This West Michigan Park May Be a Tribute to the Confederate States of America
Hackley Park in Muskegon looks like any other downtown park in any city in America with walkways and statues. But some Muskegonites say there's a secret history that goes back to the Civil War.
The fascinating theory has been around for a few years, but was recently the focus of a series of articles published by the Muskegon Chronicle.
The gist of the story is this: Following the Civil War, Michigan based Union soldiers absconded all the gold of the Confederate Treasury after capturing former CSA president Jefferson Davis. Michigan banks were used to launder this money including the Muskegon National Bank, which was headed by one of the city's founding fathers, Charles Hackley.
Proponents of the theory say that Hackley Park in downtown Muskegon was built as a silent memorial to the Lost Cause of the Confederacy and a nod to the gold the Michiganders are alleged to have stolen.
The Confederate Flag in Hackley Park
In the video below, Brad Richards, one of the main proponents of the theory, demonstrates how the walkways that criss-cross Hackley Park are laid out in the form of a St. Andrew's Cross, or the same style at the Confederate Battle Flag. Further, Richards believes, the rounded walkways in the park are meant to mimic an open-face Bible.
An 80-foot tall memorial to Civil War soldiers sits in the center of the park.
How the Muskegon - Confederate Gold Theory Was Developed
Historians Brad Richards and Kevin Dyktra describe to MLive the clues they put together to develop their theory.
The full read of the theory is on MLive and it's a great story.