Back in the thirties, one of the most popular spots in Lyon County was a 27-acre track of woodland along the Cottonwood River. This park became a reality through the efforts of interested people, the Garvin Community Club, and Mr. H.C. Garvin a retired Winona businessman. In his youth, Mr. Garvin, was a station agent at Tracy for the Chicago Northwestern Railroad. He became the chief contributor of money and equipment for the park.
As a result of the depression years, many men were out of work. Mr. Howard Bussard administered federal relief funds to pay a crew of men for the labor needed to create a park. Two log cabins were built, a ball diamond cleared, picnic tables built, fireplaces put in many locations and a swimming pool dredged. Mr. Frank Swain was hired as caretaker. He planted many flower beds and made a rock garden. He kept the park mowed and clean.
On May 30, 1935 a crowd of 5,000 attended the dedication event. The park was visited by hundreds during the next years, but spring floods washed away the bridge and destroyed much of the work done. Funds ran low and soon the area reverted to its wild state.
In November of 1967, after an 18 months process, the Lyon County Board levied local funds to match state and federal grants to enlarge Garvin Park by 490 acres and to develop recreational facilities; essentially establishing the current 750 Garvin Park footprint.
The Lyon County Board of Commissioners and Park and Recreation Board help to communicate local interest in managing the park for regional residents.