Tuesday, August 4, 2009

A Great Place to Cool Down

Ah yes, City Beach and the Park. It's been a popular place for decades. I'm guessing the first photo was taken in the late 1940's. Note where the steps go from the park, a ramp crosses the beach and goes out to the docks. Fully dressed people, including a sailor, are on the dock.

The lower photo was probably taken in the late 1950's. You can see more docks and Playland Pier in the background. The porthole windows were the doors on changing rooms. Those were removed in later years, I don't remember them. Also visible are the carousel, rockoplane, ferris wheel and swings. The swings were a favorite because you literally swung out over the water on the ride. The buildings behind housed the bumper cars, the arcade and snack bar.

There were 3 docks at City Beach, the one the sailor is on in the top photo, an L shaped dock that faced it and an island dock out farther. You can see them better in the 2nd photo. Lane ropes were strung between the main docks and swim meets were held there.
Log booms and docks were not always in the same place. It seemed like every couple years the configuration was tweaked. Now the only thing left is the swim area perimiter boom. I suppose docks were removed to lessen the liability. I miss the days when people were actually responsible for their own actions.
More pics to come, stay tuned.


  1. Just a guess, Dave, but I would conjecture that your Dad took the two pictures on "special event" days. Judging by how crowded the east end of the beach is in the first picture, and where the crowd is facing, it well could be some type of swimming competition. If you blow up parts of the bottom picture, you can see people standing along the railing on Playland Pier itself, under it at the south end of the pier, and out at the ends of the docks. Many of those people are facing out towards the main part of the lake...Back in the 50's the city would sometimes sponsor water skiing demos during the afternoon on the 4th, so that is a possibility...also, judging by the size of the crowd and the fact that some are fully dressed, it could be one of the Diamond Cup race days. Lot's going on in both pictures, and it gets the imagination going...

  2. Good deductions but I don't think it was the Diamond Cup, that didn't start until the mid 50's (1st pic) and (pic 2) I don't see cranes at where the pits were.

    Dad had footage from a swim meet in his 1962 movie "Coeur d'Alene Country." Indeed, there used to be lots of activities during Lakeside Days. Check out my previous blog with the program pages from 1957.

    Lots of wonderful memories!

  3. Not being a nitpicker, but the first Diamond Cup took place in 1958...the way the picture is oriented, the cranes in the pit area at the base of Third St. would be obscured by a) Playland Pier, b) the two story building seen beyond it (Cd'A Welding), and Younts Boatworks (the quanset hut)...there is something attracting some attention on the lake. Could have been 4th of July ski exhibitions, but the crowd is significant in its size. Even on a good day, it wasn't nearly as slammed to my memory except for those days. The logging competition was held on what is now May McKuen Field, so that would eliminate log rolling from the possibilities. Keep sending the pics our way, what a hoot to read The Old Koot! :-)

  4. More good points. Yes, the hydro pits were where the boat trailer parking is now. Cranes lifted the big boats into the water where the boat ramps are.

    Forest Festival was also where the boat trailer parking is now. Yes, the log burling was just over the seawall. I remember being down there one year and there were so many people on the dock that we were ankle deep in the water. Of course, once we knew we could make it dip under water a bunch of us kids did our best by holding onto the wooden seawall (long before the concrete wall was installed) and rocked it up and down trying to sink it. We did get water up to our knees.

    And it's Mae McEuen. And, just because some people still believe in the urban myth, she NEVER owned any of that property and didn't give it to the City of CdA. More on that down the road someday.

  5. Dave, I really like your blog/site. My dad and Grandpa get a kick out of the pics and stuff...however I have to print them for Grandpa. Keep up the good work. Remembering how it 'use to be' makes me smile.
    Bob Koep

  6. Nothing makes me happier than knowing that other old timers look back at those wonderful days in CdA. Keep sharing with everyone who knows/cares.