Pasadena History: Opening Fort Smallwood Park
The park was previously used by the War Department.
Here’s your weekly dose of some Pasadena history thanks to The Pasadena Peninsula, by Isabel Shipley Cunningham.
During the first few years of the park's existence, visitors took a steamer to Fort Smallwood Park.
"In the mid-'20s, the War Department dismounted the guns at Fort Smallwood and sold the land to Baltimore City," Cunningham wrote. "At that time the city employed the Olmstead Brothers, America's foremost landscape planners, who recommended Fort Smallwood's development as a recreational facility.
"The city appropriated $50,000 for the purpose in 1927 and provided a steamer for access to the park. A 150-foot pier, volleyball courts, horseshoe pits, a children's playground, a bathhouse complex and 300 picnic tables attracted visitors when Fort Smallwood Park opened in 1931.
"Former barracks became an administration building, while a masonry building with a hip roof, dormers, and a surrounding porch, as well as an octagonal rustic building with an octagonal roof and open sides, served as a concession stands.
Thousands of people came to the park by steamer and automobile to swim, fish, play badminton or softball. Though the city owned the public park only white people were admitted."
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