IV. WILD AND QUIET PLACES: RECREATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
Early Visions of a National Park
For over a century the Olympic Peninsula has been heralded as a wilderness; a land of jagged, snow-covered peaks and dense forests inhabited by abundant wildlife and often shrouded in threatening, moisture-laden clouds. Surrounded by ocean water on three sides and located at the extreme northwestern contiguous United States, the Peninsula is remote and isolated from major centers of population. With the exception of small settlement towns scattered along the edges of this 6,000 square mile western continental projection, the central massif of mountains and radiating, steep-sided river valleys, has remained inaccessible and seemingly impenetrable for decades, a veritable "last frontier" to be subdued by civilized man. It is the quintessential, multi-faceted elements of the Olympic wilderness that appealed to the recreational interests of humankind for decades.
Impressive scenery, abundant game and fish, and challenging mountain slopes with unconquered peaks stimulated interest in the recreational potential of the Olympic Mountains even as the first formally organized expedition parties investigated the unknown interior valleys, ridges and mountain peaks. Both Judge James Wickersham and Lieutenant Joseph O'Neil, who led respective expeditions into the Olympic Mountains in 1890, recognized the innate beauty of the rugged, central core of mountains. Wickersham, an avid outdoorsman, who during his lifetime made numerous climbs in the Northwest's Cascade Mountains and later in Alaskan mountains, was among the first to suggest that the interior Olympic Mountains be set aside as a national park. Comparing the Olympics to the Swiss Alps, Wickersham remarked, "The beauty of Switzerland's glaciers is celebrated, yet the Olympics contain dozens of them" (Wickersham 1961, 6). U.S. Army Lieutenant O'Neil, who encountered Wickersham in the Olympics during the summer of 1890, also recognized the potential of the interior mountains as a national park. Pragmatically asserting that the interior of the Peninsula was "useless" for agriculture and mining, O'Neil noted the abundance of gameelk, bear and deerand prophetically stated in a report to the U.S. Congress, "The rare bits of scenery, the hunting and fishing, will always attract numbers to these mountains for a summer outing" (U.S. Congress 1896, 17-19). Perhaps predictive of the future use of the Olympic Mountains, three members of the O'Neil party were scientists representing the Oregon Alpine Cluba hiking club. (Native Oregonian William G. Steel, enthusiastic hiker and organizer of the Portland Mazamas (mountaineering) Club in the mid 1890s, was associated with the Oregon Alpine Club and an influential supporter of O'Neil's 1890 expedition into the Olympics. Steel later became known as the promoter of Crater Lake in southern Oregon and pushed for its recreation development (Oregonian 1934, 23 October).
The "wilderness" penetrated by Wickersham, O'Neil and others in the late 1880s and early 1890s with all of its real and imagined implications, in fact, was, and still is, a fundamental theme in the recreational use of Olympic National Park. Since early suggestions that the Olympic wilds be established as a national park, verbose, detailed and sometimes hyperbolic descriptions of various recreational aspects of the Olympic wilderness appeared in the promotional literature of railroad companies, local chambers of commerce, private commercial developers, government agency and legislative reports, newspapers, magazines and books. Arriving on the Olympic Peninsula in 1902 on an extended fishing trip, W. S. Jones of Akron, Ohio, described the splendid beauty and wild surroundings of the Elwha Valley and the Lake Crescent area in Recreation magazine: "Wild wood, wild berries, wild life; there's nothing tame in the Olympics!" (Jones 1902, 429).
Railroads were among the early publicizers of recreational opportunities on the Peninsula and often extolled the uncommon features of the wilderness of the Olympics to bolster their promotion. The Northern Pacific Railroad, extending from St. Paul, Minnesota, to Tacoma, Washington, published an illustrated poster entitled "Wonderland 1903." It claimed, "The Olympic Range and Puget Sound will satisfy either for ordinary recreation or for hunting or fishing or mountaineering. It isn't the ordinary thing" (Olsen and Randlett 1978, 87). In 1915 the Seattle, Port Angeles and Western Railway Company, with a line extending across the north Peninsula, seized the opportunity to promote the recreational resources of Clallam County by quoting U.S. Forester Henry S. Graves, who completed a trip to the Olympic Mountains the previous fall. "The Olympic mountains," said Graves, "have many distinct features which place them in the front rank of the scenic wonders of the country." It is "the combination of many natural features, which all taken together, create an effect which is unique. The mountain mass with its glaciers, the deep canyons, and a forest which can not be matched anywhere, contribute to this result" (Seattle, Port Angeles & Western Railway Company 1915). The Union Pacific, in its April 1930 company magazine, described its plan to extend a rail line up the west side of the Peninsula. It promised vacationists that its new service would provide access to the interior Peninsula's "great romantic wilderness challenging the pleasure seeker" (Fetterolf 1930b, 31).
Local Peninsula and Seattle business interests promoted the "wilderness feature of the Olympic Peninsula through newspapers and privately printed booklets and brochures. As early as 1906, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer described privately organized efforts to open up the Olympic range to tourist travel. In that year the federal government granted Walter F. Horner permission to construct a series of roads and trails up the Dosewallips River to its headwaters, along with not more than seven roadhouses along the route. Horner completed approximately ten miles of road to a partly constructed roadhouse when a company was organized to complete the undertaking. Boasting of such a project, the newspaper reported:
This early venture, apparently, never fully materialized.
A local Olympic Peninsula newspaper likewise focused on the alluring qualities of the Peninsula's interior untamed wilds in a 1911 feature tabloid edition of the Port Angeles Olympic Leader. In this special issue, an article entitled "The Silent Country of Mystery" described the interior mountains in ethereal terms.
Perhaps nowhere on the Olympic Peninsula was the recreational lure of the "wilderness" commercialized more than in the Quinault River watershed. Both the Olympic Recreation Company of Quinault and the Olympic Chalet Company of the Grays Harbor area, both at the southern base of the Peninsula, capitalized on the raw, untamed wilderness of the interior Olympic Mountains in their schemes to develop the recreational potential of the area. Each company erected rustic log cabins several miles up the east branch of the Quinault River. The Olympic Chalet Company's representative W. C. Mumaw often spoke publicly on the merits of promoting the wilderness aspects of the Peninsula. "Advertising the Olympic Peninsula as a wilderness area is the most effective argument that can be advanced to the eastern man who is thinking of a summer vacation," Mumaw declared in 1930 (TRL 1930, 4 January). As president of the Olympic Peninsula Development League, composed of a consortium of commercial interests in cities around the Peninsula, Mumaw insisted that the "ruggedness and wilderness of the Peninsula is its chief attraction" (TRL ca. 1930, n.d.).
In 1930 W. C. Mumaw extended a written invitation to President Herbert Hoover to visit the Olympic Mountains and its Low Divide Chalet during his proposed presidential visit to the Pacific Northwest. In the letter Mumaw stated, "I do not know of any attempt on as large a scale as we have here toward developing a 'wilderness' area" (NSF ONF 1930, 24 May). In 1936, during Congressional hearings for the establishment of an Olympic National Park, F. W. Mathias, manager of the Aberdeen, Hoquiam and Grays Harbor Chambers of Commerce, quoted from the Prospectus of the Olympic Chalet Company during his testimony before the U.S. Congressional House Committee on Public Lands: "The scenic beauties of the Olympics are to be made available, so you who will, may enjoy this last wilderness of the United States, and travel this vast empire of primeval charm" (U.S. Congress 1936, 216).
Great attention was lavished on the wilderness feature of the Olympic Peninsula in the early 1930s. In the face of the country's worst economic depression, fantasies of unsullied tranquil wilderness provided escape and relief. And for communities around the Peninsula and Puget Sound, promotion of the Olympic wilderness promised to lure travelers to the area and thereby enhance local economies.
Herb Crisler's filmed and written account of his 1930 trek across the Olympic Mountains without food or provisions reinforced the public view that the Olympic Mountains were truly wild. A full, two-page feature story with photographs appeared in the Seattle Times newspaper (Sunday edition) on 5 October 1930, headlined "A Seattle 'Tarzan' Conquers the Olympics." Crisler's self-produced movie depicting scenes from his expedition entitled "America's Last Wilderness" circulated around the Northwest for several months after his exploits.
Taking up residence in Grant Humes' vacated cabin on the Elwha River in late 1940, Herb and Lois Brown Crisler gained an intimate knowledge and many feet of photographic movie film of the wildlife and high mountain ridges and meadows of the interior Olympics. A film by Herb and Lois Crisler of elk in the elevated, treeless mountain slopes of the interior was bought by Walt Disney in 1949. Thousands of television viewers were awed and inspired by the statuesque Olympic elk and the wilderness conditions in the Olympic Mountains.
