Special Reports

Hidden history

Most park visitors have seen Wallace Playfield and don’t even know it.

It’s the unmarked expanse of land that serves as overflow parking between TNT Family Go-Karts and the ferry landing. And it was a prominent feature of the park in its early years.

The area featured a baseball diamond in 1929, the same year that Tacoma businessman Hugh Wallace, who helped Point Defiance get its park designation, donated $10,000 for the playground.

However, 1929 also brought the stock market crash. Plans for wading pools, an archery course and tennis courts were scrapped. From the 1930s to the ’60s, the area was home to Funland amusement park.

Park planners are working on how to revive the underused area, considered some of Point Defiance’s best real estate. If the park pushes through to Ruston Way one day, the land could provide a new entrance to Point Defiance.