An Amusing Tour of the World’s Smallest Park

Tour guide Adam Thorn Smith described how Mill Ends Park in Portland, Oregon, which holds the Guinness World Record as the World’s Smallest Park, came to exist in a short documentary by Ryan Pinkard and Christian Klintholm of Help I’m On Fire. Smith happily describes the mythology behind the park.

The story of the smallest park in the world begins in 1948 when… a local journalist named Dick Fagan began to pretend that a small circle of dirt in the middle of a road island was a park. His imagination told him that it was the only leprechaun colony outside of Ireland and the head leprechaun, Paddy O’Toole, lived there. One day Dick Fagan caught this leprechaun and asked for a wish and he wished for a park. Because he didn’t specify the size of the park he wanted, Paddy O’Toole made him the tiny one and that’s how we got the smallest park in the world.

He also talks about the original location of the park, how it is maintained and described the size of the park with bit of humor.

From this side of the park we get a great overview here’s the southern portion of the park it’s common for picnics and family gatherings mostly ants and earthworms. Over here is where we have a slug baseball league and here on the West side of the park it’s quite common for people to go forging for mushrooms. The more forested area on the rear is for walking and hiking and there are many other ways to enjoy the world’s smallest park. 

He also takes great pride in this park, noting the creativity involved.

To me this park symbolizes everything that good about Oregon. It was a little unwanted plot of dirt and we turned it into the world’s smallest park. We love it, we decorate it, we change it for the holidays, and memorials. People can come here to get married, come here to have protests…you know as small as Mill Ends Park is to me, it actually has incredible significance.

Worlds Smallest Park

Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails.