Edward C. Knight was a successful Philadelphia businessman who by the 1880's was the largest landowner in Collingswood. Knight grew up in the house now known as the Collings-Knight House at the corner of Collings Avenue and Browning Road. In 1888 Mr. Knight dedicated about 100 acres of his land for use as a park. Since that time Knight Park has existed at the center of the Collingswood Borough. Not only has it functioned as the physical and geographical center, but equally as the center of everyday life. Here generations have played baseball, soccer, field hockey, skated or simply stretched out on the grass in the warm spring sun. It risks little to state that Knight Park is Collingswood's single, most significant feature.
Knight Park, as you see it today, is in reality the second park to be developed on the triangular farm field bordered by Park and Collings Avenues and Browning Road. The first park served as the central feature of the Collingswood Land Company development established by Edward C. Knight in 1887. The plan, such as it was, featured a looping road around the perimeter of the land with several entrances from the surrounding streets. Originally, the area was a large field which the 1887 New Jersey Topographic map shows had a small cedar swamp at the center where the lakes were later formed. In anticipation of the construction of a park, Mr. Knight's superintendent, Richard T. Collings, planted the whole field in wheat which served as a nurse crop to provide cover for a seeding of grass.
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