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Posts Tagged ‘Lake Wilderness’

Originally published in the MVHS Bugle, May 2000

By Barbara Nilson

Photos by Sherrie Acker

The “action” in the 1920s to 1950s, from Seattle south, was at the lake resorts in the Valley. Memories of those glory days were shared at the March program with Dolores Gaffney and Janet Bertagni talking about Gaffney’s Lake Wilderness resort, and Gloria Foss remembering the family’s resort on Shadow Lake.

Lake Wilderness resorts

Attending the historical society program on resorts were, from left, Janet Bertagni, Dolores Gaffney Judge, and Bernadine Gaffney Gebenini.

Dolores Gaffney, daughter of Tom Gaffney, reported her father and his brother Kain purchased the property on Lake Wilderness in 1926 from Abraham and Sam Cohen. The family moved to the lake and the resort opened in the spring of 1927 as Gaffney’s Lake Wilderness.

At that time there were three small family resorts on the lake. Dieckman with his two sons, Jeff and Don, had just started one, and across the lake was McKinney’s. McKinney’s also had a dance hall that was two stories high that they eventually turned into a skating rink. In April 1939 McKinneys sold their place to Gaffneys.

One of the older buildings was used for a dance hall, said Dolores, and they used kerosene lamps. In 1936 they built a new dance hall after the old one burned down. They had a 30-foot-high diving board as well as cabins, tennis courts, picnic areas, ball fields, and playgrounds.

In 1949 Diekmans and Gaffneys were combined and the Gaffneys decided to build a lodge. The design was developed by Young, Richardson and Carlson and won the grand prize from the Washington Chapter of Architects in 1951 and the top award from the American Institute in New York in 1952. The center column totem pole was carved by the famous Doug McCarter. It is 35 feet tall and weighs ten tons. (more…)

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Originally published in North Maple Valley Living, April 2019

By JoAnne Matsumura

Anglers took to the lakes and streams at dawn for opening day of fishing on “All Fool’s Day,” April 1, 1919, and those along the Cedar River reported “the fish were biting fine.”

State Game and Fish Commissioner L.H. Darwin reported that this was best year ever for angling with excellent conditions in King County. At Lake Wilderness, the water was clear, fairly high, with trout being taken principally, yet offering good bass.

Licenses in the state exceeded 2,500, and school attendance was expected to have a marked decrease with a flood of creative excuses. Game wardens were on the job for fishing pranks, fish under 6 inches, and those setting traps. (more…)

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, April 14, 1976

By D’Ann Pedee

Bicentennial quilt: Thirty Maple Valley women are now putting the finishing touches on a handcrafted quilt as part of their Bicentennial year activities. The thirty patches, some of which are shown above, will depict this area historically, spotlighting some of its past and present. — Voice photo by Bob Gerbing

How do you place a value on a handcrafted quilt?

Perhaps by the amount of money it can be sold for or by averaging the time and services spent in completing it.

When finished, the Maple Valley Arts Committee could possibly have a three-thousand-dollar product on its hands. That’s the amount of money it is hoped will raised by raffling be of the Bicentennial quilt that thirty local women are in the process of completing. (more…)

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Originally published in the MVHS Bugle, December 2006

By Wayne D. Greenleaf

My parents, Glen and Vera Greenleaf, moved to Maple Valley in August of 1937. I was 9 years old, my brother Kenneth was 11½. We were born in Centralia during the Great Depression. My Dad was a plasterer and bricklayer—no jobs in Centralia. My grandfather on my mother’s side and three of his children had bought land east of Fiddler’s Comer. He talked my folks into coming up and looking.

We bought 40 acres from Weyerhaeuser, northeast of Fiddler’s Corner, 1½ miles back in the woods. $600 total, no interest and $15 a month; if you couldn’t make the $15 month, they let it go. I think at one time we were over two years behind. (more…)

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, August 2, 1978

Happy anniversary! The picturesque Maple Valley branch of the King County Library System, shown above, is observing the tenth year at its present location this summer.

Happy anniversary! The picturesque Maple Valley branch of the King County Library System, shown above, is observing the tenth year at its present location this summer.

The present Maple Valley Library building is ten years old this summer.

Librarian Pat Simmons took a few minutes away from her chores this week to tell the Voice a bit about the origin and development of the picturesque building on Highway 169 across from Wilderness Village.

The library opened its doors on July 14, 1968. Construction costs came to $112,000 and were provided by a county bond issue and matching funds from the Federal Library Service and Construction Act. The 4,000-foot building can accommodate 25,000 books. (more…)

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, July 1995

The old Lake Wilderness Conference building has new tenants and a new name. It is King County’s first community service center and be called Lake Wilderness Community Service Center. A grand opening is planned for August.

The old Lake Wilderness Conference building has new tenants and a new name. It is King County’s first community service center and be called Lake Wilderness Community Service Center. A grand opening is planned for August.

King County’s first Community Service Center located at Lake Wilderness Park in Maple Valley opens Wednesday, July 5, 1995 at 12 noon. King County Executive Gary Locke and community members will visit the Center at 1 p.m. A grand opening celebration will occur later in August. (more…)

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Originally published in The Seattle Daily Times, June 14, 1950

The sleek waters of Lake Wilderness beckon vacationers either for a refreshing swim or shoving off for a row. The latter activity is exactly what Elaine Borell and Shirley Demko, students of Buckley Division, White River High School are enjoying.— Times photo by Royal Crooks.

The sleek waters of Lake Wilderness beckon vacationers either for a refreshing swim or shoving off for a row. The latter activity is exactly what Elaine Borell and Shirley Demko, students of Buckley Division, White River High School are enjoying.— Times photo by Royal Crooks.

Newest of resort hotels within a few miles of Seattle is Lake Wilderness Lodge, scheduled for completion this month as an addition to Kain Gaffney’s large picnic park on the west shore of Lake Wilderness.

With an eye to enticing air travelers of the future, Gaffney has installed a convenient air strip immediately adjoining the building and provided ample tie-down space for planes

An investment of $250,000 is represented in the hotel and landing field. The building, of modern design, has walls mainly of glass. Every room looks out upon the lake, with its wooded shore line and numerous boats. There are but 12 rooms for overnight guests, but large dinner groups will be welcome. The regular dining room has a seating capacity of 140; banquet rooms on the ground floor will accommodate 400 and catering will be geared to accommodate conventions.

In order to use advantageously the sloping site on the shore, the lodge has been constructed on four floor levels, centered around a staircase of spectacular design, circling a mammoth totem pole, ax-carved by the sculptor, Dudley Carter. The huge timber is four feet in diameter and 30 feet from base to top, with designs its entire length.

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