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Golding Family offers land overlooking the Mississippi River for a community park



Golding park, riverfront park
The property at Oak and Lee. Photo by David Day

The Golding family has offered to donate land for a community park.

The property, located at Oak and Lee streets, provides a majestic view of the Mississippi River as it turns south towards Natchez and New Orleans.

“Vicksburg has given us so much, provided us with such a good workforce for our company that we want to give back and we want to turn this land that we are not using, that is vacant, and let the city and county turn it into the new riverfront park,” explained John Reid Golding.

Austin and John Reid Golding.

The current Riverfront park is eroding and was deemed unsafe after heavy rains in January and February of 2020. The city closed the park in April of 2020.

The City of Vicksburg has approved their resolution to accept and develop the gift. The Warren County Board of Supervisors are expected to address the donation at their next meeting. “We are very hopeful and motivated that the county is also going to give this the thumbs up,” expressed Golding.

The area surrounding the park has been undergoing some revitalization and Golding hopes, if the offer is accepted by the county, that the donation will spark even more investment in that area. “We think this park will jump-start that rejuvenation of that neighborhood,” said Golding. “I’m not going to steal their thunder and say too much, but I think everybody is going to have a wow factor when they see what the plans are.”

The Golding Barge Lines website notes that the business began in Vicksburg in 1960, “…when Thomas Golding partnered with the Brent family from Greenville, MS to form the Guatemala-Memphis Line. These pioneers bought a small ship and started operating it from Guatemala to Memphis, Tennessee. In 1965 Thomas Golding started a shipyard and drydock facility in Vicksburg known as Big River Shipbuilding. The owners of Big River diversified into the operation of boats and tankbarges in 1969 by forming Ole Man River Towing.” In 1992, Steve Golding decided to sell Ole Man River and in 1995 reentered the business opening Golding Barge Lines.

“So many people want to ask the city and county, what can you give me?” said Golding. “We wanted to give back to the city. The city needs giving back to and we wanted to give, to donate this land as a thank you and as a way to rejuvenate our community.”

The Golding Family at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church.

The Warren County Board of Supervisors are expected to address the offer at their next regularly scheduled meeting.




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