Monthly Archives: September 2011

Haunted Tacoma – Children’s Industrial Home Site

I had it in my head to look for a place that is allegedly haunted for my new place. So I googled Tacoma and Haunted and found the former site of the Children’s Industrial Home (an orphanage). The orphanage which had been on the site was constructed 1904 at a cost of $7,500.  The building looked like a mansion and held up to thirty children.  It was called the “Home on the Hill”.

In September of 1944 the furnace and the boiler in the building’s basement exploded and thankfully none of the children were seriously hurt, though two of the adults were injured. A TPL photo of the damage can be found here.

And another photo of the original building and some of the darling children can be found here.

The insurance company declared the building a complete loss and it was torn down.  A new facility was constructed on the site later. The youthful occupants of the current site complain about hearing crying at one end of the “new” building and adult staff members have reported seeing ghosts of children playing around the building.

More history of the facility can be found here.

Respecting the privacy of the current facility, I snapped a photo of a lone tree towards the top of the hill away from the buildings.



Mandolin Cafe

The Mandolin Cafe at 3923 South 12th Street near the intersection of South 12th & Proctor provides an occasional respite for us.  It doesn’t have an extensive menu, but what it has is delicious. They do have a large selection of teas, quality coffee and wines.  What keeps me keeping coming back to the Mandolin is the atmosphere, comfortable, warm, art filled and often eclectic live music.

Sadly the Mandolin Cafe closed in July 2012. It wasn’t because of their business, but instead a problem with the lease. I’m hopeful they will reopen in a new location at some point.


Evening Glow at Bucky’s

I was driving home looking for something just a little bit interesting to use as my new place of the day when the afternoon light hit Bucky’s and really made the yellow color light up.  This Bucky’s is located at 6318 6th Avenue, Tacoma, WA.

7-11 in the rain

Monday was Bookclub night and I found myself with not enough time to eat dinner (back planning on my part), but still wanting a little something. So I stopped at the 7-11 at 10649 108th Avenue Southwest, Lakewood, WA.  It looked like all of the other 7-11s I had ever been in and I thought it was slightly more interesting to take the photo through my car window.

Fire Boat #1

Fireboat #1 is one of five fireboats in the country to be a historic landmark. The boat, which is now dry docked along Ruston Way was constructed in 1929 and had served for 54 years.

Information from the Tacoma Park’s Department can be found here:

The detailed historic nomination form can be found here:



Amazing Dahlias at Connells

For years now dear daughter and I try to visit Connell’s Dahlia Farm (10616 Waller Road E. Tacoma, WA 98446. Phone: 253-531-0292) around the time of the Western Washington State Fair. They have acres of dahlias in lovely colors and various sizes and shapes.  For only $6.00 we purchased a bouquet  of the flowers to brighten our home during the predicted stormy days ahead. Per their website, the Connell Family has been growing dahlias since 1966 and has won many awards because of their spectacular flowers!

Pacific Grill


The Pacific Grill, located at 1502 Pacific Avenue in downtown Tacoma, has a splendid happy hour which extends fro 11:30 – 10 Monday through Thursday, 11:30 – 11 on Friday and 5 – 11 on Saturday.  Besides the normal drink specials, most of the food on the bar menu is half price and delightful food it is! An appetizer handily makes a meal.

The restaurant occupies the lower level of the 1890 Waddell Building which was substantially renovated and incorporated into new Courtyard by Marriott Hotel in 2004. The building is listed on the historic register. A photo of the building as it appeared in 1979, prior to renovation, can be found here:


Goats at McKinley Park

McKinley Park at 800 Park Street East sets above the downtown and dome districts of Tacoma.  The park has a relatively steep terrain and is prone to being overrun with Himalayan Blackberry, English Ivy and Scotch Broom. Several times a year, the Park’s Department rents about 230 goats from Healing Hooves to clear out this unwanted, invasive vegetation.  The goats must arrive hungry because they set right to work! They are contained inside an electric fence and each day of their six day stay, the fence line moves.

The park continues approximately 25 acres and the majority of it is undeveloped. There is a trail along the upper ridge of the park and some picnic tables. And there is also a rather nice play area for the kids and a skateboard park.


We went back a couple of days later to see the work of the goats and they had gotten a great deal done. When we went back they were mostly on a coffee break! We also discovered the skate board park the second time.

Lowell Elementary

The mascot of Lowell Elementary at 810 North 13th Street is the leopard.  Per Lowel’s website, it is the oldest school in the district and began as a log cabin in 1869 at N. 28th and Starr Street. It burnt down in 1875 and was rebuilt in 1885, and named Lowell in 1890. In 1892 a new building was constructed and the 1885 building became the annex. In 1949 an earthquake hit the region, killing one Lowell student and making the building unusable. In 950 the most recent Lowell and the one current being used was constructed and in 1961 the primary unit was built.  I was especially impressed with the mural on the side of an outbuilding on the site.



South Sound Running

South Sound Running

Originally uploaded by Gexydaf

I seem to be doing a great deal of walking as of late and my feet hurt. So I took the plunge to have a fitting and purchase decent shoes. I haven’t had a fitting since I was 8 and put my feel in one of those metal sliding size things! None of that at South Sound Running, 1736 Pacific Avenue, Tacoma. The fitter guy simply asked me my size and watched me walk. Really, its a miracle that I could remember how with somebody watching! So, now I have my new shoes and a new pedometer, I’m ready to keep up this inspired walking program I seem to be on!