about.”
The Mayor then presented Bo and Scott with Challenge coins, meant to honor special commitment or service to the City, which have the City seal engraved. “With over five generations, I believe that very much puts you guys in this category. I really appreciate you guys being a part of it and allowing us to carry on your legacy and the name with a new city park.”
City Manager Lance Johnson thanked both the current and past council members “for sticking with this project. I also want to thank all the staff members for pitching in and always keeping the faith. The residents, you guys stayed behind this project, and I cannot express my appreciation enough.”
The park has a small playground, restrooms, signage sharing history, water fountain, picnic pavilion, benches, and priceless views.