Underhill Park

Description

Underhill park started as Underhill Playfield. Unlike many of the other early parks in Spokane, which were meant to be landscaped gardens of peace and contemplation, this park was designed to have ball fields and play equipment. It was purchased in 1912 and soon it had three ball fields built and a tennis court. The playground equipment was taken from the fairgrounds and moved to Underhill.

In the 1920 park report, B. A. Clark, the Playground Supervisor reported, "Underhill Playfield was opened...and bids to be one of our most popular play places. The splendid new wading pool is much appreciated by the children."

Like other recreational parks in the city, neighbors had a love-hate relationship with the park. Some complained that three ball fields were too much and that ball games interrupted their lives with strangers asking to use their bathrooms, cars blocking access to their houses, alcohol, foul language, and unsafe conditions for children during game days. Complaints began in 1920 and continue to the present.

Today, the amenities include baseball fields, tennis courts, volleyball, basketball, horseshoes, trails, soccer/football, splash pads, picnic tables, and playground equipment. District 81 uses the park for cross country training.

Audio Show

Vandalism - audio

Former Park Employee Ed Ellefsen reflects on Vandalism in Spokane's Parks, April 4, 2012

Photos Show

1935 Newspaper Clipping

This newspaper clipping from 1935 testifies to the popularity of the baseball fields at Underhill Park. Teams included The Machiners and the Fort Wright Civilian Conservation Corps.

Image courtesy of the Washington State Library.

Underhill Park Sign

Image taken by Tracy L. Rebstock 2012

Undeveloped area near Underhill Park

Image taken by Tracy L. Rebstock 2012

Underhill Trees

Image taken by Tracy L. Rebstock 2012

Cite this Page

Tracy L. Rebstock, “Underhill Park,” Spokane Historical, accessed October 25, 2014, http:/​/​spokanehistorical.​org/​items/​show/​140.​
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