Monday, February 25, 2008


Bates Park, like others in the area, was named for someone who had an impact on the community. In this case, the person was Ernest “Jim” Bates, who was Woodstock’s director of utilities for nearly 40 years. What some people don’t realize is that Bates was African-American, and for most of his life, his family members were the only blacks in the city.... Woodstock Public Works Director John Isbell said Bates’ 60- or 70-hour work weeks were evidence of his dedication to the city and his job.

“He was very hands-on,” said Isbell, who began working for the city in 1984. “He wanted to make sure that he knew what the operations were directly.”

But Bates always tried to make it home in the middle of the day to catch one of his favorite shows, the soap opera “As the World Turns,” Robyn said.

Read the entire article, here.