A gift that keeps giving: McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park
December 1, 2017
One of Scottsdale’s most beloved parks began forming in 1967 with a 100-acre gift of land from Anne and Fowler McCormick, heirs of the International Harvester dynasty. The McCormicks, who raised Arabian horses on their Scottsdale ranch, donated the land to the City of Scottsdale for a park that would enhance quality of life in Scottsdale for future generations. Guy Stillman, Anne McCormick’s son, helped bring the proposed park to fruition, and his passion for trains gave shape to the project.
The McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park, as it was eventually named, opened with a public celebration in 1975. The centerpiece of the park is a 5/12 scale model of a Colorado narrow-gauge railroad that Stillman had earlier built for his children on his own Scottsdale ranch. Volunteers finished moving the engines and mile-long track of Stillman’s Paradise and Pacific Railroad, as it became known, in 1974. Since its grand opening in 1975, the park has become a favorite and receives about 1 million visitors annually. During the holiday season, the McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park is decked out in lights for its annual Holiday Lights extravaganza. The special celebration during the “season of giving” makes sense for McCormick-Stillman, since the park and many of its amenities began as gifts.