Lake Wenatchee, 1930s

Today, I’d like to deviate slightly from the blog’s usual content and bring you a look at an image you won’t find anywhere else on the internet. Straight from my great-uncle’s photo album, check out this picture of Lake Wenatchee c. late 1930s!

I believe this specific photo was taken from the shoreline at Lake Wenatchee State Park, with Emerald Island visible on the right side.

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“Wenatchee Lake”

Lake Wenatchee (Labeled “Wenatchee Lake” in the photo album) is located 18 miles northwest of Leavenworth off of State Route 207. The glacier-and-snow-fed lake is five miles long and surrounded by private homes, campgrounds,  and a 489-acre park. Today, the park is a popular spot for all kinds of outdoor recreation–from fishing to swimming to camping–but this scenic lake has a history rooted in logging and farming.

The area around the lake was originally a resting spot for several tribes who camped, fished, and gathered berries along the shores en route to the coast for trading. in 1811, fur traders visited Chelan County, and by the end of the decade, pioneers settled in the area, clearing thick forests for farms. Logging continued as a major industry around the lake.

It was in this area that a hunter from a local tribe bragged about killing two white men, which many believe triggered the Yakima Indian War (1855-1858).

After North Shore Drive was built along the lake in the early 1920s, Lawrence Dickinson opened a gas station, store, and dance hall near where he lived with his family on Crescent Beach. It proved to be one of the most successful attempts at making Lake Wenatchee a tourist destination.

In the late 1940s and through the 1950s, the Wenatchee YMCA developed a camp on the southern end of the lake that remains in use today.

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Hydros Unlimited

Everybody who lives in the Seattle Area knows about the Unlimited Hydroplane races. They’ve been a staple at Seafair since its inception in 1950. What many don’t know is that the same hydroplanes made famous at Seafair also raced on Lake Chelan.

Don’t believe me?

Feast your eyes on this 1958 Apple Cup Race pin, starring Miss Chelan!

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Almost like the Ford Edsel, the Apple Cup Race lasted for only four years: 1957-1960. Stemming from the hydroplane craze brought to the region by Seafair, and happening in conjunction with the Apple Blossom Festival, the first Apple Cup Race was held May 5, 1957. The hydroplanes competing in the first race, in the winning order, were:

U-12 Maverick

U-77 Miss Wahoo

U-28 Shanty I

U-8 Hawaii Kai III

U-27 Miss Seattle

U-4 Miss Bardahl

U-60 Miss Thriftway

U- 19 Miss Rocket

U-62 Thriftway Too

The second Apple cup was held May 11, 1958, and featured 11 hydroplanes, two more than the previous year. Only five hydroplanes were repeats: Miss Seattle, Miss Thriftway, Thriftway Too, Maverick, and Miss Bardahl (who took first place). The prize was $1,500, which is equivalent to about $12,500 today.

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12 hydroplanes competed at the third Apple Cup Race on May 10, 1959, many of them the same hydros that raced the previous year. Miss Pay n’ Save, who had placed #10 in 1958, took first place, followed by Miss Bardahl and Miss Thriftway.

The final Apple Cup was held May 8,1960 and hosted 11 competitors. Miss Thriftway was the race’s winner, followed by Nitrogen and Miss Burien. Rising sponsor’s costs and crowd control problems contributed to the race’s cancellation.

Although the Apple Cup is now just a name of a Chelan cafe, vintage hydroplanes have returned to Chelan the first weekend in October for the last seven years for the Mahogany & Merlot event.

Interestingly, the hydroplane featured on the pin, U-97 Miss Chelan, is fictitious. She never raced in the Apple Cup and, in fact, never even existed.

The Apple Cup Race was important enough to be broadcasted on Seattle television! Clips from the 1957 and 1958 races can be viewed on YouTube. For detailed race summaries, visit this link.

 

Summer Motel Guide Part IV

I hope you all have been finding good ways to stay cool during this late summer heat wave! Maybe this installment to the Summer Motel Guide will give you some ideas.

Straight out of 1966, here is Patti-O Park in Soap Lake, WA.

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“Soap” up the Sun at Soap Lake!

Soap Lake, named for the Indian word Smokiam, is a meromictic lake long loved for it’s mineral-rich waters and thick black mud, both of which were believed to posses healing properties. These healing waters have attracted tourists for decades, paving the way for a number of hotels, health spas, and sanitariums.

There is not much information available about Patti-O Park. Now Smokiam Resort, it is located on the Northern end of Soap Lake and offers four types of camping: RV, tent, cabin, and Teepee.

According to the information on the back, it was a health spa approved by the State Health Department, owned and operated by Jim and Georgetta Draper. While this postcard dates from the mid-60s, a 1978 issue of the Coulee City newspaper mentions a family reunion at the park.

