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(This is the ninth of a series of articles describing the weekend tours of Joe and Janice Krenmayr of Seattle, who are renewing acquaintance with their home county after nearly five years in Central and South America.)

Originally published in The Seattle Daily Times, June 8, 1952

Fishing and boating are but two of the many amusements offered at Gaffney’s Lake Wilderness Lodge.

Fishing and boating are but two of the many amusements offered at Gaffney’s Lake Wilderness Lodge.

By Janice Krenmayr

Fortunately for us there are any number of little lakes and pleasure resorts within a short distance of Seattle. For Joe, enmeshed in some household remodeling, had time for only a quick trip on Weekend No. 9.

Lake Wilderness, 12 miles east of Renton and Kent, was within that range. Many years ago we’d had fun on an office picnic here, but now we stood on the boating dock at Gaffney’s Grove, a little startled at the changes. The riding stables, baseball diamond, roller rink, dance hall, horseshoe pits … were they there before? There seemed to be many more cottages, too.

Despite its growth in popularity the little lake still retains the atmosphere which must have inspired its name. Set plump in the middle of thick woods, the shimmering green water seems to be trying to push back the trees that crowd to its very edge. (more…)

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Originally published in The Seattle Times, May 28, 1977

Sketch shows concession stand in front of bathhouse.

Sketch shows concession stand in front of bathhouse.

The famed dance hall at the former Gaffney’s Lake Wilderness Resort, now a King County park, is doomed.

It will be torn down in a few weeks during an improvement project for the park being carried out by the Carl Humphrey Construction Co. (more…)

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, April 23 and 30, 1975

By Laura Lorenz

Modern-day fireman George Raffle, shown above with the moving stock of the Maple Valley Fire Department (King County District 43), is understandably proud of today’s fire station and its equipment. It all started back in 1950 when three citizens went together to sign a $500 note. (Voice photo by Kevin McLellan)

Modern-day fireman George Raffle, shown above with the moving stock of the Maple Valley Fire Department (King County District 43), is understandably proud of today’s fire station and its equipment. It all started back in 1950 when three citizens went together to sign a $500 note. (Voice photo by Kevin McLellan)

The Maple Valley Fire Department grew from a dream to actuality in the spring of 1950 when a $500 note was signed by Joe Mezzavilla, Bill Mitchell, and Frank Sayers to obtain a 1926 Howard Cooper fire engine truck from the city of Blaine, Washington. The remaining one-half of the truck’s cost was gathered by numerous citizens’ donations. (more…)

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Originally published in the Seattle Daily Times, August 21, 1927

Edith H. Spurlock

Edith H. Spurlock

Edith Hazel Spurlock, 12 years old, swims under water with hand under chin of victim

Latest of Seattle’s heroine is 12-year-old Edith Hazel Spurlock, who last Wednesday rescued from drowning a full grown youth, 22 years of age, and who weighed 175 pounds.

Albert Fant was swimming in Green River, near Diamond Mineral Springs, and became confused, owing to the swift current. Edith Spurlock, who has been swimming only since last summer, leaped into the water and swam out to him. The following is her own narrative of what took place.

“When I had reached Mr. Fant, my first idea was to keep his head above the water, so I put my hand under his chin. He started to fight and pushed my head under the water. I ducked and swam under him. By this time he had swallowed considerable water and became unconscious. I put my hand under his chin and started swimming toward a log that was caught by a snag. (more…)

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Originally published in The Seattle Daily Times, August 13, 1922

Charming body of water is nestled in setting of tall evergreens to east of Kent near Black Diamond

Another delightful place for loafing: Sometimes loafing is better for one than fishing, and Lake Sawyer, one of the most delightful little spots near Seattle, offers a fine combination of both. These pictures, taken last week on a Times tour in a Maxwell car furnished by William T. Patten Company, indicate something of the charm of Lake Sawyer. (1) One corner of the lake. (2) Map showing the route to the lake. The lake is only thirty miles from Seattle via Renton and Kent. The alternative route through Auburn via the Black Diamond road is but a few miles longer. (3) The Maxwell in a clump of big evergreens that make up Sawyer’s Grove, a magnificent stand of timber surrounding the lake. (4) One of the picturesque little cottages on the lake shore.

