Historical Natatorium Park

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 What:  Before the people living in Spokane had cars, there was one main place that everyone could get to using the trolley cars. The tracks are still visible on Boone Avenue. This park was a beautiful natural place to go where one could walk, bicycle, swim. 1894-1922 was its heyday even though it had many rides, seal tanks, baseball diamonds until San Souci West turned it into a trailer park in about 1968. As early as 1889 there was the Twickenham Baseball Park. A rod and gun club in 1896 allowed live bird shoots. In 1890 picnicers had their first 4th of July celebration. At this same time there was a casino with hotel and restaurant. In 1909 the carousel opened that is now in Riverfront Park. In 1915 Jp Sousa's band played 15 concerts here. In 1920 it held a beautiful indoor swimming pool. An outdoor pool was the only heated pool in the state. There was a song written about the park. Every time I look at the above photos and think about how dressed up the visitors there were going down the chutes in a sled with the water splashing high around them the beauty of this place makes me sad that it is gone, but it makes me appreciate Riverfront Park all the more since the beloved Looff carousel from Natatorium park is still in operation there. For more information see the book: Dear Old Nat, Spokane's playground, by Nostalgia Magazine.

 Where:  From Maple and Boone go West on Boone. Finally Boone goes downhill near the river and goes into San Souci Trailer Park. This park is the old grounds of the Natatorium park. If you drive no faster than 10mph and are very quiet maybe no one will mind if you drive through and feel the beautiful vibes that still live there.


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