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Last updated 03/24/2015

Memorable Places in Spicer

A town or a community holds places that remain in the memory of people who grew up in the area. Spicer and vicinity had several such places, one of which was the town park. Despite all the people who used it so often, the grass was kept green and beautiful. The bandstand often hosted concerts, and elections were held down in the damp basement of that building. There was a bathhouse for changing, with dressing rooms for boys and girls, and a full-time attendant. There was a water slide with its stories of injuries and its being too dangerous to operate.


Downtown park in Spicer


The Red Cross held swimming lessons for the whole county there. There was a huge platform where sun bathers gathered on brightly colored towels. It was attached to the long, wide dock that extended far into the water. There were three large rafts at varying depths and, far out, a diving tower with both a high and a low board.

The refreshment stand at one time was run by Edith Boreen Thompson. It didn't have glass windows, just screens and wood shutters that opened out to let in light and air. That restaurant always smelled like wonderful hamburgers and fried onions, and it was the only place in town that had banana Popsicles.
 


Toboggan slide and cafe in the Spicer park.


The Rice Estates intrigued Spicer residents and passersby alike. Probably the gates and wall made it seem secretive. From the lake one could see a door to a tunnel that seemed to lead up to the main house. An annual custom of the owner was to host a dinner for the teachers at Spicer School, followed by at least a partial tour of the house conducted by a Chinese servant.

The hill in the town pasture was a special place to children. In the winter it was one of the few hills in walking distance for sliding and even skiing. In the spring, beautiful May flowers grew on the hill, a plentiful source of bouquets for the children's May baskets.

Green Lake didn't always freeze smooth enough for good ice skating, but when it froze mirror smooth, skating was especially fun and drew skaters from miles around.

The dump ground west of the city limits was never a great attraction, except when a youth approached the age when he or she could get a driver's license. The aspiring young driver would offer to accompany a parent making trips to the dump. The trip home was often the chance to practice driving. The dump was also a good place to practice shooting. Rats abounded and a car driving up at night, shining lights on the dump would reveal a "moving mountain" of the rodents.