From Brickyard to Park: Cannon Hill Park

The park site was originally home to a brickyard. Henry Brook discovered a clay deposit in the 1880s and it was used for making bricks. Once all of the clay was harvested, the brickyard moved leaving a shallow depression. When repaving the streets on the South Hill, bricks made from this brickyard, with no identifying stamp, are found.

The park was originally named Adams Park because the land was owned by John Quincy Adams' grandson. It was changed to Cannon Hill Park for A. M. Cannon, local banker and real estate developer.

When the Olmsted Brothers came to Spokane in 1907, they left Spokane with a design complete with a stone shelter, two pergolas, and a children's wading pool. The wading pool was easy to construct as the depression left by the brickyard left a natural pool, shallow enough to play in to cool off in the summer and freeze for ice skating in the winter. It was recommended in the Olmsted Brothers' report that, "this park should be refined and pretty and adapted to quiet recreation on the assumption that the larger boys of the neighborhood can easily walk to Manito Park for ball games and other sports."

Images

Brickyard in 1887

Brickyard in 1887

This 1887 photograph, reprinted in the Spokesman-Review in 1919, show men digging clay for the brickyard that once stood near the park. Owned by J. T. Davis, the brickyard was active only a few years before the deposits of clay were exhausted. Bricks from this site were used in many of the earliest Spokane buildings. Image Courtesy of the Google News Archive. View File Details Page

Cannon Hill Plans

Cannon Hill Plans

Image courtesy of Northwest Room, Spokane Public Library, Spokane, WA. View File Details Page

Cannon Hill in Winter

Cannon Hill in Winter

Image courtesy of the Northwest Room, Spokane Public Library, Spokane, WA. View File Details Page

Cannon Hill circa 1910

Cannon Hill circa 1910

Image courtesy of the Tony and Suzanne Bamonte Collection, Spokane, WA. View File Details Page

Audio

Clearing the Ice - Ed Ellefsen

Former Park Employee Ed Ellefsen talks about clearing the ice. View File Details Page

Video

Cannon Hill

Spoken from Joan Hockaday's Greenscapes, images courtesy of the Northwest Room, Spokane Public Library, Spokane, WA, the Tony and Suzanne Bamonte Collection, Spokane, WA, and some images taken by Tracy L. Rebstock View File Details Page

Cite this Page:

Tracy L. Rebstock, “From Brickyard to Park: Cannon Hill Park,” Spokane Historical, accessed June 23, 2017, http://spokanehistorical.org/items/show/101.
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