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PATTI-O PARK- North end of Soap Lake, Wash. “The Greatest Health Spa of the West.” Fifty overnight camping sites and Trailer spaces by Day, Week, or month. 300 foot beach, enclosed swimming area for children. Groceries, cold drinks, and sundries. Approved by the State Health Dept. Two miles from the City of Soap Lake. Owned and operated by Jim and Georgetta Draper.

The message scrawled on the back doesn’t provide much help:

“Dear Rude: We came to Soap Lake for a week yesterday. Dale & family will join us today. Maynard got home Tues and is fine. His eye is well he said. Love, Lucy”

Summer Motel Guide Part III

Summer has finally arrived in Washington state, and with it comes the next installment to the Summer Motel Guide!

Located on Wannacut Lake in Tonasket, WA, I invite you to visit Norma & Virgil “Stone’s Resort.”

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Check out the wood paneling!

While there is not much information to be found about the history of the motel, it appears as though it opened sometime in the 1960s. A 1968 ad in the Spokesman-Review (a Spokane newspaper) calls it “Stone’s Wannacut Lake Resort” and touts it as a “modern trailer park” with “complete camp facilities.” According to the ad, the resort offered horseback riding and was “open thru hunting season.”

Horses and hunting aside, what is perhaps most noteworthy about this motel is its remarkable ability to resist time. Now called Sun Cove Resort, it still offers trailer camping spots, regular camping spots, motel rooms, and access to Wannacut Lake. The motel rooms remain covered in wood paneling and outfitted with groovy blue appliances. According to online reviews, there is no cell service, no phones in the rooms, and no television.

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Norma & Virgil STONE’S RESORT Tonasket, WA. On Wannacut Lake. (509) 476-2223. New, all-electric units, completely equipped. Modern trailer park & camping facilities. Fishing, hunting, swimming, boats, store, saddle horses, miniature golf.

And while the wood paneling and blue appliances are enough to catapult you into retro heaven, there is one more thing to attest to the resort’s ability to defy time: The phone number seen on this 1960s postcard is the same phone number the resort uses today.

So if you’re looking for a piece of yesteryear to stay in this summer, you may find it suitable to dial (509) 476-2223.

Summer Motel Guide Part II

Next up in the Summer Motel Guide is perhaps Darnell’s fiercest competitor: Campbell’s Resort on Lake Chelan.

In 1898, Judge C.C. Campbell, his wife Caroline, and his son Arthur moved from Sioux City, Iowa to Chelan, Washington where he paid $400 for a plot of lakeside land. Three years later, the Campbell family opened the 16-room Chelan Hotel.

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Summer fun at Campbell’s, c. 1960s

The hotel was known for it’s hospitality and good food, attracting guests from all walks of life. Following the end of Word War I, both business and the economy were booming. After graduating from the University of Washington, serving in World War I, and marrying, Arthur Campbell returned to Chelan, where he planted an apple orchard and dug out the basement of the hotel to make room for a larger restaurant.

Like most Americans, the Campbell family felt the burden of the Depression, but they managed to stay in business, and by the late 1930s, the local economy was recovering.

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CAMPBELL’S LODGE on Lake Chelan, Wash. Phone 255. Beautiful Refrigerated Air-Conditioned Motor Lodge. Conveniently located on Lake Chelan’s excellent sandy beach. Private Patios. Television and two new heated pools.

Arthur’s two sons, Arthur II and Dan, followed in their father’s footsteps, serving in the military (World War II), and returning to Chelan and the family business. Both sons became active in the community, serving on city council and the park board. The hotel began developing fishing cabins and planning for future expansion.

With the addition of motel units in 1955, the former Chelan Hotel  became known as Campbell’s Lodge (Lodge 1). Additional buildings, known as Lodge 4, were added in 1963, along with a dance pavilion, a dining room, and carefully landscaped grounds. Lodge 2 was added in 1972, and Lodge 5 arrived in 1983 with the annexation of Cannon’s Resort. The final Lodge, Lodge 3, opened in 1990.

The past 26 years have seen significant remodels and the addition of the Stehekin Ballroom. After 115 years of continuous business, Campbell’s Resort is still owned by the Campbell family.

On a side note, today is the 100th anniversary of Boeing! I regret that I don’t have any Boeing memorabilia to share with you, but invite you to celebrate with this catchy ditty from Washington’s own Jeff Afdem! In the words of Pat O’Day, “Happy birthday, Big B!”

Sunday marked the one-year anniversary of this blog! Thank you to all of my readers, followers, and commentors! It’s been a great year here on The Northwest Past, and I hope to make the next year even more productive!