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Historic Places

Our historic places make our community special and offer experiences and information that help make the past real. Take your own journey into the past at these historic places:


Alling Park ALLING PARK - 1912
Shortly before his death in 1912, Frank Alling called the mayor of Tacoma, W.W. Seymour, to his home to donate ten acres of his homestead to the city to be used as a park where the children of the city could play.
 Light House Keepers Cottage BROWNS POINT LIGHTHOUSE PARK - 1901
On December 12, 1887, two years before Washington became a state, a fixed white light lens lantern was placed on a white post on Point Brown.
 Charlotte Valbert in Charlotte's Blueberry Park CHARLOTTE'S BLUEBERRY PARK - 1994
Farmed since 1929, the last private owners of this 53 acre piece of property were Lars and Gina Berg who ran Berg's Blueberry Farm from 1952 until 1968.

 Kids Outside Ferry Park Building 1928
Tacoma's first park, just a little over one-half acre, was donated by C.P. and Evelyn Ferry on May 14, 1883 to show how the European custom of small parks scattered throughout the residence districts added charm.

FIRE BOAT - 1929

 Fort Nisqually Bastion FORT NISQUALLY - 1833
Fort Nisqually was the first European settlement on Puget Sound. The Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) of London, a vast fur trading enterprise chartered by King Charles of England in 1670, established it in 1833.
 Franklin Park Pet Show (1927) FRANKLIN PARK - 1937
Franklin Park covers more than 20 acres. The majority of the land was a gift to the Metropolitan Park District of Tacoma from the West End Playground Association in 1937.
 Unveiling of sign at Jack Hyde Park's rededication ceremony JACK HYDE PARK - 1972
Jack Hyde Park was initially purchased by the City of Tacoma from the Tacoma Boatbuilding Company in 1972. The park expanded to five acres with additional land purchases in 1973 and 1976.
 Fred Henricksen, Metro Park's Board President, at the dedication of Kandle Park on July 1961 KANDLE PARK - 1961
In 1955, Leona Maude Kandle left the bulk of her estate to the Metropolitan Park District of Tacoma for the establishment of a public playground "for girls and women as well as boys and men".
 Kids on Swings in Lincoln Park 1928 LINCOLN PARK - 1889
The Tacoma Land Co. donated 40 acres of land for use as a park to the City of Tacoma. In 1901 the Park Commissioners changed the name from South Park to Lincoln Park in honor of President Abraham Lincoln.
 Manitou's tourist park MANITOU PARK - 1915
The Metropolitan Park District purchased 10 acres in what was the extreme southwestern corner of the city. At the time, Manitou Park was considered to be one of the best tourist camps along Pacific Highway.
 McKinley Park's strawberry hill MCKINLEY PARK - 1901
The Tacoma Land and Improvement Company donated 22 acres on the east side of the City.  Landscaping crews transformed the rough, steep hill into a scenic park where a natural spring fed a lily pond and pool.
 Neighbors garden at the Park NEIGHBORS' PARK - 2006
In the early 1990s, what is now Neighbors' Park was a single vacant lot with significant issues of blight and crime; but, with the care of watchful neighbors the space has grown into a safe, vibrant park.
Originally purchased by Tacoma City Light in 1951, the Substation remained in active service until 1983. The North End Neighborhood Council secured funds and the City of Tacoma became the owner.
 The original Job Carr Cabin OLD TOWN PARK - 1940
Job Carr is one of the most noted founding fathers of Old Town Tacoma. A replica of his home, Tacoma's first residence, now serves as the Job Carr Cabin Museum at Old Town Park.
 Old Car at Entry to Point Defiance Park POINT DEFIANCE PARK - 1888
U.S. President Grover Cleveland signed a bill granting Tacoma the right to use these 640 acres, an undeveloped federal military reservation, as a city park.
 Historic image of the Pagoda streetcar station in Point Defiance Park POINT DEFIANCE PARK PAGODA - 1914
Inspired by Japanese architecture when it was built in 1914, the Pagoda is the focal point of Point Defiance Park's Japanese Garden. It was originally a waiting room for streetcars.
 Historic image of Lodge built for park superintendent in Point Defiance Park POINT DEFIANCE PARK LODGE - 1899
The Point Defiance Lodge was a private home during most of its more-than-100-year history. Built in 1898 for Superintendent of Parks Ebenezer R. Roberts, his daughter Trillium would later recall her days growing up in the Lodge with the beauty of Point Defiance for a backyard.
 Aerial View of Puget Gulch from 1979 PUGET PARK - 1888
On March 17, 1888 Allen C. Mason donated the first section of Puget Park "to the uses of the public forever." Additional land was later donated by Charles S. Reeves and others.
  RUSTON WAY - 1968
  SOUTH PARK - 1905
 Trees in Swan Creek SWAN CREEK PARK - 1956
Local Native Americans used Swan Creek and the surrounding property for hunting and holding councils up until the mid-19th century. At one time the land was part of the Puyallup Reservation.
  TITLOW PARK - 1926
 Historic image of diving platform by Wapato Lake WAPATO PARK - 1888/1920
Wapato Lake was formed approximately 15,000 years ago during the retreat of the Fraser Ice Sheet. The Native American name for the lake was "Wappato" for a wild plant (sagittaria latifolia) that grew in profusion around the lake.
 Statue at Entry to Wright Park
The Tacoma Land Company's president, Charles B. Wright, donated approximately 20 acres to be developed as a public park.