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Winchester park named in honor of local business owner

13 February 2020 Winchester News


Winchester City Council approved a resolution Tuesday naming the new neighborhood park on the corner of N. Kent and E. Cecil Streets Ruth Jackson Memorial Park, as recommended by the Winchester Parks and Recreation Advisory Board. Ruth E. P. Jackson was the original owner of Ruth’s Tea Room which was located on the site of the new neighborhood park from 1925 to 2005.

Ruth’s Tea Room opened in 1925 and was managed by Ruth until her death in 1953. Ruth’s husband Boyd, ran the restaurant until he died in 1983, leaving their daughter Vivienne in charge until it closed in 2005. Vivienne was still in high school when she took over for her mother in the kitchen.

“Ruth’s Tea Room was a one-of-a-kind institution operating in Winchester for 80 years,” said Timothy Youmans, City Planning Director and local historian. “During segregation, the restaurant served people of all races, incomes and social groups. Race was not a big issue at Ruth’s. It was one of the only places in Winchester that would stay open serving food late into the early morning hours. Parents knew that their children were safe at the restaurant and the owners enforced good manners.”

A historic marker will be installed at the neighborhood park to tell the story of Ruth and her Tea Room. The park is open to the public.

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