In 1919, right after the end of WW1, the story goes, a young man named Paul Rynning who in later years was for many years the county engineer, planted a maple tree in memory of a friend killed in the war.
The place he planted the tree was on a piece of ground that was then, or later, Jackson County Fairgrounds property. At the time Jacksonville was still the county seat and Medford was the main train stop with a population of about 5,000.
After the first tree, others followed, each in memory of a WW soldier who gave his life in the war, so that in the years 1919, 20 and 21 a total of 106 maple trees were planted, all purposed to honor individual, but now un-named former citizens of Jackson County.
Many years later, in 1938 a man named Charles Myers came to Medford to be placed in charge of Maintenance and Building for the Civilian Conservation Corp (CCC-a public works program that put over three million young men and adults to work during the Great Depression of the 1930's and 1940's in the United States), their headquarters were adjacent to the 2 1/3 acre maple tree grove.
One day Myers, better known as Mr. Volunteer among vets and called "Charley" by everyone, saw two people, a man and a woman standing among the trees in obvious despair at the then run down condition of the once pretty little grove. They told him they returned to the valley after many years in L.A. to visit the tree they planted nearly 20 years before in memory of their son who was killed in the war and told him the story of the trees. How mothers and fathers, friends and family had planted a maple tree, each in memory of their own war dead. It was then that Charley went to his boss, Captain Meyering, the CO of the CCCs asking could maybe the CCCs do something to help.
Captain Meyering responded by assigning a crew to grub out the brush and weeds, take out dead trees and trim the others, and to level the ground a plant a lawn, the grass seed furnished by another Charley, a great citizen named C.C. Hoover.
The CCCs kept and maintained the area until they were disbanded in 42, right after Pearl Harbor. Through subsequent years reportedly, both the kiwanis and Jaycees contributed to its welfare. On August 25, 1958, the Jackson County Court deeded the park to the City of Medford conditionally "as only so long as said property is devoted to purposes of a public park", to become a city park, called by some as Maple Grove Park.
On Sept 1, 1962, Alba Day, the park was officially named Parco D Alba dedicated to Medford's SisterCity - Alba Italy
On Aug 14, 1966 the vets of WW1, Barracks 540, with the Auxiliary, erected a monument in the park in memory of WW1 vets. In 1985 the name was changed to VeteransPark.
Over the last several years veterans and other community members have worked hard to erect several memorials at the site. The Medford Parks and Recreation Department has a complete listing of those memorialized and are working to upload maps and location markers.
The site also has a refurbished BiWay marker placed by the Medford Garden Club. The community continues to meet at the site to recognize Veterans Day in memory of those who served.