City tears down the old ‘Milligan Structure’

As part of City Parks and Recreation Department plans to improve accessibility and amenities at the Sunken Gardens and Veterans Memorial at Memorial Park, the old stone building known as the Milligan Stone Structure was razed on Monday, Dec. 3.

According to Huntington Mayor Brooks Fetters, numerous stories and folklore surrounded the Milligan Stone Structure but no concise narrative has ever been developed.

“Some folks say it was used as a structure to house fugitive slaves by Lambdin Milligan; other folks say it was simply an outbuilding or a smoke house,” Fetters said. “There are no documented accounts of the structure ever being used as a retention pen for slaves.

“At the end, the stone structure was an old unproductive building, with an unproductive story, that happened to belong to a colorful Huntington personality.”

The historic Sunken Gardens were developed in the early 1920s under the leadership of then Mayor Juillerat and are now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Sunken Gardens has been used as a destination venue for weddings, family gatherings, photo shoots and outdoor concerts.

Fetters says the City of Huntington plans to make the Sunken Gardens more accessible for persons of all abilities to enjoy the gardens’ horticulture and reflecting ponds.