Tag Archives: Lakewood

A Barn at Fort Steilacoom Park

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Steilacoom Barn

Western State Hospital for the Insane, later shortened to simply Western State, opened in 1871 and soon after included a farm with animals. The farm included several barns and this one, near the entrance to the dog park in what is now Fort Steilacoom Park in Lakewood, is one of them. The farm workers were patients of the hospital and the farm supplied much of the food for the hospital. The farm closed in 1959.

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I went in the evening and there was a lovely sunset and a flock of geese.

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Who Remembers What Was Here?

imageI remember shopping at this large department store and I think I remember having a meal in the cafe. But be darned if I can remember what it was called! It was one of the anchors of the Lakewood Mall when there was a Lakewood Mall. The retail space has been vacant for years.

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Fort Steilacoom Museum

imageFor a year we planned to visit Historic Fort Steilacoom at 9601 Steilacoom Blvd, Lakewood, but they have limited hours (Sundays 1-4 during the summer and the first Sunday of the month from 1-4 from Labor Day to Memorial Day), and we have three different schedules, so it just took that long.

We thought it would be a small museum and perhaps it might be about Western State Hospital, but we were wrong on both accounts. The museum included several buildings and a two hour tour and was completely about the historic fort which had operated on the grounds. The tour guide was so incredibly  knowledgeable and explained the fort’s history using the detailed model and in the other buildings to illustrate to us how the soldiers lived. I found it particularly interesting that the army would send representatives back east to meet new immigrants at the docks. The men would be offered transportation to the west coast and a job with room and board. Some eventually received free land. Such an opportunity. The fort’s history can be found on their website, but it is worthwhile to visit in person and go inside the actual buildings and talk to the terrific volunteers.

Talking about the volunteers, the green tint on the two gentleman is completely the fault of the lens! I was told that the lack of smiles is because people didn’t smile for photos in those days. They thought it made them look imbecilic.

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http://www.historicfortsteilacoom.org/

Little Free Library #16986, Lakewood

19256413431_e5b9895279_kBack in November of 2012, Tacoma had two little free library, which were part of the Little Free Library Project. Now there must be a couple of dozen little free libraries and Lakewood, WA has two.

This “Little Free Library” is located at 10317 Interlaaken Drive SW, Lakewood, WA. It is unusual in that it is attached to a tree stump and has a darling dragonfly handle. Inside there are about a dozen books, but none for me today.

Little Free Libraries is part of a community movement which offers free books. When I considered my first Little Free Library in November 2012, a Wikipedia article informed me that there were over 200 of these libraries. There are now over 15,000!  Each of the libraries is registered and can be located by their GPS coordinates. Per the November 2012 website:

Our Mission

  • To promote literacy and the love of reading by building free book exchanges worldwide.
  • To build a sense of community as we share skills, creativity, and wisdom across generations
  • To build more than 2,510 libraries around the world – more than Andrew Carnegie–and then more. (yes, they made that one!)

 

Judge Wilson House in Lakewood

15997589223_b0cde1332d_k(1)After a trip to the Lakewood History Museum, I went off on their driving tour beginning with the Judge Wilson House (a private residence). The map can be found here.

Per the driving tour map:

The Judge Wilson House, a Gothic Revival two-story structure, was built ca. 1885, the same year the Western Steel Company built a plant in the vicinity hoping to make the area, known as Lakeview, the new Pittsburgh of the west. Judge Wilson was the superintendent of the short-lived company which closed by 1893.

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Lakewood History Museum

16399548877_c5def60a6e_bI had a rare free afternoon on this lovely sunny Saturday and stopped to visit the Lakewood History Museum at 6211 Mt Tacoma Drive SW, Lakewood, WA 98499. It is located in a small retail space in the Lakewood Colonial Center. It is small, but charming and I actually knew the woman who was volunteering there today. Since Lakewood is a relatively new city, incorporated in 1995, I hadn’t thought it had much history, but I learned a great deal. I hadn’t realized that the area had originally been called The Prairie and I was reminded of the fact that the Lakewood Town Center was on the site of a convent. And I enjoyed seeing the replica of an old fashion classroom and a log cabin interior. The post office boxes particularly fascinated me. Altogether I took in that although it has only been a city for 20 years, there is still an extensive past. I promised to bring my husband to the museum for a visit. The Lakewood Historical Society has a wealth of information about the museum and events in the area.

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LimeBerry in Lakewood

13895510451_03b5a67640_bLast time I was in this space, I purchased fish. But now it is a Limeberry ready to provide frozen yogurt (froyo) to adoring masses. Limeberry is located at 7304 Lakewood Dr W, Lakewood, WA 98499 in the space that had been occupied by Johnny’s Seafood.

13919059664_fa5edf3450_bUpdate 7/2015 – Limeberry is gone and the space is again available for lease.

Vinotique in University Place

 

Wine & CheeseVinotique at 7304 Lakewood Drive West in Lakewood, is in the same center as Tacoma Boys. Per the owner, they are in their 25th year of operations! They have a wonderful wine selection and plenty of cheeses, but what I didn’t expect is that they serve deli meals. On Friday nights they serve tapas. Their website is here and their Facebook page is here.

Update: Toward the end of 2014, Vinotique’s owners retired and the store closed.