Lois Crisler, formerly an instructor in the English Department at the University of Washington, wrote prolifically in letters, newspaper articles and books about the scenic beauty and magnetic attraction of life in the Olympic wilds. Disturbed by proposed logging activities around the Hoh Ranger Station, she eloquently articulated her thoughts about the value of the Olympic wilderness in a letter to conservationists and Olympic National Park champion Irving Clark, in early 1952. "They [primitive areas] have a sacredness. They are the only remaining traces of the physical foundation of our whole frontier-hatched ethos and institutionsdemocracy and all the rest, and of freedom and what that does to a man's spirit. And space is of their essence' (UW 1952, n.d.). Through pictures and words, Lois and Herb Crisler aroused even greater public interest and widespread attention to the wilderness recreational values of the interior mountains.
Only a few months after Crisler completed his 1930 month long solo journey through the heart of the Olympic range, the Northwest's Argus magazine described the Olympic Peninsula as the "last wilderness of the United States . . . [which] stands in bold challenge, daring the pleasure seeker and pioneer to enter its almost uninhabited realm." The Argus noted that portions of the vast 6,000 square mile Peninsula,
In eager anticipation the Argus noted, "this last frontier holds its hand in welcome, and the Pacific Northwest looks forward to August 24, next year, when, for the first time, it will view this magic land from a broad, new highway encircling the entire peninsula" (Fetterolf 1930a).
The opening of the Olympic loop highway (present-day U.S. Highway 101) greatly enhanced recreational development of the Olympic Peninsula. Just as isolation and inaccessibility inhibited agricultural, logging and mining development of the Peninsula, many believed that the recreational potential of the Peninsula could not be fully realized until the motoring public was afforded greater access to the Olympic wilderness. With the growing number of privately owned automobiles and the national emphasis placed on good roads during the 1910s and 1920s, the completion of the final segment of the loop highway between the Bogachiel and Queets in 1931 was an event warranting great celebration for western Washington. Washington State Governor Hartley and British Columbia Premier S. F. Tolmie, in addition to several local dignitaries and Peninsula Chamber of Commerce representatives, attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony held at Becker's Ocean Resort on 26 August 1931. The two-day gala event, organized by the Olympic Loop Celebration Committee, attracted 6,000 people and their cars, from around the Peninsula and Puget Sound (Seattle PI 1931 28 June; UW ca. 1931b). Construction of the last segment of highway by itself was lauded as an engineering feat. Referred to as the "antithesis of a road builder's paradise" by the 1 August 1931 issue of the Pacific Builder and Engineer, the western slope of the Olympic Peninsula presented road construction crews with enormous obstacles. Giant trees and stumps, copious rains, numerous rivers and creeks and impervious clay soil sometimes laden with several feet of damp, heavy leaf mold were among the many difficulties confronted by contractors (Averill 1931, 24; TRL 1930, 8 February). Upon completion of the circular highway, the Seattle Sunday Times, in an article entitled Peninsula Road to Unfold New Scenic Wonders (UW ca. 1931a), proudly announced: "Washington's marvelous highway system has made a conquest of the Olympic Peninsula. The last frontier of the northwesternmost part of the northwesternmost state has yielded to man.
Even before the completion of the Olympic loop highway, the Olympic Development League organized a committee to advertise the the Peninsula's recreational opportunities. F. W. Mathias of the Grays Harbor area led the boosterism campaign to promote the Peninsula's recreation potential (TRL 1930, 6 February). Northwest newspapers and magazines took up the cause as well. Writing from Aberdeen for the Argus magazine, F. W. Linklater illustrates well the effusive language used by many journalists in describing the virtues of the loop highway and the recreational opportunities of the Olympic wilderness.
The quelling of the wilderness, promulgated by greater accessibility and ambitious development schemes to open the mysteries of the interior to a broader public, is reflected in a 1934 journal article describing Mount Olympus National Monument. "Happily," the author wrote, "the scenic beauty and grandeur of the heart of the Olympics is common knowledge. The notion of fierce animals and cannibals has been displaced as enthusiastic thousands are coming more and more to realize the unlimited possibilities of the Olympics as a playground and recreational area of unsurpassed beauty and pleasure" (Roloff 1934, 214).
Accessibility provided by the loop highway encircling Mount Olympus National Monument was only one agent in the opening of the interior wilderness to recreational pursuits. Beginning in 1905 and continuing for thirty-three years, lands now included in the inland portion of Olympic National Park were under the administrative jurisdiction of the National Forest Service. Although multiple resource management was, and is today, the underpinning of the National Forest Service administrative policies, timber management received particular emphasis in the Olympics. Following the appointment of Rudo L. Fromme as Olympic Forest supervisor in 1911, plans were initiated to develop a comprehensive trail system to facilitate management of timber and other resources, with the specific concern of forest fire prevention and suppression. In Fromme's words,
Although most trails and shelters were not initially built with the "pleasure seeker" in mind, the expanding network of Forest Service trails provided the growing number of hikers, hunters and fishermen with access to the interior mountainous sections of the Olympic Peninsula. Under the leadership of Olympic Forest Supervisors Rudo Fromme (1911-1925) and H. L. Plumb (1926-1935), many miles of trails and numerous shelters were constructed on national forest and national monument lands. Trail construction accelerated over the years: in 1919, forty miles of trails were completed (PAEN 1919, 5 August); in 1925, an additional forty-six miles of trails were constructed (TRL 1925, 23 July); and in 1930 approximately 110 miles of trails were constructed (TRL 1931, 21 February). By 1930, a 300 mile trail system was maintained by the Forest Service on the Peninsula with a total of 700 miles of trails projected for the future (Fetterolf 1930a). A 1934 investigation conducted by National Park Service officials found that Mount Olympus National Monument alone consisted of 115 miles of trails. The investigation report noted that "trail development within the monument is absolutely necessary in order to insure safety for the traveling public" (U.S. Congress 1936, 166, 168).
Shelters augmented trails. Prior to 1933, when Mount Olympus National Monument was administered by the Forest Service, Olympic Forest Supervisor Plumb estimated that approximately ninety shelters were built. Although they were primarily for use by forest officers who maintained trails and telephone lines, shelters were left open for use by the traveling public (U.S. Congress 1936, 207). By the mid 1930s, after hundreds of miles of trails and numerous shelters were constructed, the Forest Service actively promoted the trails' recreational use. It printed a self-guided trail riders trip describing special scenic, fishing and wildlife features on a thirteen day route through the heart of the mountains (NFS Northwest Regional Office 1936).
Today, fifteen, or over one-third of the extant trail shelters in Olympic National Park, were constructed prior to 1933. The majority, five in all, stand in the Hoh subdistrict. On the Bogachiel River, the Bogachiel, Fifteen Mile, Hyak and Twenty-One Mile shelters are spaced from four and one-half to to five and one-half miles apart (except where one shelter no longer stands), thus maintaining the traditional pattern of shelter distribution along trails.
In addition to trail and shelter construction the Forest Service, sometimes in cooperation with county governments, actively pursued a program of road building that, likewise, encouraged recreational use of the interior. Certain roads completed during the 1920s provided access to areas of already heavy recreational use, specifically Lakes Crescent and Quinault, Sol Duc Hot Springs and the Elwha River. By the mid 1930s, stub roads built by the Forest Service extended up the Quinault, Hoh, Soleduck, Elwha, Dosewallips, and Duckabush Rivers as well as up Hurricane Ridge (U.S. Congress 1936, 165).
The Forest Service, along with some private development groups around the Peninsula, periodically expressed an interest in opening up sections of special scenic beauty to automobile traffic. In the late 1920s and early 1930s the Forest Service gave thoughtful consideration to several possible road construction plans that would access tourists into the heart of the Olympic Mountains. A road up the east fork of the Quinault River and eastward across the mountains to Hood Canal, a road from the Soleduck River to either Seven Lakes Basin or the Olympic Hot Springs (now Boulder Creek Hot Springs) area, and an extended road to the upper Elwha River Basin, were among the road building projects contemplated but never actualized.
In planning for recreational use of Olympic National Forest and Mount Olympus National Monument, the Forest Service developed unit plans that dealt specifically with "the more desirable recreational areas along lakes, rivers and in alpine areas of the high mountain regions. These unit plans provide[d] sites for public campgrounds, organization group building sites, resorts, summer homes, and winter sports areas" (NFS ONF 1937, 4 March).
Responding to increased recreational use of the inland portions of the Peninsula, Forest Service Recreation Engineer Fred W. Cleator prepared a recreation plan in 1929 that established fifteen specific geographic units set aside specifically for limited recreational use. The majority of these units or project areas are within the present boundaries of Olympic National Park and include Lake Crescent, Quinault Lake, the lower Elwha River, Olympic Hot Springs, Seven Lakes Basin, Mount Angeles, Lena Lake and North Fork Skokomish River.
