Kiwanivista Park

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Kiwanivista Park on U.S. 60 at Ona was once a popular picnic spot.

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HUNTINGTON  Kiwanivista Park on U.S. 60 at Ona was once a popular roadside park.
 It provided a great setting for a Sunday picnic, and folks making what was
then a long drive between Huntington and Charleston sometimes
stopped there to get out of the car to stretch their legs a bit.

But that was before construction of Interstate 64 diverted traffic from U.S. 60
 and reduced the trip between Huntington and Charleston to only
an hour or so. Over time the once busy park went mostly
unused - other than by the teenagers who
 liked to hang out there after dark.

The Cabell County Commission acquired the 86 acres of what became
Kiwanivista Park in 1947 and contracted with the Kiwanis Club
of Huntington, which developed a half dozen or so acres along
 U.S. 60 into a roadside park. The majority of the parcel
 remained an undeveloped wooded hillside.

Noting that the park property was little used, the county commission indicated it
 might sell it. It then received a number of proposals from would-be buyers.
 Sorting through the proposals, the commission decided the best
 course would be to put the property up for public auction.

Some people suggested that rather than selling Kiwanivista, the county should
develop it into a full-scale recreational facility. The commissioners
 responded that such an ambitious undertaking would require
 millions of dollars - money it didn't have.

In offering the park property for sale, the commission stipulated that
part of the parcel be used for commercial or industrial purposes
 and the remaining acreage be reserved for residential use.

In 2003, the commission sold Kiwanivista to American Trust of
 West Palm Beach, Florida, after the real-estate holding company
submitted a high bid of $385,000 for the parcel.

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Note:  This Article and picture appeared in the Herald-Dispatch Newspaper on June 25, 2018.

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