Also known as Snake Hill.
In the Early History of Beverly, this area was referred to a Sanke Hill Commons. Sally Milligan Park was a gift to the citizens of Beverly from Hugh Taylor Birch who gave the original thirty-one acres to the city in 1933. He intended the park to be a memorial to his mother, Sally Milligan Birch. Mr. Birch wanted the park to be a place where residents of Beverly, especially women and children, could go and enjoy and learn from nature. He conveyed his instructions for the care of the park as follows:
“I am presenting a Deed of land for a park as a memorial to my beloved mother Sally Milligan Birch to be used and occupied as a park for the benefit and enjoyment especially of the women and children of Beverly without presenting to you any directions as to the use of the same by the city and its inhabitants but wishing you to know that I have full faith and confidence that you will see to it constantly that the women and children frequenting the park will receive special care and protection from motor driving and other machinery which are liable to cause accidents or injuries. And that the beautiful trees, shrubs and flowers now growing upon and adjoining the lands of the park may be retained for the education and enjoyment of the growing children and others who visit the park and constantly renewed in the long time to come in a way to imitate nature as near as possible.”
In 1999, the City of Beverly purchased an additional fifteen acres from the Santin family, with assistance from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the Essex County Greenbelt Association.