The so-called Cleator Plan also recommended the establishment of a 316,960 acre "Mount Olympus Snow Peaks Recreation Area" in the upper east fork Quinault drainage and an adjoining 134,240 acre "Olympic Primitive Area." The only modifications in the primitive area, Cleator noted, "should be in the way of such Forest Service administrative improvements as are absolutely necessary for protection, such as trails, telephone lines and lookout houses. Other buildings beyond such rough shelters as may be considered necessary should be kept out" (Gallison Collection 1929). (The Olympic Primitive Area was, in fact, created by the chief forester in December 1930, and later enlarged by the Secretary of Agriculture (NFS ONF 1937, 4 March).
Within Cleator's proposed Mount Olympus Snow Peaks Recreation Area, commercial development of the Enchanted Valley Chalet was permitted. In explaining the permitted operation of the Chalet, previous Olympic Forest Supervisor H. L. Plumb testified before the U.S. Congressional House Committee on Public Lands in 1936: "The country is quite wild, as has been brought out before, and it was felt that the ordinary person should have more means of protection. Not all people can pack on their backs through the area, and the great majority can not afford to hire pack outfits" (U.S. Congress 1936, 206)."
In 1933 administration of Mount Olympus National Monument was transferred to the Department of the Interior from the Department of Agriculture. During the twenty-eight years of administrative jurisdiction by the National Forest Service, a total of $11,566 was spent on recreational improvements in the Olympics (NFS ONF 1937, 4 March).
In 1938 with the establishment of a large national park taking in all of Mount Olympus National Monument as well as large sections of Olympic National Forest, new perceptions of providing recreationists with a wilderness experience emerged. Conservation of the natural environment was an abiding National Park Service philosophy and was expressed in administrative policy decisions regarding recreational use of the new Olympic National Park. Under Park Service administration, hunting throughout the Park was prohibited, commercialization of recreational facilities was discouraged and reduced over time, permits for private resort homes were discontinued and vehicular accessibility was limited. In an address given in Seattle only a few months after the establishment of the Park, the Secretary of the Interior and forceful and zealous crusader for the Olympic National Park, Harold Ickes, strongly advocated keeping Olympic a wilderness:
Nearly ten years after the establishment of Olympic National Park an elimination of some 60,000 acres on its west side was proposed. Once again strongly expressed sentiments for wilderness values as related to recreational use of the Park were thrown open to public debate. Irving M. Clark, strong defender of wilderness concepts, the National Park Service and an influential champion for the creation of Olympic National Park, denounced the idea of a Park reduction in the late 1940s. He articulated his thoughts about the Olympic wilderness and the value of its protection for recreationists.
Even in very recent years contemporary users and viewers of the Olympic wilderness describe what they see using words and phrases strangely similar to those who first explored the unknown recesses of the Peninsula nearly 100 years ago. In 1961 authors, McCallum and Ross, exclaimed: "The Olympic Peninsula, with its raw and savage peaks, gleaming rivers of ice winding down into deep valleys, waterfalls pluming into tiny emerald lakes, is truly one of North America's wildest areasits 'last frontier'" (McCallum and Ross 1961, 143).
Hunting. Partakers of the Olympic wilderness over the last ninety years have predominantly been those with interests in hiking, sport hunting, fishing, and, later, skiing. Hunting on the Olympic Peninsula and within the present boundaries of Olympic National Park was sporadic and irregular. Areas of permitted hunting, the length and time of hunting seasons and the type of game legally hunted have been subject to highly variable regulations of both state and federal agencies.
The elk, "monarch of the wilderness," was abundant in the Olympic Mountains prior to the turn of the century. An 1890 article in a North American hunting magazine claimed that the Olympic Mountains contained the largest herds of elk in the United States outside Yellowstone National Park (Perry 1890, 45). Elk hunting expeditions were not limited to only the interior mountains in the 1890s. In articles appearing in the popular magazine, Recreation, elk hunting was reported just slightly inland from the Pacific coast, as well as in the Elwha River Valley (Church 1897, 123; Johnson 1902, 191-93). The legal killing of elk was prohibited by Washington state law in 1905. In 1909 Mount Olympus National Monument was established for the express purpose of protecting the elk and its feeding range. Although the meat of elk was not considered particularly tasteful, poaching of lowland elk was not too uncommon. Trophy heads suitable for mounting and the valuable canine elk teeth used for ornamental watch fobs were considered prized possessions (NPS OLYM 1934, n.d.).
In response to claims of overbrowsing by elk, the Washington State Game Commission opened a four day season on elk in 1933. After a three year hiatus in elk hunting, certain sections inside the Olympic National Forest on the western river drainages were again opened for hunting in 1936, 1937 and 1938. Nineteen thirty-seven was the peak year for hunters. A total of 811 elk were killed, the greatest concentration from the Hoh River drainage (Schwartz 1939, 57-58). An army of 2,000 hunters entered the area during the 1937 hunting season. The succession of hunting accidents created a comical scene adeptly recorded by Forester Sanford Floe:
Clarence Adams, administrative assistant for Olympic National Forest, described the scene more tersely. "Elk season opened on the Hoh. Congestion of hunters, one man killed, several wounded, one drowned, winding up in a flood marooning many people on river islands until rescued by Indians in canoes" (NFS ONF 1946, 15 August).
Deer and cougar were perhaps the two most widely hunted game animals in the interior mountains. Deer hunting was legally permitted in certain sections of the monument and forest. It was apparently quite popular, keeping many local packers employed in the fall. Grant Humes, living in the upper Elwha River valley, frequently packed supplies for fall deer hunting parties venturing into the mountains. Several shelter sites on the river became popular hunting camps. During the hunting seasons of the 1910s and 1920s, Humes indicated that he and other packers in the area, including Burt Herrick and De Witt Sisson, booked for pack trips sometimes far in advance. An avid hunter himself, Humes described in a letter dated 30 August 1923 to his brother, the nature of sport hunting on the Elwha in the early 1920s: "Before this reaches you the annual rush of hunters and 'rough necks' will have begun into those woods, 'those mountains' and pandemonium will be rampant. It reminds one of the opening of the Cherokee strip, or some other agency where humans show their 'grab and greed' tendencies" (NPS OLYM 1900-1911, 1934).
Periodically, a bounty was offered for cougar. At such times it was not uncommon for Peninsula residents, including pioneer settlers John Huelsdonk and Billy Everett, to supplement their income by hunting cougar. Emil O. Michael, resident of the Elwha Valley, and for whom the extant Michael's Cabin is named, gained considerable notoriety for his prowess hunting cougar during the 1920s and 1930s (NARS:RG 79 1935, 16). In 1927 Mount Olympus National Monument was closed to hunting and trapping in perpetuity. In 1938 hunting within the expanded Park boundaries was prohibited.
Fishing. Recreational fishing was enjoyed by untold numbers of sport fishermen and hikers for decades. Stories of abundant trout, cutthroat and steelhead in streams and lakes throughout the Olympic Mountains appeared in sport and recreational magazines before 1900.
Lake Crescent gained early fame as a fisherman's paradise when unusually large and distinctively colored trout caught in the 300 foot waters of the lake were publicized in the mid 1890s. Admiral Leslie A. Beardslee, commander of the Pacific Squadron of the U.S. Navy, visited Lakes Crescent and Sutherland in 1895 while his fleet of ships anchored in the Port Angeles harbor. Beardslee was immortalized on this fishing trip after catching a total of sixty pounds of exceptionally large, blue-backed trout. It was Beardslee's account of his fish catch that prompted Stanford University ichthyologist, David Starr Jordan, to name this "new" subspecies of trout the "Beardslee trout" (PADN 1983a, 1 May).
Other scientists were attracted to Lake Crescent and before 1900 several species and subspecies of trout from the lake were identified. Ichthyologists published numerous accounts of Lake Crescent's trout which quickly reached popular sportsmens literature and attracted fish enthusiasts from distant eastern cities. The Beardslee trout mythology, however, has no doubt been the longest lived and most prevalent fish story associated with Lake Crescent (PADN 1983a, 1 May).
The widespread reputation of the distinctive blue-back Beardslee trout was exemplified by the account of a fishing excursion made by W. S. Jones of Akron, Ohio, just after the turn of the century. After first trying his luck on the "famous Elwha river," Jones proceeded next to Lake Sutherland. He wrote,
In the early 1900s a fish hatchery program was established and ostensibly designed to expand the production of the Beardslee, and later the cutthroat and sockeye salmon population in freshwater lakes and rivers around the north Peninsula. Ironically, the hatchery operation proved to be the near demise of the "Beardslee trout." Over the years the Beardslee stock has fluctuated greatly (PADN 1983b, 1 May).
The Elwha River, draining the north Peninsula, was another early popular fishing area. A 1911 promotional pamphlet pronouncing on the wonders of the Lake Crescent area claimed: "At McDonald Bridge the wilderness and grandeur of the Elwha are particularly impressive and the ripples and pools of this splendid trout stream offer a hard-to-resist temptation to just stop for a minute to try a few casts. . . . It is fairly clear [that] the big Dolly Vardens in the deep, dark pools, or the gamy cutthroats on the wide, white-crested rapids, afford abundant fishing" (Dalton Collection 1911, 12). In 1934, then Assistant Chief Ranger Preston Macy attested, "there is no question but the Elwha is the best trout stream in the Olympics." Many fishing enthusiasts hiked or hired packers for the trip up the Elwha River expressly to fish (UW 1934, 20 August).
