Prior to its use as a park and a
playground, the property belonging to Mathias Soverel was mostly
known for its large lake (Springdale) which supplied the Oranges
with blocks of ice for their ice boxes in the days before
electric refrigerators. But there was also a smaller pond that
was used for recreational skating in the winter time. You can
read about this earlier history of the site HERE.
2014 Google Satellite Map
Adults and children are gathered
on Soverels Skating Pond for sleigh rides in this photo
taken on Christmas morning, 1896. A mule is hitched to the sled,
which appears to have rows of bench seats for multiple riders.
To celebrate the opening of
Soverel Field as a playground in 1929, a variety of activities
were held including this marbles tournament.
East Orange was one of the first
cities to take advantage of surplus war materials. Circa 1950,
park director, Graham M. Skea (inset), asked the Navy for a
surplus fighter plane. It was granted, provided that he could
remove it from the depot in Philadelphia. Skea secured a truck
and, with the aid of some of the park departments
maintenance men, brought the plane to Soverel Field. You can read
more about this famous plane at the Stockton School Blogspot.
Today (2014) according to the city Web site, Soverel Field, located in the 1st Ward of the City,
borders Springdale Avenue, Brighton Avenue and North Park Street.
Soveral Park is the largest park in East Orange. It has 2
baseball fields, a softball field, a walking track, 3 basketball
courts, 7 tennis courts, 2 playground areas, and a field house.
Little league baseball and soccer are played at this park. It is
the practice field for East Orange Jr. Jaguars Football Team.