Custer Park / Elks Aquatic Center
Custer Park is a park located on the western edge of downtown Bismarck, on the northwest corner of Broadway Avenue & Washington Street. It was Bismarck’s first municipal park when it was developed in 1909.
The park’s notable Eagle Statue was dedicated on October 1, 1988 to commemorate the bicentennial of the United States Constitution.
An evergreen tree within the park contains a plaque dedicated to Mark Kellogg, a Bismarck Tribune reporter killed at Little Big Horn. The plaque was provided in June 1954 by the Daughters of the American Revolution.
The Elks Aquatic Center (AKA Elks Pool) is located directly across from the park, which was the city’s first swimming pool when completed in 1932 using funds donated by the local Elks Lodge. The original pool was 100’x100′, ranging in depth from 3.5 feet to 12.
The pool’s existence was jeopardized in 2004, when costly repairs totaling over $100,000 prevented it from opening for the season. After months of research and public feedback, the park board authorized replacing Elks Pool later that year for an estimated $2.5 million (final cost was $1.8 million). The original pool and bathhouse were demolished soon after.
Several options for a replacement were considered, including an indoor pool and waterpark. Ultimately, an outdoor pool was chosen that included a waterslide and small waterpark. The bathhouse was built slightly southeast from the original.
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