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Spanish Castle quilt square
#20 on Map

Ruth Case AmundsenRuth Case Amundsen, fifth daughter of Des Moines pioneers Rollin A. Case, Jr. and Marion Wilcox Case, lived in Des Moines during her entire childhood and sometimes danced the night away at the Spanish Castle. She made the quilt square depicting the Spanish Castle.

Spanish Castle

The Spanish Castle, located on the west side of Pacific Highway S. (State Route 99) just north of its intersection with Kent-Des Moines Road (State Route 516), was built as a dance hall in the early 1930s. Ballroom dancing was very popular then and hit its peak in the 1940s, when the Castle averaged 2,000 people on a Saturday night. The Castle had such a good reputation as a fun yet safe place to go that women could go there without an escort. The same band played at the Castle from its beginning until 1962, when local radio stations began bringing in other groups to perform there. Ballroom dancing lost out to disco and rock-and-roll in the 1960s, and the Spanish Castle was torn down in 1968, making way for an office building.

—paraphrased from One Hundred Years of the “Waterland” Community: A History of Des Moines, Washington

Spanish Castle photo


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