12 thoughts on “Lincoln Heights Lake and Boathouse

  1. The photos of Lincoln Park before the city of Los Angeles forgot it existed are some of the most amazing photos I ever have seen; when compared to how the park looks like today.

  2. It’s really sad, isn’t it? At least Lincoln Park has some of the original architecture like the Boathouse. The art deco entryway is a complete mess and I bet it wouldn’t even cost that much to repair.
    The Eastside park that suffered the most though is Hollenbeck Park. It used to be gorgeous!
    I love the old photos of the trolley and red line cars on your site, Walt. Click his name to see them!

  3. I’m not old enough to have visited the Selig zoo, but my dad did. He turns 94 this month. Old Lincoln High boy, when it was mostly Italian kids.

    He took us to the park and we rode the merry-go-round over and over, reaching for the brass ring to get the free ride. And there was the pony riding concession across the street. A dusty lot. Where the DMV lot is. Remember?

  4. As a kid in the fifties I spent a lot of time fishing from the boathouse area as it was the hot spot for catching bluegill and sunfish. If you got there early with your doughballs (rolled up bread), or could dig up some worms from the bird of paradise flower planters at the Mission Rd entrance, you might catch 40 or 50 fish, and walking home down Main St with a stringer of fish a kid could feel proud because that would be dinner for the family that night. Of course gutting all those fish sometimes ruined my apetite.
    That boathouse fishing hotspot was the scene of a lot of chingaso’s because some older kids would always try to take your spot by force.
    I remember those old wooden motor boats they would rent out at the boathouse, I think they would be worth a lot of money now if they were still around, classics.
    Darrell mentions the old merry go round and we kids rode it often when we had some extra change, (usually stolen from somewhere), the old merry go round was great because it featured a big base drum that kept time to the song that always played, “Tip Toe Through the Tulips”, I can hear that song in my head today like I might have heard it yesterday.

  5. A lot of good things are STILL happening at Lincoln Park. The park could definitely use more support and revamping, yet it isn’t so far off that the lake, beautiful views of nature, Plaza De La Raza, Wall Las Memorias, football, baseball, and boxing that happen year round couldn’t complete with. Visit the park as if it where Grittith or Debbs and see what happens. Get the word out to non-regular visitors and see what happens. Enjoy Lincoln for what it is–one of Los Angeles’ Historic treasures and see what happens. Nostalgia is good, yet the present is better. If people want a return to the good old days it takes action. For those that haven’t been in a while there is a new, smaller Carousel that kids ride on and plays music on the weekends. Along with that Fishing Derbies and fishing still happen on a regular basis, and, yes, the last Farce of July spectacular could compete with many other Fireworks shows around the city. Even the picture that heads this post isn’t that much different if you go today. I have stood at the specific spot many times and the tree lines, water ripples and even the boat house location look pretty close with the exception of all the 21st century geese and ducks (which even fly by the lake in a migratory “V” once in a while). Go see for yourself.

  6. Lincoln Park is great, but the way it has been treated sucks. Valley Blvd and Mission are practically freeways, and there are only four spots to legally (“safelly”, hah!) cross the street to get to the park. Plaza del la Raza has its patrons illegally park their cars all over the lawn. El Arca crowds one of the two parking lots with their buses, forcing park users out and making that lawn-parking all the rage. The roads around the park are freshly paved, but there aren’t even curb cuts at most of the crossing points! The paths are screwed up – so good luck trying to take grandma in her wheelchair around the lake.

    Of course, the place is an amazing resource, but Big Hazard park (on the side by County Hospital) is more quiet, peaceful, and well-maintained.

    I think 75% of making Lincoln Park a better place would involve slowing down cars driving by and making it easier (and safer) to walk to the park.

    I get pretty worked up when some jackass revs their engine behind me when I’m on the road (and I’m on a bike). Imagine the feeling when you’re slowly riding through a park and that happens! WTF?!

  7. Jeremy that brown grass is due to the installment of a “smart” irrigation system(which of course takes time), this is according to a sign giving Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Councilman Ed Reyes credit for this project.

  8. I would like to address a dark part of Lincoln Park History that I feel should be dragged out from the past eventhough some would like it erased by the winds of time:the Cinco de Mayo Riots of 1987-1988. A lot of the images of that day still remain vivid in my mind. I remember that they had a lot of the local guys pulling security, some were members of Lincoln High’s past football teams. They had a beer tent where you could down a beer legally. I don’t know what bands were set to play that day but the “trouble” started early. An organizer pleaded for peace and a band started to play “La Bamba” as if that would “soothe” the savagery unleashed that day, but it was too late. The area of the baseball fields became a battle field as opposing gangs(Eastlake,Clover,Lincoln Heights) began to throw chingazos; a bunch of dudes from I think Hazard emerged from the hills with a vast array of weapons;2 by fours,bats,chains. Women with strollers and others hurried to flee the chaos as bottles flew freely through the air. The guys pulling security disappeared and who can blame them? All they had were walkie-talkies. Some stood and watched the brawl as it spilled onto neighboring streets. I recall seeing a veterano, with either a stab or gunshot wound, sprawled on the parking lot of the dmv, gasping his last breaths as his lady held him, sobbing for help. The cops came in huge numbers: I recall seeing them march in formation down Mission Road towards Thomas Street with their riot helmets and shields as they tried to clear the area while neighborhood youth tossed rocks at them. I remember seeing some non-cholo rockers going at it in the driveway of the apartments near my house. I remember reading in the paper(L.A. Times?) the next day that 3 people wound up being killed in riot related violence and they had an accompanying picture of a cop on horseback clearing Lincoln Park. If memory serves me correct it was the second straight year that a cinco de mayo event had ended up in a riot, but with the deaths this time it meant that Lincoln Park would not see another type of this “celebration” for years. It sparked a discussion on alcohol abuse in the Chicano community. I have tried to google information about these riots but have not found anything. Remember, these riots happened about 8-9 years before the riot at Broadway and Eastlake over a police shooting of a young gangmember in the summer of 1995 or 1996.

  9. I would like to hear from people who can recount the Lincoln Park Cinco De Mayo Riots of 1987-1988. I have already posted my memories from these tragic days and would like to hear others’ details and possible link ups to articles/photos concerning these events.

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