Dickman Mill Park Expansion & Head Saw Project

One benefit of TWA membership is getting involved in waterfront-related projects. An exciting new project is Metro Parks Tacoma's Dickman Mill Park Expansion and Head Saw project. A TWA member serves on the project's steering committee.
Photo of Dickman Park
Part of the beach area in Dickman Mill Park

One of the benefits of TWA membership is getting involved in waterfront-related projects. An exciting new project is Metro Parks Tacoma’s Dickman Mill Park Expansion and Head Saw project.  The huge saw that worked in the old Dickman Mill would be included in an expanded Dickman Mill Park along Ruston Way. The project combines history, environment, recreation, art and more.

About the Dickman Lumber Mill and the Dickman Mill Park

The Dickman Lumber Mill operated continuously on the Tacoma waterfront along Ruston Way for approximately 80 years. One of many lumber mills along the waterfront, the mill closed in 1974 and burned in a fire in 1979. Since 2001, the site has served as Dickman Mill Park. The park includes a beach, wetlands, pilings, concrete foundations, and a sign describing the history of the mill. Metro Parks Tacoma has the mill’s historic head saw — the last known head saw to operate in Washington.

Cambia Health Solutions’ gift to restore the head saw

Photo showing head saw at Dickman Mill
Photos of the historic head saw at Dickman Mill.

To celebrate its 100th anniversary in Tacoma, Cambia Health Solutions generously donated $2.9 million to Metro Parks Tacoma to restore the historic Dickman Mill head saw and expand the park. Metro Parks is managing this project and plans to publicly display the historic head saw in an expanded Dickman Mill Park along Ruston Way. The project is expected to take about two to three years to complete.

Steering Committee for Dickman Mill Park Expansion and Head Saw Project

TWA member Liz Satterthwaite of Engage Northwest serves on the project’s steering committee. In its first meeting in January 2018, the steering committee reviewed and commented on three alternative locations for the head saw within Dickman Mill Park. The group considered criteria such as historic integrity, visitor experience, safety, permitting and mitigation, cost and others.

Photo of Dickman Mill Steering Committee Meeting
The Steering Committee discusses locations for the head saw in its first meeting.

In future meetings, the steering committee will review and comment on more detailed designs and other project elements. The community also will be invited to review and comment on the project in open house meetings. We’ll keep you informed of the project’s progress!

More information about the Dickman Mill Park project: 

  • News Tribune article: “Historic Tacoma mill turned city park gets its soul back with multimillion-dollar gift.”  June 28, 2017.
  • Pictures of Dickman Mill Park and the head saw in a slideshow on King5.com. The photos are courtesy of Metro Parks Tacoma.
  • Dickman Mill Park on Metro Parks Tacoma’s website.

If you have questions about the Dickman Mill Park project, please contact Liz Satterthwaite at satterliz@gmail.com. Liz will be happy to share TWA’s thoughts on this project with the steering committee. Thank you!

 

— Liz Satterthwaite, TWA Communications. Communications@tacomawaterfront.org

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