In 1842 this site became Ypsilanti's second cemetery, and at one time approximately 250 people were buried here. However, when Highland Cemetery opened in 1864, the use of this site began to decline. Inspired by a nationwide parks movement, in 1891 a group of local women began working to convert the by-then-neglected cemetery into the city's first park. Funds were raised, the remaining bodies were moved, the grounds were graded, trees were planted and walks were installed. Luna Lake, with its rustic fountain, was built. Completed in 1893, Prospect Park soon became noted for its floral carpet beds and its bandstand and dance pavilion. In 1902 a coastal defense canon was purchased from Fort McCleary, Maine, and erected here. The park became an object of renewed community pride after a major 1982-84 rejuvenation project.