Letter – Name park trails for Pitt

Published 7:01 pm Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Editor, The Smithfield Times:

Although it’s not yet officially in effect, the Smithfield Town Council has made it clear that it intends to honor Carter Williams by naming the trails in Windsor Castle Park after him. However, no one, save for Joseph Luter III, deserves our gratitude and recognition for bringing us the park and the trails more than Lawrence Pitt, who was engaged by Mr. Luter to design and build the park we have today.

Lawrence put in endless hours, days, weeks and months designing every detail, every bend in every trail, each and every tree that was to be spared (he crawled on hands and knees through the underbrush to mark those trees with orange surveyor’s tape), the locations and design of the footbridges, the Cypress Creek Overlook, kayak launch, fishing pier and all the resting benches along the trails, the parking amenities at both the kayak launch and at the picnic area, as well as the construction of Dan Smith Drive and Kayak Lane. His work included all the numerous and onerous governmental permitting work, the contracting for the construction of all the footbridges, the specification of foot friendly “moon dust” path material, and the direct supervision of the work crews doing the work. He did it all. 

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

It should also be mentioned that, when the negotiations between Mr. Luter and the then-owner of the land, Lewis McMurran, were about to collapse, Lawrence made the recommendation to Mr. McMurran that his sale of the land would result in a tax benefit. That convinced Mr. McMurran to sell the land to Mr. Luter, who then built the park and gave it to the town with the proviso that the town carefully maintain the park in perpetuity. Thank you, Mr. Luter! 

But for Pitt’s last-minute intervention we would not have the Windsor Castle Park today; we would instead have Mr. McMurran’s “Villages at Windsor Castle” massive housing development.

It would be a grievous injustice to ignore Mr. Pitt’s singular role in creating the park, as the Town Council is bent on doing. The trails should bear his name or none at all. 

There are numerous other ways to honor the past service of Carter Williams, and to honor him for the trails that Lawrence Pitt imagined, designed and built is a slap in the face to both Mr. Luter and to Mr. Pitt.


Dave Goodridge