City County Park

Zearing Park, Princeton, IL


This massive park is a popular multi-use destination nestled at the North edge of Princeton this 65 acre park has been the hub of many activities. The City County Park Shelter is a setting for all types of functions, family reunions, company picnics, play day dates, anniversary parties, showers, graduations parties. The park has been a location for beautiful backdrops for many family portraits, senior pictures, social events and even an occasional wedding can be seen taking place at the historic City County Park. The early Spring show of blooming buds as well as the colorful fall foliage should not be missed.

The Princeton Park District, City of Princeton and Bureau County jointly own City County Park. The Princeton Park District is in charge of the maintenance of the park and works closely with the City and the County.

Park Features

  • Base Ball Fields
  • Fishing
  • BBQ Areas
  • Horseshoes
  • Picnic Areas
  • Shelters
  • Playground
  • Restrooms
  • Volleyball Courts
  • Hiking Trails

History

City-County Park consisted of unused land puchased to facilitate the construction of the Princeton-Dixon road, known today as Route 26. In 1954 acreage was deeded to the Princeton Park District to be a part of the park. The Princeton Park District is in charge of the maintenance of the park and works closely with the City and the County.

The City County Park is the home of the renowned log cabin. The original log cabin at City County Park was constructed in the mid-30's by the Civilian Conservations Corps. Due to deterioration the Princeton Park District tore the cabin down in 1998 and completed reconstruction on the new cabin in 1999. A dedication ceremony for the new cabin took place in the fall of 2000.

At the time of reconstruction, insufficient funds remained in order to replicate the unique stone fireplace of the original cabin. Fortunately for the Princeton Park District the Princeton Park District Foundation decided to assist in the construction of the fireplace by donating all funds raised at their 2nd Annual Wine Tasting Event held on February 21, 2004. The Princeton Park District Foundation collected over $6,000.00 which they allocated to the fireplace replacement costs with the Princeton Park District paying the remaining $4,480.00. In May 2004, a dedication ceremony was held for the new fireplace inside the cabin. "When the new cabin was built, there were just not enough funds to reconstruct the unique stone fireplace. It was a group effort between the Park District Foundation and local businesses and individuals," said Elaine Russell. "If it was not for everyone involved, the completion of the fireplace would have never taken place."

In 2008, Executive Director Elaine Russell and Park Superintendant Keith Scherer started the formal discussions with the City and the County on the repair and replacement of the park road. This project was successfully completed in 2010 with the help of all three agencies working together. The Park District paid for the $300,000.00 plus road project over 2 fiscal years.

In October each year, The City County Park is the home of the Princeton Park District Chili Cook Off Event and has been the location of the Civil War Re-enactment.

City-County Park Location