I shall begin with childhood memories of that once glamorous park. Probably my sister who was 10 years older than I, wheeled me there in my wicker perambulator, English style, along with the other big sisters who were doing the same thing. I remember her taking me to the park when I was 4 or 5 around 1908-09, and putting me on the teeter-totter. She had a hard time trying to balance her weight on one end with me on the other.
Since the park was close to Columbia School, the children who lived at the end of Eldridge Avenue used to stop there on the way home from school and swing and enjoy the slide. When I went to Roeder School for the 7th and 8th grades, we would go the route to Madison, then out through the part at Walnut as a short cut. The park was very beautiful in those day. We like to cross the rustic bridges over the pond. A stroll through the park was a popular pastime, particularly on Sunday afternoons.
I remember the band concerts, but not any particular one. The park was not used for big group picnics; there was Whatcom Falls Park, Fairhaven Park, and later Cornwall Park. I recall persons strolling through the park; taking sack lunches. Children could play while the accompanying adults would read and enjoy the beauties of the park.
There was a full time grounds keeper, Mr.Van Cruyningen who was from the Netherlands. He lived at 2630 Park Street. His son Paul, gradated in from Bellingham High School in the class of 1923. The display of blooming bulbs was an attraction.
The park started to deteriorate in the depression era. The grandstand was torn down in the 1940’s. The bulbs gradually died along with the Azaleas and Rhododendrons, and the ponds were filled in.