Boyd Park located between Virginia Street and Farrington Street is named for a renowned African-American union leader named Frank Boyd (b. 1881). In 1973, the Ramsey Hill Association, proposed to the City of St Paul to name the park for Norman Kittson, one of St Paul’s early prominent citizens. Another proposal was made by the Selby-Dale Freedom Brigade to name the square block park for a distinguished African-American organizer of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters Union in St Paul. On May 1, 1976, the Park was dedicated by a group of citizens focused on labor in St Paul. The local 21 Firefighter’s Union led the charge.
Frank Boyd’s activism eventually cost him his job as a sleeping car porter, but he continued to organize the union for the rights of porters and challenging social justice norms of the time. During this time, Frank Boyd became an elector for the state of Minnesota for the Democratic Party. He was one of the first two African-Americans chosen as an elector. He attended the inauguration ceremony for Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1944. Mr. Boyd passed away in 1962 and is laid to rest in Elmhurst Cemetery.
Located in the Park’s South East side is a bust of Frank Boyd created in bronze on a concrete pedestal by the artist J. Paul Nesse. Nesse is a local artist from Stillwater, Minnesota. One of St Paul’s famous Peanuts statues, Lucy Van Pelt from the Peanuts on Parade Series 2002, came to be placed in Boyd Park at the Vivienne’s Joy Play Area. The original placement of “My Love Lucy” was at the Assumption Catholic Church in Downtown St Paul. Lucy has found a new home to the joy of many “children” at Boyd Park.
VIVIENNE'S JOY PLAY AREA
A relatively new addition to Boyd Park is the Vivienne’s Joy Play Area. It was created as a loving tribute to a child lost too soon to Sudden Unexplained Death in Childhood. The play area was designed with the help of children, built by volunteers, and dedicated in May 2019.