Address: 1800 Lake Washington Blvd S, 98144
Seattle Parks and Recreation Information:
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ABOUT THE PARK
Colman Park is located just south of the old Lake Washington Floating Bridge. The beach itself is adjacent to Mount Baker Bathing Beach, but is a part of Colman Park.
The beach features grass, big drooping willows, and picnic tables. If you've brought along your Frisbee, football, soccer ball, or volleyball, the grass to the north makes a friendly playing ground.
(Excerpt from Enjoying Seattle's Parks by Brandt Morgan)
In 1881 the Town Council authorized the first "municipal" water company which took over a maze of privately owned systems and was authorized to charge for water service.
Appropriately named "The Spring Hill Water Co.", the needs of a growing town were served by building a pumping plant "all the way over here" on Lake Washington; the year was 1886 and the pump was steam operated. Failure of the main pump brought the designing engineers from the East, who were unable to find the difficulty. A Seattle engineer, James M. Colman, went to work and 36 hours (non-stop) later he had the pump back in service. This pump station worked "to heartbreak" during the Great Fire of Seattle in 1889.
In 1907, the Park Board was given jurisdiction of the plant site plus part of the pipeline right-of-way up the hill. Following the route chosen by the Olmsteds, Frink Boulevard was extended southward curving down the slope, joining Lake Washington Boulevard, coming up from the south along the lakeshore. Additional gifts plus the purchase of property along the north side widened the park, and in 1909 the State granted the shorelands for park purposes. In 1910 the James M. Colman Estate filed a plat in which the "head" of the slope was deeded for park purposes and the "strip" from 31st down to the lake was named to the memory of Mr. Colman.
(edited from the files of Don Sherwood, 1916-1981, Park Historian)
To learn more about Seattle Parks and Recreation,
including historic landmarks, military base reuse, and the Sherwood History
Files, view our Park History