Popular fishing rivers and lakes in the Olympic Mountains were not limited to Lake Crescent and the Elwha River. At various times rivers on the east side of the mountains were popular fishing grounds. Although high mountain lakes are not large enough to support heavy sustained fishing, larger lowland lakes, such as Quinault and Cushman, generally produced more fish (Gallison Collection 1929). Depending on variables such as artificial stocking and the carrying capacity of rivers and streams, various major drainage streams throughout the Olympic Mountains yielded considerable quantities of fish.
With the creation of Olympic National Park in 1938, Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes, in an address in Seattle before the Northwest Conservation League commented: "The United States government encourages fishing in national parks. . . . The federal government stands ready to assume full cost of keeping the lakes and streams of such parks stocked with fish" (Seattle PI 1938, 27 August). Olympic National Park's first superintendent, Preston Macy, reported in 1944 that "Fishing throughout the park has been quite good in spite of the fact that there has been no artificial 'restocking' for several years" (NARS:RG 79 1944a, n.d.).
Existing cabins once used for sport hunting and fishing enthusiasts are limited to the Elwha River Valley drainage. Several sports enthusiasts who visited the valley year after year received Forest Service permits to erect summer cabins on or near the present Elwha River Trail. Four of these cabins were built in the 1920s. The then acting custodian of Mount Olympus National Monument, Preston Macy, reported the existence of four summer residences on the Elwha River in 1935: the log cabin of Dr. Ball of Seattle located near Windfall Creek and built in 1920; the log cabins of Truman Drum and Frederick Remann, both built in 1926 and located only one-half mile apart and about a mile south of the present Elkhorn Elkhorn Ranger Station; and the log cabin of H. H. Botten, erected in 1928-1929 about ten miles south of Remann's Cabin (NPS OLYM 1935, 24 August).
In 1983 only two Elwha River summer residence cabins remain intact: the log cabin of Frederick Remann and the cabin of H. H. Botten (commonly called the Wilder Cabin). Both cabins were built under the supervision of pioneer Elwha River settler Grant Humes and feature carefully crafted dovetail corner joints, an extended roof that forms a front porch. They have a nearly identical overall dimensions.
Frederick G. Remann, who was known locally for his prowess as a fisherman, was among the more prominent regular visitors to the Elwah Valley. A resident of Tacoma, Washington from 1907 until his death in 1949, Remann gained acclaim and stature in local and state politics. He began his career as the Pierce County prosecuting attorney (1915-1919), and ascended to superior court judge (1926-1948) (Tacoma News Tribune 1977, 1 May; Tacoma Who's Who 1929, 166). Remann, an avid fisherman, selected a low lying flat on the banks of the Elwha River for the site of what he called his Elk Lick Cabin. Vulnerable to flooding, Remann's Elk Lick Cabin was moved once around 1939, when the changing course of the river threatened to destroy it. During this move, the cabin was disassembled and relocated on a high shelf overlooking the river (NPS OLYM ca. 1979, n.d.). Remann's Cabin stands at this location today.
Approximately ten miles upriver from Remann's Elk Lick Cabin, the Botten (Wilder) Cabin is the only other private recreational cabin still standing in the Elwha River drainage. Henry H. Botten, a civil engineer and assistant manager of the Washington Survey and Rating Bureau in Seattle (Seattle City Directory 1911-1930), commissioned Grant Humes to erect a cabin at Leitha Creek near a camp known as Crackerville. In the summer of 1928 Humes described the cabin site in a letter dated 9 July to his brother: "It is a grand, wild spot and we plan to deface the forest but little and make no trail leading to it. . . . A fine view is had of the mountains across the river and a husky creek tumbles down the gulch alongside the cabin site . . . (Dalton Collection 1916-1933). In addition to the Botten Cabin, Humes built a small "woodhouse" nearby for storing supplies and tools during the winter of 1928-1929, according to a letter written by Grant on 23 September 1928. The cabin was presumably completed in the spring of 1929 (Dalton Collection 1916-1933).
Two of the four Elwha River fishing cabins built in the 1920s are no longer standing. The two-room cabin of Dr. Ball, the oldest of the private recreational cabins on the Elwha River near Windfall Creek, is now in deteriorated condition with the roof collapsed into the center of the cabin. Only the log walls remain erect. The Truman Drum Cabin, that stood about one-half mile south of Elkhorn Ranger Station, was destroyed in 1982.
Hiking and Mountaineering. Although recreational hunting and fishing in the Olympic Mountains could hardly be divorced from hiking, mountaineering and hiking developed as independent recreational activities. A precedent for hiking in the Olympics was set as early as 1890 when three members of the O'Neil exploring expedition represented the Oregon Alpine Club, an infant mountaineering club formed in 1897. Scenic beauty combined with the challenge of traversing rugged country and ascending unconquered peaks had great appeal to numerous recreational hikers and mountaineers. E. B. Webster, one of the founding members of the Klahhane (hiking) Club of Port Angeles, Washington, thoughtfully contemplated the attraction of the mountains. He wrote in 1918:
Expressing the same sentiments over a decade later, Joseph Hazard in Snow Sentinels of the Pacific Northwest commented, "The best thing about the age in which we are living is not found in its mechanical progress or in its luxurious standards of living. It is found in a more universal knowledge that complete living comes from a common sense coordination of things physical, intellectual, and spiritual" (Hazard 1932, 48).
The Mountaineers, a Seattle mountaineering club, formed in 1906, was eager to partake of the multiplicity of renewing outdoor experiences offered by the largely unsurveyed and untrampled river valleys and mountain peaks of the Olympics. They were principally responsible for opening the interior of the Olympics to recreational hiking. A party of sixty-five men and women, and approximately fifteen pack horses laden with hundreds of pounds of supplies, penetrated the mountains on their first annual outing in 1907. Months of preparation were spent prior to the trip. An advance party of three, including W. M. Price, Elwha River settler Grant Humes, and well-known Seattle photographer Asahel Curtis, charted a possible route and selected campsites prior to The Mountaineers arrival on the Peninsula in July of that year (Smith 1907, 145; ST 1907, 16 June). Many miles of trails were built beyond existing roads. Large quantities of supplies were packed in ahead of the party.
During their one-month outing, members of the club made the first recorded ascents of several principal peaks including the West Peak of Mount Olympus, Mounts Seattle, Barnes, Queets, Christie, Meany and Noyes. Grant Humes described his involvement in this mountaineering exploit in a letter dated 10 November 1907. (Roloff 1934, 222-223; Smith 1907, 145; NPS OLYM 1897-1911,1934). (For a more detailed account of The Mountaineers' 1907 expedition see Chapter 1, Unknown No Longer.) The Mountaineers conducted future summer outings in the Olympics in 1913, 1920, 1926 and 1933. During The Mountaineers 1913 hiking expedition up the Elwha River, across Low Divide and down the Quinault watershed, the 102 member party passed a resolution "to investigate the matter of the construction of club lodges and mountain shelters" (Streator 1913, 21, 26). Olympic Forest Supervisor Rudo Fromme joined The Mountaineers for part of their excursion (NFS ONF n.d.). Over the years, The Mountaineers worked cooperatively with the Forest Service to build trails in the mountains (Roloff 1934, 223).
During the 1910s and 1920s, other mountaineering and hiking clubs formed, and these groups, along with repeated expeditions of The Mountaineers, made regular hiking expeditions into the Olympic Mountains. The Klahhane Club of Port Angeles formed in 1914, and each year an outing was planned to some point in the Olympics. The Klahhane Annual of 1918 noted, "Club members are instrumental in carrying on the great work of conservation which has assumed such an important place among national movements in the last few years." Klahhaneites claimed as their personal domain a "noble pile" six miles south of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, Mount Angeles (NPS OLYM 1918).
Soon after its organization the Klahhane Club leased from the National Forest Service an abandoned two-story cedar log cabin built by Louis Williams as a summer retreat, located on a bench at the foot of Mount Angeles. Club members made initial repairs to the old Williams Cabin, constructed a peeled pole porch addition in 1917, and in 1921, a large addition (Webster 1917; 1921, 109-12). When the Williams Cabin burned to the ground in the early 1920s, Klahhane members relocated to the north shore of Lake Crescent before finally constructing a new clubhouse at Heart O'the Hills in the early 1930s (Bredl 1965, 2; Robinson 1971, 273). A portion of the new Klahhane Club building stands just inside the Olympic National Park boundary.
At the southern end of the Olympic Peninsula, the Olympians of Aberdeen and Hoquiam organized in 1921. That same year they hiked into the Olympics by way of the Quinault River. Five Olympians reached the Middle Peak of Mount Olympus on 11 August 1921. Again in 1926, the Olympians entered their namesake mountains, and a party of eleven climbed to the summit of Middle Peak (Mathias 1928, 38-39).
