Joined: 27 May 2005
Posts: 12751 | TRs | Pics
Fri Aug 04, 2023 6:57 pm
Hoodlum Lake, Tacoma, Washington
|“Hoodlum Lake, later called Franklin Lake, was the “old swimming hole” to many boys in the West side of Tacoma. The lake was reputed to have been discovered in the early 1880s by “Biz” Burnham and his brother Nick. Sheltered by a forest of second growth timber and brush and far from the beaten path, it was an ideal place for boys to learn to swim. Some who learned to swim there recalled that it seemed like almost a five-mile walk from the residential district to the lake. John Westover, a sort of combination truant officer and patrolman, tried to make the boys wear bathing suits but the lads ignored his efforts until one day he found their hidden clothes, gathered them up, and would not relinquish them until the boys promised to wear swimming suits. Many of them then began appearing in flour sacks, with holes cut for the legs. “Pillsbury’s Best” in large red letters was splashed across the back of many an improvised bathing suit.”
* Great-Grandma Potter's house was up on the rise, right on South Puget Sound, and looked out over the entire park. I believe some of her shrubbery still survives. -BK
Tacoma Historical Society Facebook Page for Hoodlum Lake
|My Mother wrote:
|Grandma Potter was credited with saving the lives of several young boys who were drowning in Hoodlum Lake. As a child I swam in the lake and rowed a primitive home-made raft on it. After Grandma Potter passed away the Metropolitan Park Board filled in the lake and diverted the spring that fed it, claiming it was too hazardous.
They planted grass as a more ecologically sound answer. Go figure.
Eva Potter, Lady of Hoodlum Lake
"I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach.
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."