Fonda Family Genealogy

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  • ID: ind07322
  • Name: Corinne FONDE
  • Given Name: Corinne
  • Nickname: Lizzie
  • Surname: Fonde
  • Sex: F
  • Birth: 27 APR 1883 in Mobile, AL
  • Note:
  • Death: 08 APR 1950
  • Age: 66y 11m 12d
  • Note:
  • Burial: Pine Crest Cemetery, Mobile, AL
  • Note:
    b. Mobile, AL; 1900 US Federal Census, Civil District 12, Grundy Co., TN (Corinm Fondi [Corinne Fonde], Pupil, b. Apr 1883 in AL); 1920 & 1930 US Federal Census, Houstin, Harris Co., TX; 1940 US Federal Census, Houston, Harris Co., TX (Corinne Fonde, b. 1884, AL, Head); bur. Pine Crest Cemetery, Mobile, AL; o. Recreation Director, Public Recreation Superintendent >> <<

    [On Saturday, November 4, 2006, Houston Parks and Recreation Department rededicated southeast Houston's Fonde Park. Located at 5500 Carrollton and accessible from 2500 Hansford, at its opposite end, the 12.7-acre park was acquired by the city in 1950. The park's name honors Miss Corinne Fonde, a long-time administrator of the Recreation Department and the first deputy director when the Parks Department and the Recreation Department were combined into one city department. The Fonde Recreation Center, just off Buffalo Bayou near downtown and the Victorian homes of the Sixth Ward, is also named for Miss Fonde.]

    [Center recognizes Corrinne Fonde as leading light in recreation - Houston Business Journal - August 4, 2006 - Fonde Recreation Center has been a popular destination on Memorial Drive near downtown since 1965. Yet few residents likely know for whom the center is named. They may be surprised to learn it recognizes a woman, Corrinne Fonde, the city's first Director of Recreation. Fonde came to Houston in 1916 as the head social worker at Rusk Settlement House on the city's east side. In her position at Rusk, Fonde was responsible for supervising the center's activities. These included a variety of educational classes (including the city's first free kindergarten), a substation of the public library and a health clinic. Fonde was trained in kindergarten education, a new but growing concept. She had previously taught in the Sophie Newcomb free kindergarten training school in New Orleans. Her interest in recreation as a component of education led her to teach Play in Education for four summers at Louisiana State University. With this background, it was only natural that in 1919 Fonde was instrumental in organizing a department of recreation. She was sole employee in the beginning, but was supervising a staff of 40 by 1925. Fonde was a strong proponent of the merits of recreation as she saw them -- building citizenship, filling leisure hours in a healthy way, developing an appreciation for the beautiful and providing social interaction. She immediately began to formulate an extensive program that included playgrounds, athletics, music and dramatics. A special emphasis was placed on neighborhood activities. A 1924 report indicates that Fonde was successful almost immediately. She wanted the city playgrounds to be "schools of self-discovery and self-direction" for children, youth and adults. At that time, there were eight year-round playgrounds and 15 that operated in the summer. In addition, there were three free public swimming pools during the summer months. A variety of tournaments and clubs provided ongoing activity, while special novelty events such as pet shows, stunt nights and doll shows were periodically held. The annual report to the mayor in that year reported that 300,000 Houstonians participated in the Playground Division. The municipal athletic program included baseball, tennis, football, basketball, horseshoes, aquatics and track. These sports were organized through neighborhoods, churches, schools and businesses. During the 1924 season, the amateur baseball federation had 1,850 players on various teams. Community music became an important part of the recreational program. A Houston Orchestral Society, Houston Harmonic Society and a Boy's Chorus were formed. Solo performers gave concerts, and various courses in music were offered. The city appropriated $10,000 for summer band concerts presented by the Municipal Band in 51 concerts in 10 different locales. The educational dramatic division presented 55 plays, festivals and pageants with a total participation of almost 5,000 children and adults. A children's circus was an added feature to end the season. With the assistance of Frances Law, a volunteer on the City Playground Committee, Fonde had organized the first Girl Scout troop in Houston in 1921. By 1924 there were more than 600 girls involved in scouting. (Portraits of these two women hang in the San Jacinto Girl Scout Council headquarters today.) Considering that Houston was a city of less than 200,000 in 1924, these efforts seem extraordinary. Corrinne Fonde obviously laid a strong foundation for what was to follow in the years ahead. Along the way she instituted some traditions, such as the Tree of Lights erected each Christmas season at City Hall. When the city's Recreation Department was folded into the Parks Department in 1943, Fonde became the assistant director of Parks and Recreation, a position she held until her retirement in 1946. Fonde died in 1950, but the building named for her is a lasting reminder of one woman's pioneering efforts to enrich the lives of Houstonians by making the city a more enjoyable and healthier community.]

    Father: Henry FONDE b: 24 APR 1852 in Mobile, AL
    Mother: Louisa Anderson REDWOOD b: 01 DEC 1860 in Mobile, AL
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