The Mazamas of Portland Oregon, organized in 1894, planned their first outing to the Olympic Mountains two years later in 1928. Four Olympians were among the thirty-three Mazamas that ascended the West Peak of Mount Olympus. This was the second largest party on the summit (Mathias 1924, 39-40).
As an organization, the Boy Scouts were intimately associated with the Olympic Mountains. Between 1914, when the first ascent of Mount Tom was made by historian Edmund S. Meany and a Scout group, and the late 1940s, scout groups hiked throughout the Olympic range. The Boy Scouts made the first ascents of Del Monte Ridge and Mount Tom (Sainsbury 1972, 39; Olympic Mountain Rescue, The Mountaineers 1979, 10).
Although large regiments of hikers from mountaineering clubs from the Pacific Northwest were welcomed by Peninsula business communities and invariably attained notoriety through newspaper publicity during the 1910s and 1920s, small parties of mountaineers or solo hikers in the Olympics periodically received acclaim by local newspapers as well. Four mountain climbers from Bremerton ascended Five Fingers peak, a cluster of false peaks adjacent to the West Peak of Mount Olympus in 1908. For the first time in history they successfully climbed West, Middle and East Peak of Mount Olympus, all in one day (Wood 1968, 78).
During the summer of 1920, Henrietta McNaughan, a reporter from Portland, Oregon, made front page headlines in the Oregon Journal with her narrative of a sixteen day solo hike in the Olympic Mountains from Hood Canal to Lake Quinault. In one of three lengthy articles she noted: "As a recreational center, for the lovers of the beautiful in mountain scenery, the lovers of wild life and of mountain climbing, the Olympics have been practically untapped. With the exception of a few resorts at the forest's edges, the region is a complete wilderness" (Oregon Journal 1920, 8 August).
Two years later in 1922, two members of The Mountaineers Club, A. E. Smith and Robert Schellin, ascended Mount Constance (at the eastern Park boundary), placing a cairn atop the 7,743 foot rocky pinnacle (Thompson 1923, 3). In more recent years (since the 1920s), several nontechnical but remote mountain peaks were climbed for the first time by members of the U.S. Geological Survey mapping parties (NPS OLYM ca. 1980).
According to O. H. Kneen writing for Mentor magazine, in 1924 "three men and five horses . . . penetrated the last untamed wilderness of our land" (Kneen 1925, 32). Organized by Seattle photographer Asahel Curtis, the party traveled extensively in the western river drainages. Olympic National Forest Supervisor Rudo L. Fromme and others joined the party as they descended the Elwha Valley (TRL 1924, 14 October). Curtis took numerous photographs hoping to stimulate a widespread awareness of the Peninsula's timber resources, its plentiful wild game, its water power and agricultural potential, the "exceptional mountain scenery . . . [and the] summer resort possibilities" (ST 1924, 15 July).
Skiing. Unlike hunting, fishing and hiking, skiing was among the last recreational sport activities to arrive in the Olympic Mountains. Through the efforts of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), which was active in developing a number of recreational projects on the Olympic Peninsula in the 1930s, Deer Park opened for recreational skiers during the 1936-1937 winter season in what was then part of Olympic National Forest. Patronized primarily by the Peninsula residents, this "winter sports paradise" continued to operate as a local ski resort after the area was included in the expanded boundaries of Olympic National Park. In the early 1940s four buildings originally constructed by the Forest Service and a sheepherder's cabin dating from an earlier period served as winter use buildings for the ski area. Deer Park Lodge, a simple but rustic former CCC barrack with a dormitory and kitchen, housed several skiers. Under the National Park Service administration, Deer Park ski area continued in operation until 1957. In 1961 and 1962 the National Park Service removed Deer Park ski buildings, including the lodge, a ski shop, woodshed, toilet and the sheepherder's cabin (first aid station). (NPS OLYM 1964; 14 February, 5 March; NPS OLYM ca. 1945; PAEN 1937, 30 September).
Limited by relatively light snowfall and slopes with a southern exposure, the skiing season at Deer Park was restricted to only three or four months. In the early 1940s alternative ski areas were proposed for the Soleduck Park area (along the divide between the Soleduck and Elwha Rivers) (PAEN 1941, 19 June). Five years later visiting National Park Service landscape architects examined Hurricane Ridge for its potential as a ski area and site for an alpine lodge (PAEN 1946, 2 August). In 1950, according to an article in the Seattle Times newspaper the Park Service proceeded with plans to construct a "lodge to rival the Pacific Northwest's famous Paradise Inn [on Mount Rainier, Washington] and Timberline Lodge [on Mount Hood, Oregon]" (ST 1950, 29 October). The lodge was designed to provide year round facilities for tourists, including winter sports enthusiasts. With the completion of this project, the Hurricane Ridge Road and lodge set a new precedent for Olympic National Park. As the Seattle Times explained, "Olympic National Park is one of the nation's newer parkscreated only 12 years ago. Its 866,000 acres comprise some of the most primitive mountain wilderness in the United States. Except for the few narrow roads leading into it from the borders, it is virtually inaccessible to the average tourist" (ST 1950, 29 October).
The Coastal Strip of Olympic National Park has traditionally provided a much different kind of wilderness experience for the recreation seeker than the larger land-locked portion of the Park. William O. Douglas, prominent U.S. Supreme Court Judge, was a periodic visitor to the Olympic Peninsula's Pacific Ocean shoreline. He eloquently described, perhaps the quintessential qualities of this westernmost U.S. beach in his book, My Wilderness: The Pacific West: "The wildest the most remote and, I think, the most picturesque beach area of our whole coast line lies under a pounding surf along the Pacific Ocean in the State of Washington. It is marked as Cape Alava on the north and the Quillayute River on the south. It is a place of haunting beauty, of deep solitude" (Douglas 1968, 28).
With the absence of precipitous valley walls and rugged mountain peaks to conquer, the mile wide Coastal Strip was far more hospitable to settlement. Remoteness, however, was a quality it shared with the interior Olympic range. Accessible only by way of seaworthy vessels until well into the twentieth century, the Peninsula's west coast never developed large industrial or commercial communities. Only the very hardy and perservering settlers established homestead claims along the coastline. They settled particularly at the mouths of rivers and creeks where fresh water was available.
Many early settlers did not stay long on their land. Those who did sometimes became ocean resort owners and operators. With few exceptions, however, recreational development of the Coastal Strip was held in ebb until the problem of inaccessibility was solved by the completion of the Olympic Peninsula loop highway in 1931 encircling the central mass of the Olympic Mountains. Paralleling the Pacific Ocean on the western edge of the Peninsula, the highway approached the beach, sometimes within several hundred yards. The highway itself, or stub roads extending to the ocean from the loop road, encouraged the establishment of enclaves of resort cabins and auto camps overlooking the water. Two weeks prior to the formal opening of the Olympic loop highway, the Grays Harbor Chamber of Commerce compiled a list of twenty-seven hotels and auto camps open to overnight tourists on the Peninsula. Included in the list were cabins and auto camps located at Kalaloch, La Push and Mora (TRL 1931, 7 August).
Unlike the interior portion of Olympic National Park, federal administration of the land now contained in the Coastal Strip began with the National Park Service and was not preceded by any other federal agency. There was no federal precedent for directing recreational development. Between 1940, when President Franklin Roosevelt authorized the expenditure of Public Works Administration (PWA) monies for the acquisition of the fifty mile long Coastal Strip (and the Queets Corridor) and 1953, when President Harry Truman legally proclaimed the addition of the ocean strip to Olympic National Park, the National Park Service guided the development of recreational facilities on lands included in the PWA coastal area.
As travel on the loop highway increased following World War II, Olympic National Park Superintendent Preston Macy and district Park Ranger Floyd Dickinson repeatedly called attention to the pressing need for greater resort cabin and campground facilities along the coast. In August 1945, Ranger Dickinson noted, "The Parkway has had an increase in travel during this summer season. Hence along the coast there is a demand for cabins and camping areas." In a memorandum to the Park Service regional director, Olympic Superintendent Preston Macy reiterated the same demand. In addition, Macy stated, "It was quite evident that heavy use had been made of this area by those who wish to camp out. We should plan to develop our campground at Kalaloch at the earliest possible time" (NARS:RG 79 1945, 15 August, 20 August).
In the late 1940s resort development in the coastal PWA acquisition area was encouraged, and Olympic National Park issued permits for the operation of concessioner operations at Kalaloch, Ruby Beach, Mora, La Push and Ozette Lake. At the same time private ownership of rental resort dwellings was discouraged by the Park Service, and, beginning in the 1950s, many of these summer homes were sold or razed (UW 1954, 3 December).