Another delightful place for loafing: Sometimes loafing is better for one than fishing, and Lake Sawyer, one of the most delightful little spots near Seattle, offers a fine combination of both. These pictures, taken last week on a Times tour in a Maxwell car furnished by William T. Patten Company, indicate something of the charm of Lake Sawyer. (1) One corner of the lake. (2) Map showing the route to the lake. The lake is only thirty miles from Seattle via Renton and Kent. The alternative route through Auburn via the Black Diamond road is but a few miles longer. (3) The Maxwell in a clump of big evergreens that make up Sawyer’s Grove, a magnificent stand of timber surrounding the lake. (4) One of the picturesque little cottages on the lake shore.

Map makers render a real service to mankind, but are too prosaic, too matter-of-fact, much too reticent. They give one information, it is true, but they content themselves with the cold bare facts, with the prosaic presentation of things as they are, geographically speaking, and they stop right there, just like a tight-mouthed old man who answers a question grudgingly and with no elaboration. (more…)

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Originally published in The Seattle Times, June 29, 1924

By Ellis Coe

One of the most attractive short trips of the many that are available to Seattle motorists is that leading to Lake Sawyer, reached from this city by way of Kent or Auburn. Much of the highway is paved and the remainder is good gravel. Only in one or two places is the road being surfaced and no trouble is encountered in driving through. 1—A strip of woodland road leading to Lake Sawyer. 2—A picturesque island in the lake.

One of the most attractive short trips of the many that are available to Seattle motorists is that leading to Lake Sawyer, reached from this city by way of Kent or Auburn. Much of the highway is paved and the remainder is good gravel. Only in one or two places is the road being surfaced and no trouble is encountered in driving through. 1—A strip of woodland road leading to Lake Sawyer. 2—A picturesque island in the lake.

Lake retreat calls camper to its shores

Beauty spot, reached by way of Kent, is popular place for Sunday motor parties

Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, juvenile heroes of Mark Twain’s famous novels, are said to have spent their most enjoyable hours during dog days, when the summer sun beat down on the woods and prairies and the dogs “went mad.” During those days, the pair disported themselves at the old swimmin’ hole and in the wild berry patches, young Sawyer unencumbered with school duties and Huck Finn enjoying his usual year-‘round liberties.

Lake Sawyer, some distance beyond the end of the pavement leading out of Kent, might well have been named after Tom Sawyer. It is a paradise for boys, young and old. Girls, also young and old, find keen enjoyment there. (more…)

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, June 26, 1974

Green River Gorge, above, viewed by Jean Goldsby of Vancouver, B.C., and Dan Gustafson of Kent, is only nine miles from the Wilderness Village parking lot and represents a local fun thing to do for those who only have time for an afternoon outing. Reporter Laura Lorenz of the Voice begins a series entitled “Short Trips to Take for Summer Fun” in this week’s issue. See the first installment below.

Green River Gorge, above, viewed by Jean Goldsby of Vancouver, B.C., and Dan Gustafson of Kent, is only nine miles from the Wilderness Village parking lot and represents a local fun thing to do for those who only have time for an afternoon outing. Reporter Laura Lorenz of the Voice begins a series entitled “Short Trips to Take for Summer Fun” in this week’s issue. See the first installment below.

By Laura Lorenz

So Expo is in Spokane and Disneyland is located in Los Angeles.

Both offer good entertainment but distance makes them both impossible candidates for an afternoon’s outing. It has often been observed that interesting attractions close to home are frequently neglected by the natives for “brighter” ones more distant. This is the first in a series of local fun things to do that are easy on the budget as well.

Today’s trip is a short one—only nine miles distant from the Wilderness Village parking lot. The destination is the private Green River Gorge east of Black Diamond. The Green River Gorge Road is found at the south end of town. (more…)

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