The top of Mt. Ephraim—at 208 feet the tallest point of Pine Banks Park in Melrose—was recently left charred by a brush fire. Even days later the area, with its view across Malden and Everett to the Boston skyline, smelled of the burn.
Note: To encourage social distancing to stem the spread of coronavirus, since March 21, parking areas, fields and the playground at the park have been closed. But the park remains open to walkers to explore the woods and ponds.
The park encompasses more than 100 acres just off Main Street, between Forestdale Cemetery in Malden and Wyoming Cemetery in Melrose, straddling the border between the two communities. The land was donated to Malden and Melrose by Elisha Converse, of Converse shoe, rubber and banking family, who served as the first mayor of Malden from 1881 to 1893.
Converse had parkways, picnic areas and playing fields constructed and ornamental trees planted, Mark Primack wrote in his 1983 book “Greater Boston Park and Recreation Guide.” The park became popular for outings and Christian revival meetings. Later, during World War II, an anti-aircraft gun was installed atop one of the hills, Primack wrote. But it has long since returned to peaceful recreation.
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