I was lucky enough to have a brief tour of the Murray Morgan Room, which is situated in the Northwest Room of the Tacoma Public Library. The Northwest Room is in Tacoma’s originally Carnegie Library. I was lucky enough to meet Murray Morgan years ago when he spoke at this very same library. His obituary can be found here. The room is welcoming and houses Mr. Morgan’s personal book collection about the Northwest.
I had stumbled upon the Belmarlow a few years back when I went to an estate sale at the neighboring property. Today I rediscovered it and hopped out of my car to snap a photo. Two large dogs greeted me and they didn’t look too happy. So, I hopped back into my car! But then their owner called them off and gave me permission to walk around.
I couldn’t find much about the Belmarlow Addition, so I wrote to the wonderful professionals in Northwest Room at Tacoma Public Library. They said “According to the book, “Of Lions and Dreams, of Men and Realities” by Richard D. Osness published in 1976, the Belmarlow Addition was on 19th Street West, in an area of what is now University Place, and Belmarlow Beach was near the old day island bridge. Osness says a Francis M. Stephens built a store here in 1909, thus having the first grocery, general merchandise, hardware store in University Place area…although he says he had a tent store here even earlier during the summer months. The Belmarlow addition ran from 18th to 21st streets and from the water to Crystal Springs Road.”
Today’s new place is the Tom Schuster Memorial Park, located on the southeast corner of McKinley Avenue East and East Division Lane. The original marker says Ray C. Roberts Post No. 969 V.F.W. and over that is a newer sign that says Tom Schuster Memorial Park. This is a relatively small park with some benches, a marker dedicating the park to veterans and a flag pole. It is nicely landscaped and well kept.
Information on the history of V.F.W. 969 can be found here http://webspace.webring.com/people/dv/vfw969/HistoryPost969.html
and their facebook site is here
Tacoma Public Library Northwest Room was kind enough to provide the following information. “The park was renamed in honor of Thomas M. Schuster, after his death on Nov. 5, 2000. According to his obituary, Tom Schuster was a lifetime member of the Ray C. Roberts Post #969 VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars) and had been very active with fundraising and numerous leadership duties within the VFW. His obituary states that he was “instrumental in acquiring the mini park near the post home, which is being renamed in his honor for the many accomplishments achieved with distinction as a #969 Comrade.”