Around the Sound: Greene’s Amusement Park

1918 Camp Lewis Greene Park Strip Map 001.30

Almost a century ago, there was an amusement park at JBLM.

The three-story Swiss-style, white structure, just off the I-5 Freeway, known today as the Lewis Army Museum, is the only building that remains of an amusement park that once occupied a 100-acre site.
The construction of and eventual destruction of the place known as Greene Park is just one of the many exhibits included in the military museum that encompasses exhibits of regional military history and the role of JBLM/Ft. Lewis. [Read more…]

Around the Sound: Madrona Park spruce up

The main entrance to Madrona Park has long been an eye-catching bright spot for pedestrians and motorists driving past on Steilacoom Boulevard. The local beautification spot was begun about 30 years ago. Madrona resident Peggy Hemphill, is pleased.

She’s long been the woman behind the colorful, welcoming green spot whose vegetation changed with the seasons. Now she has “passed the spade on,” and others have taken it up. Peggy, along with several garden-minded women in this edge-of-the-hillside neighborhood, such as Rosa Kreger, are relieved, too, that others have taken on the upkeep challenge.

Neighbors Connie Kirkpatrick and Mary La Tourelle are the newest ones to take on the project. According to Kirkpatrick, this past summer many of the 200 Madrona-area residents contributed funds for the project.

This past December the original wood entrance sign was replaced with a sturdier, fresher one. Mondo grass and colorful heathers will soon be planted. Father Nature Landscaping of Tacoma built the pillars, while Valley Signs of Orting crafted the sandblasted sign that reads, “Madrona Park.” (Valley Signs, Kirkpatrick added, also designs Starbuck’s signs.)

The sight of this off-the-road beauty spot, like several others around town, underscores a friendly “welcome to our community.”

Around the Sound: A new trail through Cormorant Passage


Between Cormorant Passage and Saltar’s Point Elementary, there’s a primitive, bark-filled trail that’s been waiting for a facelift. The woodland route, where small purple flowers—Vinca Minor—and bright yellow daffodils are blooming, offers a pleasant access through this area. It’s designed for safe and easy access for school children moving between school and home. [Read more…]

Around the Sound: A Steilacoom Valentine


“What’s your favorite valentine, Grandma?”

The question was posed by my 19-soon-to-be-20-year-old granddaughter in a recent, rare e-mail. She’s currently a sophomore at Washington State University studying to work in a field that’s fairly new: Marketing Information Systems, and usually way too busy to write. I understand. Ah, yes…technology! Amazing, when I think how fast the time has past. She was born a few years after I settled in the Town on the Sound and immersed myself in the culture of this place, The Place of Firsts, as it’s known. [Read more…]

Around the Sound: A great day for the Ducks


On a drizzly Wednesday morning—great weather for ducks—and also for the newest Duck.

Steilacoom High School Senior Fotu Leiato celebrated this typical Northwest rain day by inking his letter of intent on Feb. 4 to officially become a Duck at the University of Oregon this fall. Leiato received a four-year, full-ride scholarship to the Oregon school where the 17-year-old plans to major in Psychology and play football, of course. [Read more…]