Similar to the interior mountainous portion of the Park, it was the natural wilderness setting of the ocean strip that was the key factor in attracting vacationists to the area. In 1955 Olympic National Park Superintendent Fred Overly described the fifty mile strip of coastline as "one of the most primitive and scenic oceanscapes remaining in the continental United States" (UW 1954, 3 December). Expounding on the same theme in 1968, William O. Douglas gave an impassioned description of the section of beach between Cape Johnson and Rialto Beach.
Resort cabins, auto camps and campgrounds were established around the Olympic Peninsula as more and more vacationists came to the Peninsula to hunt, fish, hike or simply repose in the quiet wilderness setting. Large inland freshwater lakes, the banks of streams or hot springs, protected ocean bluffs and areas of particular scenic beauty were favored locations for resort development. Unlike settlement and industrial development on the Peninsula, accessibility by the general public was not always a pivotal factor in determining the location of certain resort development. Within the present boundaries of Olympic National Park areas of principal and private resort development include Lakes Crescent, Quinault and Cushman, Sol Duc and Olympic (Boulder Creek) Hot Springs, isolated sites in the Ennis Creek, Elwha, Queets and Quinault River drainages, and along the Pacific Ocean coastline.
Lake Crescent. Twelve mile-long Lake Crescent was among the first sites in Olympic National Park to develop as a resort area. Even as the first settlers staked claim in the 1890s to sections of lakeshore frontage, travelers came to fish for the lake's famous large trout or to simply relax amidst the beautiful surroundings of the lake. In 1891 a primitive seven mile road connecting Port Crescent (on the Strait of Juan de Fuca) and the north shore of Lake Crescent supplanted an earlier trail through the forest. Soon after, a small steam launch, Lady of the Lake, was constructed and made daily trips around the lake for those who wished to view the impressive surrounding scenery.
In mid summer 1891, N. A. Purves opened what was probably the lake's first hotel. In the early 1890s pioneer travelers found tents, cabins and meals at Piedmont on the north side of the lake near the terminus of the Port Crescent road. These rough accommodations were replaced in 1895 with the first legitimate hotelLog Cabin Hotel (also known as the Hotel Piedmont). Built at Piedmont, on the site of the present Log Cabin Resort, the original Log Cabin Hotel was a rustic, two-story, peeled cedar log structure with an impressive fireplace, expansive lounge, dining room, and sleeping rooms on the second floor. The Log Cabin Hotel was destroyed by fire in 1932 (PAEN 1953, 28 November; Lauridsen and Smith 1937, 213).
Also in the 1890s, Frank P. Fisher welcomed casual travelers at his small log cabin on the east end of the lake at the terminus of the first road from Port Angeles to Lakes Sutherland and Crescent. Fisher replaced his resort accommodation in 1909 with a one and one-half story frame building and nearby tents and cabins. Fisher's East Beach establishment hosted Admiral Beardslee (namesake of Lake Crescent's variety of large trout) on his first visit to the lake in 1895. Strategically located at the end of the Port Angeles road, East Beach was the transfer point for vacationists traveling by ferry or private launch to other resorts located on the lake's edge. At one time a pier extended over one hundred feet from the shoreline at East Beach (PAEN 1953, 28 November; Lawrence 1971, 407).
Before the road around Lake Crescent's south shore road was completed, William and Betty Lenoir, emigrants from western Europe in 1909 and participants in the 1912 construction of Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort, took over the operation of East Beach. The Lenoirs made several improvements to the property. Under their proprietorship a recreation hall and eight cabins were constructed and an orchard planted. The Lenoirs moved their resort operation to Fairholm (spelled earlier as "Fairholme") in the mid 1930s. Fruit trees standing near the shore at East Beach are now the most conspicuous reminders of the past resort establishment (PAEN 1953, 28 November; Lawrence 1971, 407-408, 410).
During the first decade of the twentieth century, several other resorts were established around Lake Crescent. On the north shore of the western section of the lake Mr. and Mrs. E. J. Ovington began a resort in 1905. It quickly gained distinction as one of the most popular resorts on the lake. In 1911 Ovington's was described as "a charming place, occupying fourteen acres of land with a frontage on the lake of 1,500 feet. The main building has a large dining room, most artistically furnished, a number of Mexican curios, tiger skins, snake skins, and other articles of interest immediately attracting attention" (Dalton Collection, 1911, 17). Both the main building and a nearby three-room cottage were fronted with verandas looking out over the water. In 1911, fourteen tents, each with running water, accommodated overflow visitors. A garden, orchard, cows and chickens provided Ovington guests with fresh dairy products, poultry, fruits and vegetables. For amusement Ovington's offered its guests tennis, swimming, boating, fishing, hunting and hiking. Early on, Ovington's became the reputed social center on the lake. Dances and other events were held in the spacious public room of the lodge. Between 1914 and 1942, Ovington's housed a post office (Dalton Collection 1911, 20; Ramsey 1978, 115; Lawrence 1971, 407; Olympic Peninsula Resort Hotel Assoc. ca. 1920).
The growing popularity of Ovington's led to a need for additional guest accommodations. Several frame, cedar bark-sided cabins were erected at Ovington's during its early years of existence. Ovington's continued to attract summer recreationists through the 1930s and early 1940s. In 1947, seven years after inclusion of Lake Crescent in Olympic National Park, the Ovington estate was purchased by the U.S. government and shortly afterward the National Park Concessioners, Inc., leased the property and renamed it Beardslee Bay Camp (NPS OLYM 1947). The Park Service rehabilitation plan for the property involved removing the Ovington cabins from the site and, subsequently, relocating several cedar bark-sided cabins to present-day Log Cabin Resort.
Marymere (occasionally spelled Meremere), the earliest resort hotel constructed on the southern shore of the lake, was erected on Barnes Point in 1906. This one and one-half story frame building, distinguished by a two-story polygonal projecting bay, developed a faithful patronage largely due to the hospitality and excellent food of Mrs. Rose Littleton (nee Saylor) and her assistant, Mary Daum. (Mrs. Littleton leased the resort hotel from the Barnes family, who settled on the point named after them, in the 1890s.) Five years after its opening Marymere was described as a "beautiful place . . . [with] ample roomalmost a farm, with a garden, cows and hens away at the rear, and under the cedars and maples along the beach at either side of the house are auxiliary cottages and tents. During the busy part of the season, some sixty or more people are cared for at Meremere" (Dalton Collection 1911, 17). The life of Marymere ended abruptly, less than ten years after it was opened, when it burned to the ground around 1914 (Lawrence 1971; PAEN 1953, 28 November).
In 1907-1908, one year after Marymere opened its doors to guests, the Hotel Crescent, at Piedmont was established. Standing not far from the Log Cabin Hotel (also known as the Hotel Piedmont) Mr. and Mrs. H. L. Mitchell operated the two-story lodge for several years. Mrs. Mitchell and her daughter Lizzie gained a widespread reputation among Lake Crescent visitors for their excellent wholesome meals prepared from fresh vegetables, poultry and dairy products that originated on the hotel grounds. The Hotel Crescent was known also for its "garden that is a model of its kind, wherein are growing almost every variety of vegetable, and in such abundance that one could, for instance, pick a bushel of peas a day" (Dalton Collection 1911, 21). In addition Mr. Mitchell supplied fresh meat to camps on the lake.
For entertainment Hotel Crescent guests had their choice of tennis and croquet on the grounds and camp fires on the beach in the evening. In 1911 this commodius hotel, featuring wide verandas facing the lake and set on two or three acres of lawn sloping gently to the shoreline, was advertised as the "prettiest and most comfortably located" hotel on Lake Crescent with "more house room than all others combined" (Dalton Collection 1911, 21, 26). A piano and bath were, at that time, featured amenities. The life of the "Crescent" ended in 1919 when the hotel building succumbed to fire (Lauridsen and Smith 1937, 213-14).
While most of the early Lake Crescent resorts closed in the winter months, the Hotel Fairholme was open year round. Before the south shore Lake Crescent road was completed in 1922, Fairholm, located at the far western end of the lake, served as the connecting point between the lake's boat traffic and pioneer trails extending to the west end of the county. The fourteen mile auto road to Sol Duc Hot Springs completed in 1910 also began at the Fairholm dock (Dalton Collection 1911, 11, 20). The first post office on the lake was established at "Fairholme" in 1891 (Ramsey 1978, 95). In 1911 it was the central point and exchange for the west lake telephones. From Fairholm lines extended to the Elwha River, Lake Sutherland, Port Crescent on the Strait of Juan de Fuca, Sol Duc Hot Springs and around both the north and south shores of Lake Crescent.
Fairholm's stature as a vital communications center on the lake was enhanced in the mid 1910s when the Clallam County Board of Commissioners authorized the construction of two ferry boats to ply the waters of Lake Crescent. The Majority was completed in 1914 and the sister ship Storm King finished in 1915. Both were christened and launched at Piedmont. Initial rates for ferry travel on the lake varied from twenty-five cents for passengers over fourteen years of age and for a single wagon, buggy or cart, to two dollars for autos and trucks nearing five thousand pounds in weight. These ferries remained in service and made scheduled stops at East Beach, Piedmont and Fairholm until the south shore Lake Crescent Road was completed in the early 1920s (Lawrence 1971, 70-71).
