Leif Erickson Park

Alex Kornmann, 7, and sister Ali Kornmann, right, get a push on a swing from their tutor, Sarah Porter, at Leif Erikson Park on June 21, 2013. Warm, calm weather is in the cards this week.

Dawn J. Sagert, Sioux City Journal file

SIOUX CITY | Past Sioux City generations are likely to remember blisteringly hot summer days spent cooling off in Leif Erikson Park’s swimming pool, playing tennis on the park’s courts or chasing each other around the grassy grounds.

Memories of Leif Erikson Park beckon back to a simpler time when children would explore after school and in the summers, using their imaginations to indulge in adventure.

The land for Leif Erikson Park was set aside by the city of Sioux City in 1924, named after Erikson, a Norse explorer who reportedly discovered North America in 1000 A.D.

Although Erikson failed to colonize the new world, he is remembered at the park, deep in the heart of Sioux City. A plaque set into a small boulder bears his name on the grounds.

Also at the park lies a larger boulder, estimated to weigh as much as 4 tons. This boulder proudly shows the name of the park’s founder and Norwegian immigrant, John Loe.

Throughout the years, Loe taught his children, as they grew up in Sioux City, much about their heritage. This includes the celebration of Oct. 9 as Leif Erikson Day.

The 15-acre city park, at 1100 31st St., includes a picnic area and shelter, playground equipment, a ball diamond, six tennis courts and a swimming pool.

Two years ago, a proposal was floated to build the new Bryant Elementary School on the site. But that idea was nixed by the Sioux City Council.

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