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My newest chapters:

Amusement Parks has been rewritten and retitled:


A new chapter has been written for:



Spokane’s Natatorium Park was one of the earliest amusement parks in the Northwest. The Park was located on the Spokane River where it begins a big “S” curve. It was several miles from the center of town at the end of Boone Avenue. The park was originally called Ingersoll Park which had a picnic area near the river. In 1887, a Spokane capitalist by the name of Sherwood, financed a cable car line across the first wooden Monroe Street Bridge. The cable car needed a destination at the end to attract riders. So they installed a baseball field that opened on July 18, 1889.

The park was very crowded on baseball days but empty at other times. A year later, a casino and bar opened there on July 26, 1890. The name was changed to Twickenham  Park after a housing development of the same name.

In 1893, the Spokane Street Railway, which was owned by the Washington Water Power Company (WWP), bought the entire park and decided to expand it into an amusement park patterned after Coney Island. They built a swimming pool next to the river and set about to rename the park. They stumbled across the Latin word for an indoor swimming pool – natatorium. Over the years, the park became known as Nat Park.

Major re-writes:

Department Stores, Olds Wortman & King and Council Crest:


For many years, Olds & King was considered the oldest department store west of the Mississippi River to operate continuously in one city. Henry Corbett opened “The Store”, as it was first called, at SW Front Avenue and Oak Street in 1851. Other owners followed Corbett, and in 1878, W.P. Olds, a store clerk and S.W. King, Portland school superintendent, acquired “The Store” and subsequently moved it to SW Fifth and Washington, renaming it “Olds & King.” 



Council Crest’s Japanese Tea Pavilion is on the left and the round carousel building is in the center.

Pittmon’s Guide for 1915 described the trip on the Portland Heights streetcar line to Council Crest as “One of the most beautiful trolley rides in the world, taking you in 20 minutes from the heart of the business district to the height of 1073 feet, unfolding before you a scenic panorama for grandeur unexcelled. The hustling city in the foreground nestling on both banks of the Willamette (wil-lamb-met) River is 12 miles from its confluence with the Columbia River.”

Last updated 06-27-14


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