One of the early buildings near Fairholm was not a resort lodge or hotel but the small cabin of Caroline Jones, who settled on Lake Crescent in the early 1890s. Originator of the name "Fairholme," Caroline Jones, later became the wife of Theodore Rixon, best known for his work with Arthur Dodwell in conducting a survey of the Olympic Forest Reserve between 1897 and 1900. Although the exact date of establishment of the Hotel Fairholme is uncertain, Fairholme was described in 1911 as "a modern house with large rooms, handsomely furnished. [It] stands well up from the lake and is surrounded by handsome grounds. The dining room and sitting room are both large, cheerful rooms and the broad veranda is especially attractive" (Dalton Collection 1911, 20). An advertisment for the Hotel Fairholme boasted that the biggest trout ever caught in the lake were taken at Fairholm. Mrs. E. Jones was proprietor of the resort in the early 1910s (Dalton Collection 1911, 26).
After the 1910s, Fairholm experienced an evolution of owners and lodging accommodations. In the early 1920s Alston Fairservice bought and operated the Fairholme Resort. Later in the mid 1930s William and Betty Lenoir, earlier operators of the resort at Lake Crescent's East Beach, built a small resort at Fairholm. Lenoir's Cabin Resort consisted of a store and several furnished cabins. It continued operating into the 1950s (Lawrence 1971, 408, 411; Olympic Peninsula Resort and Hotel Assoc. ca. 1946). (In 1983 a new store building stands on the site of Lenoir's Cabin Resort store.)
While Fairholm was welcoming ferry boats and overnight guests in the early 1910s, other resort lodges on the sunny north side of the elongated western end of Lake Crescent were doing business in the tourist trade. The two-story wood frame hotel belonging to Elmer E. Day, known as Sunshine Lodge, and the modest single story rustic log structure with elk antlers mounted above the porch at the gable end, known as Delabarre's Lodge, were two north shore retreats promoted in 1911 (Dalton Collection 1911, 20).
A Lake Crescent resort with a more intriguing and convoluted history was established in the early 1910s by a Portland, Oregon, doctor who specialized in the neuroses of the more affluent. Enamored with the beauty and healthful qualities of the lake, Dr. Louis Dechman purchased land in 1913 from Elmer E. Day on the lake's north shore approximately five miles east of Fairholme. On a hillside above the water's edge, Dr. Dechman erected a sumptuously appointed sanatorium which he named Qui Si Sana, which in Latin means "Here Find Health." Believing that fresh air, physical work and moderate exercise were the best remedies for those who led a sedentary urban life, Dr. Dechman handed his guests an axe and showed them a pile of wood. "After two weeks of chopping wood, relaxation in the mountain air, gourmet food and trampling through the woods, they returned to the tensions of the city with a spring in their step and a twinkle in their eyes (Lauridsen and Smith 1937, 219).
Wealthy bankers, business executives and professional people were among those who subscribed to Dr. Dechman's regime of healthful living at Qui Si Sana. The buildings of Qui Si Sana, consisting of a large main building that housed a dining room and lounge, a caretaker's home, laundry and many small cottages, were idyllically situated on a hillside of flowers, shrubs and trees. Several small statues were artistically placed amidst exotic plants that blended into native shrubs and trees on the slope overlooking Lake Crescent. The gracious life of Qui Si Sana under Dechman's management was short lived. After about two years of operation, Dr. Dechman became entangled in a dispute over property rights with D. E. Thompson, Sr., who arrived on the lake in 1915. Shortly afterward, Dr. Louis Dechman abandoned his Qui Si Sana enterprise (Lawrence 1971, 409; Lauridsen and Smith 1937, 219).
Qui Si Sana lay vacant for several years, falling victim to decay and vandalism until the Klahhane (hiking) Club leased the property in the mid 1920s and established their headquarters and the Klahhane Garden there. For years the buildings and gardens were a show place for the public. After a few years the property returned to its former owner. Once again the property was left idle. The Qui Si Sana property was donated by D. E. Thompson, Sr., to Clallam County. In the mid 1930s, the county dedicated the Qui Si Sana property as a child health summer camp and renamed it Camp David Jr. in honor of David E. Thompson, Sr.'s son. In 1980-1981 the main building of the Qui Si Sana resort complex was replaced with a new building whose basic design and use of natural materials emulated the feeling and character of the original Qui Si Sana. Over several years the original Qui Si Sana cabins were removed from the site, and today none remain.
Although most of the early resort hotels bordering the shores of Lake Crescent have burned or been removed, two resort complexes dating from the mid 1910s and 1920s remain standing to the present day. Located on Barnes Point on the south shore of Lake Crescent, Singer's Tavern (now Lake Crescent Lodge) and Rosemary Inn were opened to the public almost simultaneously. Separated now by only a few hundred yards of thick forest broken by small overgrown clearings, the main lodge and ancillary groups of cabins and utility buildings of both complexes form two uniquely different and distinctive recreational facilities that represent the early resort era on Lake Crescent. The combined effect of the physical arrangement of these buildings, their scale, setting, landscaping, historical integrity of physical fabric, as well as the relatively close proximity of Rosemary Inn and Singer's Tavern, create a mood and sense of time evocative of the 1910s and 1920s resort establishments that exists nowhere else on Lake Crescent.
Within two years after Marymere, an early Barnes Point resort destroyed by fire, Rose Littleton purchased land near the ashes of Marymere from the Barnes family. Shortly afterward, a small, wood frame, one and one-half story main lodge was constructed at the rear of a small clearing that opened onto the lake. The new resort was immediately christened "Rosemary" a name derived from Rose Littleton and Mary Daum, Rose Littleton's longtime assistant. A tall, rustic, peeled pole entrance gate with lattice work and large "Rosemary" lettering at the top was erected near the water's edge to welcome travelers whose principal access to the resort was by water. A thirty foot steel windmill was erected near the entrance gate. Typical of many early Lake Crescent resorts, the Rosemary Inn buildings were not all constructed immediately. At first a line of canvas wall tents was set up along both sides of the edge of the small meadow to accommodate Rosemary guests. However, over a period of five to fifteen years, small individually designed cabins were built at random locations around the meadow and at the forest's edge (NPS OLYM Historic photo collection). John Daum (brother of Mary Daum), local Port Angeles builder and craftsman, is credited with the design and construction of most of the Rosemary Inn buildings as well as the handcrafted interior and lawn furniture (NARS:RG 79 1943, 18 May) By the mid 1930s, a total of about twenty cabins (NPS OLYM 1936, 185), plus outbuildings, including a boathouse, a shop, a generator house and woodshed stood on the Rosemary Inn grounds. After 1922, when a road along the south shore of Lake Crescent was completed, a second entrance gate with "Rosemary" lettering in a peeled stick motif, was erected near the main lodge at the end of a long driveway which connected with the highway. After the principal means of access to the resort was averted from the lake to the south shore road, a masonry and log fireplace shelter was constructed at the water's edge.
In the late 1920s or early 1930s the main lodge received an addition on both the east and west ends of the original building. Over the years proprietor, Rose Littleton, cultivated a large swath of the eastern section of meadow, planting fruit trees, exotic nonnative shrubs and flowers. Trellises were built and stone and concrete fountains and fonts were added to complete the landscape design (NPS OLYM Historic photo collection).
Among Rosemary Inn's most prominent visitors were United States political leaders who played major roles in the creation of Olympic National Park. Less than one year prior to the passage of a Congressional bill authorizing the creation of the Park, President Franklin D. Roosevelt toured the Olympic Peninsula. On 31 September and 1 October 1937, the presidential party visited Lake Crescent. The entourage stayed at Singer's Tavern (Lake Crescent Lodge) and breakfasted at Rosemary. Nine years later Secretary of the Interior Julius A. Krug led the dedication ceremony of Olympic National Park at Rosemary Inn (Neal 1978). (Nearly fifty years later, on 30 August 1983, Secretary of the Interior James Watt repeated the visit of a U.S. Interior Secretary. Watt and Olympic National Park Superintendent Robert Chandler and other administrative staff gathered and ate lunch at the Rosemary fireplace shelter on the Lake Crescent shore.)
Rosemary Inn remained under the ownership of Rose Littleton until the early 1940s. In 1942 Rosemary Inn was one of four or five vacation retreats in the Park that Olympic National Park Superintendent Preston Macy recommended to the Director of the National Park Service. In a memorandum dated 5 October of that year Macy wrote, "The Rosemary Inn property . . . we feel affords an ideal place for anyone to relax. Here pleasant cottages are available under the European plan and this place is on the shore of Lake Crescent where boating and bathing may be enjoyed" (NARS:RG 79 1942, 5 October). In 1943, by agreement with Rose Littleton and a general concession contract with the National Park Service, the National Park Concessions, Incorporated, took over operation of Rosemary. One year later the Department of the Interior consummated acquisition of the thirty year old resort (UW 1943, 26 August; 1944, 12 April).
