The Fair Grounds, later known as Berkshire or Glovers Park, must have been fine for auto races, boxing, wrestling, standardbred and greyhound racing, and even for shows and circuses, but it was just not very suitable for baseball when the Can-Am League first laid eyes upon it in 1937.
"The outfield was a hayfield in those days," recalls Harry Dunkel."Terrible. The ballpark wasnâ€™t any good. It didnâ€™t have good fences around it. They were the kind they put along the roads in the wintertime, snow fences."
That wasn't all. On the Beavers' first visit to the place in 1937, the Smiths Falls Record News reported: "The mud was so deep that hard-hit balls plopped into the mud and were frequently turned into double plays."
Actually, baseball had been played at the site for some time. On May 31, 1898, the local McKeevers and Adelphis played to a tie; the game ended after three and a half innings when the only available ball was hit into some weeds on the edge of the outfield and was lost!
In 1940 installation of lights was financed via the sale of stock. Guy Barbieri remembers the park as "kind of dilapidated" in 1947. In 1948 the park was thoroughly overhauled again, and in 1950 a new orange and black color scheme was added to the scoreboard.
But that was at the very end of its useful life. We next come across the park as a mouldering shadow of itself.
In 1960 Leader-Herald sports columnist "Jigger" Thompson wrote about Glovers Park as it stood in decay, and the picture he drew was all too true of so many of the old parks:
It's no longer Glovers Park. It's Lovers Park. Someone painted out the "G" on the grandstand. It no longer hustles with activity as it did ten years ago. Even nine years ago, the last year there was Canadian-American League baseball.... There's no outfield fence to skid homers over. The grass and weeds are high. The last reminder of Can-Am ball is the scoreboard, weather-beaten but still readable. The grandstand still is there. So is the press box and what's left of the locker rooms. You can almost hear shouts of "Play Ball!" You can almost hear shouts of "Let's go, Glovers!" Almost. It took local fans several years to convince themselves that Can-Am baseball never would return.
The park was demolished in the mid-1960s for the Nichols Plaza Shopping Center, and only the light towers remained as brooding, silent witnesses to what had been, until they too were finally removed in the mid-1970s.