Bliss Park

Also known as: Campau Farm, Butchers Woods
SW of jct. of Houghton St. and N. Michigan Ave., Saginaw, Michigan


Street View 


A two sided Michigan Historical Marker here reads:

Aaron T. Bliss, governor of Michigan from 1900 to 1904 donated this parkland to the city of Saginaw in 1903. The Cottage Garden Company of Queens, New York, created an artistic plan that made the park seem larger than its actual size. The completed park featured two small brick buildings, more than 2,800 shrubs, vines, trees and plants. It has a heart-shaped flower garden as its centerpiece. Charles Willis Ward, one of the most important carnation horticulturists of the Victorian era oversaw the work. Distinct landscapes define the park area: an open recreation ground, a playing field, a wooded picnic grove, and a ceremonial plaza. The parking area was constructed in the late 1930s as part of a Works Progress Administration project.

Side 2:

Governor Aaron T. Bliss and his wife Allaseba, purchased this land and donated it to the city as a park as part of a deal that provided for the establishment of the State Employment Institution for the Blind on a parcel just north of here. Originally a farm, this property served as a popular gathering place and informal recreation ground long before becoming part of the park system. The Blisses believed that the park would beautify and enhanse the reputation of Saginaw and draw visitors to the city. Their gift influenced the creation of a Park and Cemetery Comission in 1905 to care for the city's open spaces. After Aaron Bliss died in 1906, his will established a trust fund for the continued upkeep and beautificaiton of the park for future generations.

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on December 7, 1995
Reference number
Areas of significance
Community Planning and Development; Social History
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
A - Event; B - Person
Property type
Historic functions
Park; Outdoor recreation
Current functions
Park; Outdoor recreation
Periods of significance
1900-1924; 1925-1949
Significant years
1903; 1938
Number of properties
Contributing buildings: 1
Contributing structures: 1
Contributing sites: 4
Contributing objects: 2
Non-contributing buildings: 1
Non-contributing structures: 1
Non-contributing sites: 2
Non-contributing objects: 1