Location: 300 24th Ave SE
Olympia and Tacoma High Schools playing football at Stevens Field in 1929, Jeffers Photograph, Susan Parish Collection Washington State Archives
Stevens Field today (2015) photograph by Deb Ross
Olympia’s first ballfields were located at the current location of the Sunset Life Building near the border with Tumwater, extending eastwards towards the current location of Olympia High School. The property was platted and owned by Hazard Stevens, Governor Isaac Stevens’s son, who owned much of the land adjacent to South Capitol Way (see also Cloverfields Farm) Beginning in the 1890s, the ballpark property was leased to Olympia Light and Power, who subleased it to the city for $100 a year. But in 1920, the Stevens family decided to sell the original ballpark property to developers. A new location had to be found for Olympia’s playing fields.
In 1921, George Mills, a member of the pioneer Mills family, purchased the land for the new park from Hazard Stevens, then sold it to the Olympia School District for $6,000 (see also George Mills/Kent House). Mills was a hardware store owner, mayor of Olympia, school board member, and city booster. The field, named after Hazard and Isaac Stevens, became the new home of the Olympia High School ball team as well as hosting minor league professional baseball teams and even an agricultural fair. The field was much larger than it is now, with covered bleachers running the length of field along Washington Street. The current Lincoln School building adjacent to Stevens Park was erected four years later, in 1925. The school district began leasing the field and park to the city in 1963.
The photograph at above left is of a game in November 1929 between the Olympia High School Bears and the Tacoma Trappers.
Copyright © 2022 Deborah Ross