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25-Nov-2007 Ron (Lebanon, OR)
My maternal grandfather came home from WWI to finish high school, took his sweetheart to the Nat for a date where they put a dime in the roller to make a promise ring for her. I just got it from my mother. Was that a big thing back then? Is the ring roller for dimes still around in storage. That would make a neat display.
07-Nov-2007 Carroll Hill (Centralia, WA Lewis)
Hi, Just wanted to let you know that Jerry Lee Lewis performed there in 1958. Our band, Clayton Watson and the Silhouettes toured the Northwest with him.
30-Oct-2007 Dempsey Kite or Al Kite - both me (Boise, ID USA)
I worked at Nat Park in 1955. Ran the RockOPlane mostly but also the bumper cars, the carosel, the octopus and sometimes helped with the wooden coaster. I worked with Phil Slusser since he got the job for me.
28-Sep-2007 Jerry Olsson (Barstow, CA U.S.A.)
I remember once when we were ride testing the coaster and were short of someone to pull the brake lever so we asked a kid standing there to do it for us. The coaster was supposed to cut the ropes and drop the sandbags to stop it if anything went wrong but this time everything went wrong.
As we came screaming into the bay the kid panicked and pulled the lever the wrong way, the ropes didn't break and we went into the tunnel at full speed thinking we would all be killed, but it stayed on the tracks and once on the pull up chain we could get out and scream at that kid.
Back in the early 60's, I remember all the Elk's & Moose Lodge gatherings when you could get 20 ride tickets for a buck. What a deal. And the free ride for grabbing the gold ring on the carrousel.
18-Aug-2007 Carol Volland Stewart (Otis Orchards, WA Spokane)
I had a fondness for the miniature train that trecked through the zoo, and seeing & feeding the seals in the old swimming pool.
I remember the ride operators pulling back the track release for the Jack Rabbit. And all the screams in the dark tunnel. And yes, all the tales of the roller coaster going off the track over the years. Which still makes me smile.
When coming back to Spokane for my dad's funeral in 1987, my family had the privilege to ride the carrousel that I rode countless times as a boy.
An old fellow classmate of mine, Gary Nance, told me about this website that he developed, so I wanted to check it out. I have fond memories of Nat Park. My family went there many times when I was a kid. It was a great place to go for lots of fun. We were very disappointed when it shut down. It's nice that some of the rides are still around & are used elsewhere or are on display & are appreciated by others. Thanks Gary for creating this website.
17-Jul-2007 Nick Johnson (Nampa, ID)
I remember the rock-o-plane, and how it emptied your pockets. Also, the house of mirrors. And cotton candy.
12-Jul-2007 ken (Spokane, Washington USA)
I like the 3-d tour that is on the web site. I will tell my friends about this site!!!!!!!!
30-Jun-2007 Ron Tredway (Oakdale, CA USA)
Used to ride the Jack-Rabbit with my Grandmother Hazel Blaxall of North Cedar St. I would take one ride and love it but be to scared for another one. Figured I couldn't survive two on the same day :-)
13-Jun-2007 Verna Bickett Williams (Penn Valley, CA USA)
That was in 1951 when I was 7 years old.
Every summer the Spokane Chronicle gave away books of tickets to the children. I can't remember what we had to do to get them, but my two brothers and myself went every year to this free event.
19-May-2007 John Odean (Severna Park, Maryland USA)
I remember a big wheel you would stand on and it would spin and we would try to keep from getting thrown off. It was fun, but could only stay on so long or we would get sick to our stomach.
Also, I remember the dance pavilion where some of the big bands would come in the summertime. I was there when Phil Harris played and the floor caved in. No one was hurt I don't believe, as it didn't fall very far.
I was born & raised in Spokane and graduated from Lewis & Clark HS in 1938. I had attended Central Valley HS for the first two years and CV was my favorite HS. I have many fond memories of my childhood and until I was 24 yrs old, when I left WA for CA and am still in CA.
Verna Bickett Williams
I have such fond memories of my childhood in Spokane. Every year we went to Nat Park. My dad was a Shriner...and we'd go on "Shriner Day". I rode the Jack Rabbait seemingly a dozen times each day.
I loved the Haunted House as well...and the train. I was there the last summer, and then they tore the place down. My aunt Ora moved into the mobile home park that replaced Nat Park. It was really sad to go visit my aunt and think about all the fun I'd had over my childhood...and it was suddenly gone.
When they had decided to move the carrousel to the World's Fair Site they held a "Save Spokane's Carrousel" fund drive sponsored by Spokane Parks and Rec. department. They sold little pink pins on buttons with green letters for a dollar. I sold the second most buttons in the city and received a AM/FM transitor radio as a prize. Boy was that a beloved childhood trophy!
Well...thanks for the site...and for one last ride on the Jack Rabbit. Whodathunk I'd get that treat again?