The following history is an abridged text. For more information, view the full document
Shorewood Park forms the southern boundary of the Shorewood School grounds. This north-Burien elementary school was "quickly built" as a 10-room facility in 1951 on a "minimal site of 7.8 acres" to handle the area's growth. A year later, six rooms were added and, two years after that, six more, needed to house the 655 pupils who were soon enrolled there.
Shorewood Elementary School opened in September 1952. There were 10 classes and 11 teachers--one class being held in the hall. By 1963, Shorewood was the largest elementary school in the Highline District, with 750 students, 25 regular teachers, 21 classrooms and 4 portables.
When the ground was leveled to build the school and adjoining playground, the head of the ravine (in which the current park lies) was filled in. This was a major project involving much engineering work. The ravine's natural drainage was diverted west and under 28th Ave. SW. Previously, during severe storms and "gully washers," accumulated stormwater would shoot down the ravine - rushing over a small earthen dam which bisected the park - dumping mud and debris in the cul de sac below (27th Pl.) and onto Marine View Dr.
Originally, the Shorewood Park property was owned by a Mr. Wallace, who resided on Vashon Island. Wallace owned most of the land bordered by 28th SW, 119th SW and Marine View Dr. He built at least six homes (or sold the lots for them) in this neighborhood. During the 1960s (and perhaps earlier) the Brunner family lived in the home just southwest of the entrance to the Park on 28th SW.
Wallace could have developed the Shorewood Park property as late as the 1970s. He wanted $50,000 for the land - most of it with nice views of Puget Sound - but there were no takers. Eventually, King County purchased the land, turning it into Highline Neighborhood Park No. 4. It was added to the King County Parks Department’s list of active Forward Thrust projects in April, 1971.
There was much debate about what to do with the new park. There was a lot of junk and debris on the property - piles of lumber and bricks, an old car, wagon wheels, and whatnot - and the County decided to keep it as an unenclosed park. There was also a small house or cabin in the park, which the County rented out. There was a road of sorts into the park on which one could drive (and turnaround) at least as far as the dam, and also a small wooden bridge which spanned the gully and even connected to 26th Avenue SW.
Continue on to learn about Outdoor Education at Shorewood Park