Originally name Montrose Park, this delightful piece of Spokane’s history is still a staple among Spokanites for over 100 years after its creation. Francis Cook purchased over 200 acres of land in 1883 on Grand Blvd Hill with the intent of building homesites. However, Cook lost the land in 1893 due to the depression. The city then renamed the plot of land Manito Park meaning “spirit of nature”.
At the time, tennis was a very popular sport, so the two tennis parks were installed. Initially, money was tight for park; the first swing set was fashioned out of two old power line poles! As the park gained moment, a zoo was set up and covered nearly 80 acres of land. The Manito Zoo was home to many different types of birds and mammals. It even housed foreign animals such as kangaroos and polar bears!
Eventually, after 30 years, the zoo shut down. Many believe it was because a polar bear drew blood when a small girl was feeding him. However, the zoo was actually closed down because, after the Great Depression, they didn’t have enough money to feed and house the animals.
Today, Manito Park is alive and well. Visitors can be seen feeding the ducks, walking their dogs, gazing at beautiful flora, and spending quality time with their loved ones. If you are interested in homes for sale in this beautiful neighborhood click here.