Sherwood Park History Files
Seattle Parks and Recreation's Sherwood History Files are the incredible legacy of Donald N. Sherwood (1916-1981), who worked as an engineer for Parks for 22 years from 1955 to 1977.
In the course of his work, which included designing buildings and producing brochures, Sherwood began compiling sketch maps of the parks, annotating them with historical information. He started writing individual histories for each facility when the information didn't fit on the maps.
In the early 1970s, Sherwood discovered that older department files were being destroyed as employees retired. Sherwood urged that valuable Parks records be sorted and preserved. In 1972 he was assigned the responsibility. Although given little time to perform this duty, Sherwood threw himself into the activity with vigor, and continued this work until his position was eliminated, due to a budget reduction, in 1977.
Some additional material was added to the collection after this date by various Park Department employees. Sherwood continued his research and writing on the history of Seattle parks until his death in November 1981. The original histories and drawings of the parks he generated after leaving City employment were donated to the Museum of History and Industry following his death.
For more detailed information about the Sherwood History Files, please visit the Guide to the Don Sherwood Parks History Collection in the Seattle Municipal Archives.
This site also includes a list of Parks Superindendents, Park Board of Commissioners, and an "Interpretive Essay on the History of Seattle's Parks and Playgrounds" by Donald Sherwood, written in 1979.
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Updated September 30, 2015