Crescent Creek Park – Gig Harbor WA

A scenic creekfront location with sand volleyball and a BMX park, as well as art, a playground, and ball fields.

In the late 1800s, commercial logging began in North Gig Harbor. Beginning in 1908, the Gig Harbor Timber Co. and D. Cavalero logged Crescent Valley by railroad for more than seven years. The 4-mile rail line ran from the creek to the bay along the ridge above the creek. The loaded cars were tipped off a trestle just west of Randall Drive NW by a boom crew.

Crescent Creek is three miles long, running from Crescent Lake to Gig Harbor Bay. Following the removal of the valley’s old-growth forest by logging, families began to homestead the area, earning a living through ranching, farming, and dairy operations. Crescent Valley residents would take the railroad track into town because it was a shorter walk than the trails. Crescent Valley still has evidence of the rail’s roadbed.

Crescent Valley School was built in 1915 on the site of the old Masonic Temple (Vernhardson / 96th and Crescent Valley Road). Children enjoyed fire drills because they were allowed to slide down the upper floor’s chute-style fire escape. Lucy Goodman of Crescent Valley was the first primary grade teacher. For 36 weeks of teaching, she was paid $65 per week. When the school district consolidated in 1941, the school closed its doors. The Masonic Temple Association purchased the building in 1949 and remodeled it.

The park was donated to the city by the Peninsula School District in 1948. The restrooms, stone wall, and water fountain were built in 1936-1937 as part of the Works Progress Administration program. It was the City’s only community park for over four decades and the site of many traditional church-related and family events. Crescent Creek Park was renamed in the late 1990s.

The Park’s large open-air structure, natural creekbed, and specimen trees represent an important historic landscape that represents Gig Harbor’s early rural lifestyle. Long-time residents still refer to it as “City Park,” as it was the first (and for many years only) park within city limits. It represents a significant national economic period with architectural characteristics of a type, method of design, and construction typical of WPA projects across the country. The WPA structures at City Park are eligible for Gig Harbor’s Register of Historic Places, despite the fact that the park is not currently listed.

Directions

12 min (4.0 miles)
via Harborview Dr
Fastest route, the usual traffic

12 min (4.0 miles)
via Harborview Dr
Fastest route, the usual traffic


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