Marriott Park is a well known Nowra landmark but the area was known for a time as Hyam's Park after the first landholder, and as De Mestre Park after a well-known Terara horse trainer.
Eventually, it was named in honour of Thomas Marriott who had lived opposite the park for half a century.
The park has changed drastically since 1937, when Nowra Municipal Council secured the five acres of land between East and Plunkett Streets, that had been lying idle for some time.
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World War II may have got in the way, as it was not until 1945 that a committee was formed to clear the swampy parts of the site.
The committee became the East Nowra Progress Association which aimed to turn the land into a park featuring an artificial lake.
Layout of the park was designed by Nowra jeweller Leonard Long, OAM who became better known as a landscape artist, and most of the beautification work was carried out by volunteers.
Council offered to supply materials for fencing the area, and in January 1946 Messrs Harvey and Werninck successfully tendered £25 to build the fence.
Frederick Smith was the first president, and his committee included Harvey who was the nominated gardener.
His daughter Eileen, who continued the family tradition by being a member of the Werninck Craft Cottage since its inception, recalled one important addition to the park.
"Dad donated the outdoor toilet from our home in Journal Street; it was the first toilet in the park, which is something"; she said.
In November 1945 the association built a band rotunda and a children's playground.
June 1947 saw the first in a series of trees planted as memorials, firstly for the son of Thomas Marriott and Fred Smith.
Eleven trees were subsequently planted by relatives in memory of local men killed in action during World War II.
A Girl Guides' hall in the park had been approved in 1946 but it would be 1953 before the facility was occupied.
The long planned artificial lake finally became a reality in 1964 under an unemployed relief scheme.
In the early 1970s Shoalhaven Shire Council took steps to purchase adjoining land to extend the park and to undertake a re-development of it.
Thomas Marriott was a prominent Nowra citizen.
He was largely responsible for the formation of the Nowra Volunteer Fire Brigade, was a captain in the NSW Lancers and instrumental in forming the Nowra Rifle Club.
Information thanks to the Shoalhaven Historical Society