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20-Jul-2014 Tony B (spokane, wa usa)
Wow this place looked so cool, they should rebuild it, is what they should do, i bet it would get loads of people today. My dad talked about this place often. It would be great if someone built another one in its honor.
06-May-2014 Jeff C (spokane, washington United States)
Having returned to Spokane after 30 years its nice to see the carousel. There is a goat on there that I don't remember from childhood--does anyone know if any of the horses were damaged and replaced?
11-Apr-2014 Bob Shank Jr (Raytheon retired) (Tucson, Arizona USA)
The plastic rings of course are not as good as the old ones plus the brass ring. Also the clown with the bell in his mouth to throw the rings is gone. I would like to see someone do a scale model of nat park circa 1950 or so. The pool for the seals--the train--feeding the deer etc. I also think a small Nat Park museum might be a good idea. Thanks
Note from Gary: The goat is an antique Looff figure that is used when other figures are in for maintenance. All of the original figures are still in use on the carousel unless they're temporarily in for repairs or repaint.
The target for the rings usually operational. The backdrop is changed periodically to coincide with current events at the park.
When our dad was stationed at Ft. George Wright in his early Air Force days in the 1950s, myself and brothers and sister used to sit on the hilltop on the other side of the Spokane River and watch the July 4th fireworks at Nat Park. Eventually, dad began gathering enough money from his meager paychecks to get us into the Park. Whenever that occurred, it was always the time of our lives.
01-Apr-2014 Bill Hobbs (Dana Point, CA USA)
What an incredible place! I loved the bumper-cars, the Octopus, and the Merry-go-round (too small to gather the 'rings', but I always tried). The long-time-and-famous song-writer/music-artist, Danny O'Keefe (who I'm still in touch with), also remembers those days at Nat Park having come from Spokane and still living in Washington. Wonderful place in the day - very strong memories. Live on, Nat Park! Thank you so much for creating this site.
Attended the amusement park many times as a kid from 1961 to 1967. Rode the Jack Rabbit more times than I can count. Fondest of memories. An acquaintance has several rings from the carousel.
02-Mar-2014 Steve Davis (Spokane, Wa. USA)
I remember Nat park just like it was yesterday. Many good memories. email@example.com
01-Mar-2014 Patricia Martin (Dallas, Texas United States)
I lived in Spokane from 1955 to 1963. Going to Nat Park was so exciting for me and my brothers. However, my younger brother and I decided to ride the Octupus, and we screamed in terror until they stopped the ride and let us off. Our older brother was so embarrassed he wouldn't have anything to do with us for the rest of the day! Wonderful childhood memories with our parents in this park.
26-Feb-2014 Ron Woodgeard (Smith, Nevada U.S.of A)
This brought back some very cool and old memories.. I still love the roller coasters of today but will never forget Nat Park as a pre teen and teenager.
10-Feb-2014 rich servatius (murray, Idaho United States)
Thanks so much for this site, Kudo's.
Rode when about 12 years old. 53 years ago? However, i remember it appearing to go over the river.
27-Jan-2014 Phillip Engelhard (Vancouver, Washington United States)
Big chapter of my life growing up. I lived in the house at the entrance to the park. Worked there when I was 13 for a 1.25 an hour and had so many experiences beyond belief. The Dance Hall use to bring in concerts and Wish I could remember them all.
08-Dec-2013 David W. Jessup (Seattle, WA USA)
I first rode the Jack Rabbit with my Grandfather at age five. I remember I kept my head hidden in his lap because as we reached the top of the first rise I decided I didn't want to see any more. Later I rode in a more conventional manner. The biggest thrill ride for me was the Dragon Slide. I was first allowed to ride it when I was about eight years old.
We moved from Spokane to Seattle in 1931 when I was nine years of age. During the next several years my parents sent me to Spokane to my Grandparents each summer so we could have a "vacation" from each other. My Grandparents always arranged for at least one or two visits to my favorite spot, Natatorium Park.
In the late 1950s and early 1960s I had the privilege of taking my pre-teen children to the Nat and watching them enjoy the same rides that had thrilled me as a child. At a recent family gathering, they each reminisced about their experiences on the Jack Rabbit and the carousel. Tossing rings at the clowns head seemed to be a highlight.