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KUOW Presents

Asylum To Playfields - Tracing The History Of Fort Steilacoom Park

Sarah Waller

When you come to Steilacoom Park, you're greeted by dogs romping in an off–leash area. Parents push their kids on a playground swing. Joggers bound down the running trail. But take a closer look, and you'll discover a field full of 3,218 grave stones sinking into the weeds. The graffiti smeared walls of an old sanitarium stand on a hill. Locals call this place, "The Ruins." KUOW's Sarah Waller visited Steilacoom Park to meet author, historian and Lakewood native Steve Dunkelberger. He's working to heal the land from its traumatic past.

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