Point Defiance: 100 Years and Beyond  
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Hare & Hare report to park commissioners - 1911
100 years of change
New attractions mean more family fun

For more Point Defiance photos from this particular era check out ... 1950 - 1969 Photo Gallery

The News Tribune
1966: Cindy, an ornery but beloved Asian elephant, arrived at Point Defiance in 1965. She was transported to San Diego in 1982, but by 1988 she had finally worn out her welcome. She was sent back in 1992 after failing to breed or get along with the zoo's herd. She was euthenized in 2002 at age 40.
Following World War II, new traditions and attractions grew at Point Defiance as others faded.

The widespread ownership of automobiles made the point a truly regional attraction, an easy day or afternoon excursion. The long tradition of salmon bakes was reinstituted in 1962 in part to attract visitors to the World’s Fair in Seattle.

The youngsters of the baby boom generation discovered the wonders of the park, including some built just for them. The Funland amusement park underwent an expansion and renovation, while private entrepreneurs opened Never Never Land, bringing childhood storybooks to life in the forest. The zoo opened its Children’s Farm Zoo, where city kids could mingle with goats, ducks and rabbits.

While zoological and undersea exhibits had existed at the park for years, the modern Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium came into shape during this period. A key milestone was moving the waterfront aquarium to a two-story building with a 140,000-gallon tank at the zoo. In 1965, Tacomans welcomed the zoo’s newest addition, Cindy the Elephant.

Adding to the living history theme already seen at Fort Nisqually, the Camp 6 exhibit let visitors experience life in a logging camp.

The News Tribune file
1950s: Owen Beach has been a popular draw since the park's earliest days when it was called Picnic Beach or "new beach." In 1959 it was named in honor of former park Superintendent Floyd Owen.

Metro Parks Tacoma Archives
1960s (Far Left): Never Never Land, a fantasy world playground, opened along Five Mile Drive in 1964. The park district bought it from the private owner in 1986 and planned to replace it last year with a modern play area. Public outcry from nostalgic visitors, however, made the district change its mind.
Metro Parks Tacoma Archives
1960s: Thousands flocked to Owen Beach for salmon bakes from the 1960s to 1980s. American Indian salmon bakes date back much earlier. The modern tradition began as a way to lure tourists from Seattle's 1962 World's Fair down to Tacoma.

For a more complete photo gallery of this era ... 1950 - 1969 Photo Gallery

1950 South State Street, Tacoma, Washington 98405 253-597-8742
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