In 1921, the War Department alarmed Tacomans by announcing a plan to sell Point Defiance Park, Vashon Island and other property considered surplus.
Officials speculated that it was a bureaucratic mix-up.
“The war department must have slipped a cog,” Mayor Crocker Riddell told The Tacoma Times.
But the paper’s editorial board didn’t laugh it off, suggesting that darker motives couldn’t be ruled out.
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“Either Secretary of War (John) Weeks has blundered. Or the War Department is actually, seriously planning to sell Tacoma’s great park,” the paper said in a front-page editorial. “Maybe – just maybe, of course – there are influences in the national capital that want to put over a big steal.”
History suggests it was just a mistake.
The park wasn’t sold, of course, and it appears there was no more discussion beyond the initial announcement.