Tag Archives: Park

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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Marlake at the West Hylebos Wetlands Park

Marlake

Dear husband and I wanted to stretch our legs today so we went to the West Hylebos Wetlands Park in Federal Way. Our intent was to walk along the boardwalk path, but we turned right instead of left and ended up at Marlake (that’s what Google Maps says it is called). It is really a beautiful spot and some of the surrounding area must have been an orchard at one point because we found plum, pear and apple trees, as well as grapes and blackberry bushes. The blackberries and plums were delicious! ¬†The lake itself has a dock with a bench on it to contemplate life. Many of the trees leading up to the lake were actually labeled and my favorite was a ginkgo tree. Such lovely leaves. The park really is a perfect place to take a walk.

On an amusing note, the handwritten sign that greats visitors asks us to protect the wetlands and no dogs (I get it), bikes (still get it) or Pokemon (what?!). I’m not sure what damage the not really there Pokemon could do. Perhaps they meant no Pokemon players. But there were a bunch of players and they were all respectful and having a good time with their families. Perhaps the highlight for me was that I won my first gym (it’s a game thing) and let out a yell of victory. An older teen smiled at me and we talk about the game for a while. He even set it up for me so that I could really win the gym since I obviously don’t know what I’m doing. I love that the game gave two very different people a chance to visit and work together. What fun. ūüôā

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There was a famous aquarium at Salter’s Point

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Dear daughter, her dear friend and I were looking for relieve from the heat on June 5 and we decided on a beach. Dear daughter suggested that beach where one goes on a footbridge over the railroad station. So after my online community and I figured out where that was, Salter’s Point at 91 Champion St. in Steilacoom, off we went. The footbridge is now a steep metal affair with gates on both sides of the stairs. It was constructed in 2014 after the prior wooden bridge was damaged and closed. About 60 trains a day pass along the tracks.

I was expecting to find some natural beauty, relief from the heat and perhaps a couple of small crabs. And indeed I found all that, but I also found an interesting history.

The covered¬†picnic area built in 1939 as part of the Federal Works Progress Administration (WPA). Per Wikipedia the WPA “was the largest and most ambitious American New Deal agency, employing millions of unemployed people (mostly unskilled men) to carry out public works¬†projects,¬†including the construction of public buildings and roads. In a much smaller but more famous project, Federal Project Number One, the WPA employed musicians, artists, writers, actors and directors in large arts, drama, media, and literacy projects.”

The remains of a marina and store is located at the southerly end of the park. The property was destroyed by fire in 2009. The fire commanded the attention of three fireboats and more than 50 firefighters from eight fire departments. In 1987 there was a homicide at the store (Wang’s Maritime Marina); two teens killed the store’s owner. In close proximity to the marina ruins was the Soundview Inn and Boathouse, which was a boardinghouse with family style meals. They also had boat rentals.

The site of the Deep Sea Aquarium is also located at Salter’s Point. It was constructed by Ed Bair, brother of Bair (Bair Drugstore). The aquarium featured an extensive collection of sea life including a seal that lived under the porch where it could swim depending on the tide. The aquarium was promoted all over the western states, but closed in the 1930s.

Here are some interesting articles about the location.

A first person account about the aquarium 

“The evolution of Saltar’s Point,” Steilacoom Historical Museum Quarterly, XIV (Summer, 1985) p. l, 3-6.

City of Steilacoom Park Info

Fire destroys Steilacoom Marina and Store

 

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Washtucna, WA

I drove to Pullman today and along the way I stopped in the town of Washtucna in Adams County.¬†The town has a population of about 200 people. I picked Washtucna because I heard it had a good birding park known as Bassett Park after the first mayor. It was some nice little park with a small creek running through it and one of the local residents came and chatted with me for a while. And then as I was leaving the town I found their original sheriff’s office/jail which consisted of a very small wooden building with two jail cells and a front area for the sheriff. There was also the original outhouse, a two seater! ¬†Altogether it was a pleasant little diversion on the long drive to Pullman and I’m glad I stopped.


  
  
  
  

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The Guardian Stone, Poulsbo

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The Guardian Stone is Poulsbo’s newest public art installation and it is really lovely. My first thought was “oh, look, a sword in the stone! King Arthur!”, but no. It being Poulsbo, the piece is reflective of Norwegian history.  The rock, steel and glass sculpture by Lisa Stirrett was installed in February 2016 at the Muriel Iverson Williams Waterfront Park. The nine foot tall piece is a nod to Swords of the Rock in Norway, though that piece is much larger (see a photo of that too). Really, it is captivating. You should go see it!

 

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The Peace Arch connecting the ties between the US and Canada

imageThe Peace Arch spans the United States and Canadian border and commentates the signing of the Treaty of Ghent in 1814. The arch was dedicated in 1921 and was placed on the US National Register of Historic Places in 1996. Both countries flags fly on the monument. The Peace Arch and the associated area are considered to be an international park and one does not need to have a passport to visit it. The Peace Arch border crossing never closes.  It was a pretty quick passage for us, only about 45 minutes.

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The dock at Thea’s Park

17750315512_5f858f945a_o(1)Thea Park hosted dragon boat races today and dear husband and I managed to see the very end of it. Not the racing part, but there was still a group receiving awards and a booth or two. I wandered on to the dock to see the new still dragon boats, their dragon heads being safely stowed.

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Velodrome at Marymoore Park

17473898391_3f8d33bc41_kWashington State’s only velodrome (a cycle-racing track, typically with steeply banked curves) is the Velodrome at Marymoore Park in Redmond, WA. Dear husband and I checked it out today. There were only a couple of folks causally biking the loop on this lovely day. Velodrome racing was a popular sport in the U.S from the early 1800s to the 1930s and has been a part of the Olympic Games since 1896. There are about 26 functioning velodromes across the country. Interesting fact, the bicycles that race the track can go speeds of upward of 50 mph and have no brakes.

While at Marymoore, we also checked out the spectacular rock climbing wall and the turn of the century Windmill in the Willowmoor farmstead area.

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Highline SeaTac Botanical Garden

17269785011_14d7690b37_oThe lovely Highline SeaTac Botanical Garden is only about 30 minutes from my house, but I hadn’t heard about it until today. It is a lovely 10 acre botanical garden which primarily features northwest flora. There is also a small Japanese Garden, a water feature and benches.¬† Close to the SeaTac runway, there were many passenger planes overhead, but it just seemed like another interesting part of the garden. Though I was worried about rain, it turned into a lovely day. My favorite part, beside the hummingbird, was the amazing gate! More info can be found here.

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Olmstead Place State Park

IMG_3031On my way back from visiting dear daughter, I stopped at Olmstead Place State Park outside of Ellensburg (921 Ferguson Road, Ellensburg, WA 98926). I was pretty excited to be able to use my Discover Pass, but I didn’t spend too much time since I was worried (rightfully so) about snow on the Pass. The park has 217 acres and plenty of pioneer artifacts. Perhaps my favorite part was the red winged blackbirds. There was an entire flock of them on the overhead wires. More information can be found here.

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