Document 23: Seattle Parks

First Annual Report of the Board of Park Commissioners, Seattle, Washington, 1884-1904 (Seattle: Lowman and Hanford, 1905), 4-6. 
Seattle Municipal Government, Don Sherwood Parks History Collection, Chronological Files.  Seattle Municipal Archives, Office of the City Clerk, Control No. 5801-01, Box 1, Folder 5.

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E. O. Schwagerl, Superintendent and Engineer of Parks, writing of his survey of potential park areas in 1894:

[The lands along the western shore of Lake Washington are] “…yet untouched by the blasting fires of the logging camps and clearings that have ruined and devastated parkable trees and growths of nearly every portion of the Sound country, and destroyed the possibilities of natural parkas and beautiful landscapes. The natural verdure around Lake Washington is still in it maiden beauty, and the people, not only of the city but of the entire state, may be thankful that such a fate has not befallen it. The woods often thrust their natural beauty, grandeur and shapeliness to the very summits of these picturesque bluffs and hills. This ribbon of grand is easy of access to the citizens of Seattle, and posses the character and features most suitable for a romantic pleasure round, and affords possibilities rarely found in such close proximity to a great city, for its large population to enjoy the vast extent of aquatic pleasures already so well patronized.”

Discussing the need for parks, Schwagerl wrote:

“Parks are Nature’s innocent and holy inspirations, and in them are whispers of peace and joy. Parks are the breathing lungs and beating hearts of great cities; the multitudes, their circulating blood rushing hither and thither, performing the functions of life and usefulness, and when the lungs are freshened and purified, they reinvigorate the whole system through the pulsating beats of these life-centers, where rich and poor mingle to inhale the unalloyed, God-given perfumes to body, mind and soul.”

Center for the Study of the Pacific Northwest