Back to Explore

Explore the Chinese Reconciliation Park

Then lunch in Old Town

The String of Pearls Bridge at the Chinese Reconciliation Park. Photo credit: Marguerite Cleveland

Email Article Print Article Share on Facebook Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon

Driving on the flyover from Schuster Parkway to Ruston Way you may have noticed a Chinese pavilion and park below the overpass. This lovely park is the Chinese Reconciliation Park. The sculptured landscape of this Chinese garden marks a dark time in Tacoma history.

On Nov. 3, 1855 a large group of Tacoma men rounded up all the remaining Chinese in the city and marched them out of town. The next day, in the area known as "Little Canton," not far from the park, citizens of Tacoma looted and destroyed Chinese homes and businesses. In 1992 a group worked together to initiate a reconciliation process with the idea of building a park.

The park has an informative, interpretive sign at the beginning of the trail with a map and a list of the ten features you will see. Stay on the trail and complete to learn the history of this historic event. The beauty of the park contrasts with the horrific act it commemorates. It is a great place to reflect on the past and to plan one's actions to ensure it doesn't happen again in the future. The interpretive pathway takes you to a Stone Tableaux, the Grotto of the Tides, the String of Pearls Bridge and the Fuzhou Ting pavilion. This unique building was a donation from Fuzhou, China, a Tacoma sister city, to support Chinese reconciliation efforts.

CHINESSE RECONCILIATION PARK, open daily, 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., 1741 N Schuster Parkway, Tacoma, 253.330.8828,

After exploring the park, head to Old Town Tacoma which sits on a bluff overlooking Commencement Bay and on to the Spar Tavern for lunch. There has been a tavern on this site since the early days of Tacoma. The food is what you would expect to find in a pub - burgers, sandwiches, and salads - but elevated with many house-made items. The Chicken and Jos has been on the Spar menu for over 50 years. Half of a locally-sourced chicken is breaded southern style then cooked in a Henny Penny roaster which makes the meat moist and the skin deliciously crispy. Another popular favorite is the Beer Battered Alaskan Cod which is hand dipped in a Rainier beer batter then deep fried and served with the Spar's own tartar sauce.

THE SPAR TAVERN, open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Mon-Wed; 11 am to 11 p.m., Thurs-Sun; 2121 N 30th St., Tacoma, 253.627.8215,

With a fully belly it is time to walk off those calories by exploring Old Town's shops. Stop by Old Town Park and view a replica of the John Carr cabin, one of Tacoma's founding fathers. Also make sure to look down as you stroll the sidewalk in Old Town. There are commemorative plaques embedded in the concrete that showcase notable Tacoma women and their achievements. You can pick up a walking tour map from local businesses which shows how the historic sites looked back in the day.

comments powered by Disqus