In recognition of Rosemary Inn's distinctive architecture, nearly unaltered site plan, and its significance as one of the few remaining resort ensembles dating from Lake Crescent's early days as a resort area on the Olympic Peninsula, the Rosemary Inn group of buildings was nominated to the National Register of Historic Places in 1979. In 1983 it is the only historic building ensemble in Olympic National Park listed in the National Register.
Singer's Tavern (now Lake Crescent Lodge), the only other extant and intact collection of early resort buildings on Lake Crescent, was established on Barnes Point in 1915, several hundred yards west of Rosemary Inn. Locating on the north shore of Lake Crescent in 1907, Mr. and Mrs. Al Singer traded their home and property with Mrs. Helen Burkhart who owned several acres on the south shoreline at the mouth of Barnes Creek. The property transaction was consummated and the Singers incorporated in December 1914 (Lauridsen and Smith 1937, 222; PAEN 1953, 28 November). In a large open field dotted with coniferous trees, the Singers immediately erected a two-story wood frame main lodge building several feet back from the water's edge, and behind that a single row of approximately sixteen closely spaced cottages. A wide veranda extended across the length of the main building and afforded guests a panoramic view of Lake Crescent and wooded peaks rising from the north shore. In the open field behind the cabins a garden was planted (Olympic Leader 1915, 7 May; Seattle, Port Angeles and Western Railway Company 1915). Longtime Lake Crescent resident Connie Lawrence described one aspect of the guest cabin accommodations before the cabins were plumbed with running water: "Every morning a boy would pull a wagon containing a huge can of hot water along the walk in front of the cabins, and from it he would fill the large earthenware pitchers which had been set out on the porches the night before" (Lawrence 1971, 409).
In its early years of prosperity Singer's Tavern was extremely popular among visitors to Lake Crescent. Before the completion of the south shore road in 1922, guests were met at East Beach, where the road from Port Angeles ended, and transported by private launch to Singer's. Through the initial effort of the Singers, the resort became widely known as a social gathering place and entertained many annual meetings and outing clubs (Lauridsen and Smith 1937, 222; Lawrence 1971, 409).
Over time the Singers and subsequent owners made improvements and added to the complex of early buildings. Eventually electric lights and running water were installed at Singer's, and more cabins were added to the resort complex. In the late 1920s the Singers sold their establishment to the Seattle Trust Company and moved to California. By the mid 1930s Singer's Tavern (by then renamed Lake Crescent Tavern) included approximately 100 acres, the main lodge building and thirty to forty cabins valued at between $100,000 and $150,000 (NPS OLYM 1936, 185).
During its sixty-eight year history Singer's Tavern hosted guests of considerable fame. When President Franklin D. Roosevelt visited the Olympic Peninsula in the fall of 1937, the president, Washington State political leaders and Forest and Park Service administrative staff gathered at Singer's Tavern to discuss the controversial proposal to establish a large Olympic National Park. Present at these meetings were Washington Senators Mon Wallgren (author of bills to create a national park on the Peninsula) and Homer T. Bone, and such well-known journalists as Drew Pearson and William Allen. (Ise 1961, 388; Lawrence 1971, 412). This event marked the first visit of a United States president to Clallam County (Lauridsen and Smith 1937, 222). Less than one year later the U.S. Congress approved a bill to establish Olympic National Park largely due to the energetic and persistent efforts of President Roosevelt and Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes. Singer's Tavern has been the choice of other prominent guests including inventor and philanthropist Henry Ford, singer Frank Sinatra, Supreme Court Chief Justice William O. Douglas and his wife (on their honeymoon), and U.S. Senator and presidential candidate Robert Kennedy (Roe 1979, 42).
The changing means of transportation in the Lake Crescent area during the 1920s and early 1930s altered the complexion of public resort development around the lake. In 1922 the road bordering the south shore of the lake was completed, ferry service between East Beach and Fairholme was discontinued in 1925, and in 1931 the entire Olympic Peninsula loop highway that connected with the Lake Crescent segment, was dedicated. Older lakeside resorts reoriented themselves physically to the highway, and new resort facilities catered to the growing numbers of the motoring public. Forester W. H. Horning observed a stratification of Lake Crescent resorts in the mid 1930s. The better resorts (presumably the more established hotels and inns) operated on "the American hotel plan using detached cabins for sleeping quarters and serving meals in typical hotel dining rooms." Others offered housekeeping rooms for rent and guests prepared their own meals (NPS OLYM 1936, 184).
Storm King Inn built alongside the south shore road in the late 1920s was erected during this period of transition. Built in a modest bungalow style with a gently sloping gable roof punctuated with decorative knee braces at the gable ends and broad overhang eaves featuring exposed rafters, the main inn building was set only a few feet south of the Lake Crescent road on Barnes Point. A central fireplace opened onto a small public room and a multi-paned, glassed-in dining room faced the west where four small cabins stood amidst a stand of tall fir, spruce and hemlock trees. Two sleeping rooms were on the half story above the ground floor of the inn. For nearly twenty years Storm King Inn was owned and operated by Harry and Augusta Brooks. On at least two occasions Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes ate his meals at the inn when visiting the Park, once when traveling with President Roosevelt in 1937, and again while vacationing on Lake Crescent in the summer of 1941 (Historic American Buildings Survey WA156 1983; NPS OLYM Historic photo collection). At the end of the Brooks' proprietorship the Storm King cabins were operated as housekeeping cabins (UW 1944, n.d.) In 1950 the National Park Service purchased the inn and four cabins, and over the next twenty years removed the cabins and converted the main building to a ranger station and interpretive visitor center. In 1983 the Storm King Inn building was documented architecturally and historically according to the Historic American Buildings Survey specifications. Its sale and removal followed in July and August of that year (PADN 1983, 10 June).
In the mid 1930s there were a total of twelve resorts or inns around Lake Crescent, several of which were without full dining facilities (NPS OLYM 1936, 184). In the 1940s and early 1950s some of the auto camps specializing in housekeeping cabins included Beardslee Bay Camp (originally Ovington's), Lenoir's Cabin Camp, East Beach Resort, Log Cabin Resort, Bonnie Brae, La Poel Resort and the Julius Peterson Resort. Often a grocery store selling staple supplies was located on the premises, and in some cases additional amenities included a coffee shop and a gas pump. These Lake Crescent auto camps offered to their guests recreational activities such as horseshoes, croquet, swimming, boating, fishing and hiking. Prices were less at auto camps than at inns or lodges operating on the American plan, ranging from two to six dollars daily or ten to twelve dollars weekly. The open season for most auto camps was May to October (UW 1944, n.d.; Olympic Peninsula Resort and Hotel Assoc. ca. 1946; NARS:RG 79 1948, 12 February).
Two years after the 1938 creation of Olympic National Park, President Franklin Roosevelt added an area including Lake Crescent to the Park. Gradually the National Park Service purchased many of the public resorts bordering the lake and, in some cases, issued permits to concessioners for the continued operation of these resorts. In 1950 Olympic National Park Superintendent Preston P. Macy commented on the general status of government-owned resorts in the Park: "Not content with the ten resort properties we have either acquired or inherited for supervision [throughout the Park] we have only recently acquired two more. The La Poel Resort and Storm King Inn on Lake Crescent" (UW 1950, 5 December).
Under Park Service management, the number and type of resort facilities on Lake Crescent altered significantly. In 1983 there are only three remaining public concession operated resort ensembles on the lake: Log Cabin Resort, Rosemary Inn and Lake Crescent Lodge (Singer's Tavern). Log Cabin Resort continues to operate essentially as an auto camp with housekeeping cabins, although the modernization of the older cabins moved from Ovington's (Beardslee Bay Camp) and the construction of a new main lodge and A-frame cabins have significantly altered the original character of the resort. The Rosemary Inn building complex remains essentially intact and houses seasonal employees of Lake Crescent Lodge (Singer's Tavern). It is the only remaining public resort that retains both its functional and physical integrity dating from the 1910s and 1920s. There are presently no extant intact examples of Lake Crescent auto camps dating from the 1930s to 1950s.
Historically, and currently, privately-owned summer vacation homes on the shores of Lake Crescent are far more prolific than public inns or lodges. Sections of private resort property along the lake shoreline were purchased as early as the 1890s. Thomas T. Aldwell, prominent north Peninsula lumbering and hydroelectric power financier, wrote in his autobiographical book: "Impressed with the beauty and future of Lake Crescent, about this time  I also bought three-quarters of a mile of waterfront on the north side of the lake, where most of the land was level and suitable for summer places." (Aldwell later purchased acreage on Barnes Point on the southern shoreline and erected a summer home near Rosemary Inn in 1920.) (Aldwell 1950, 44, 70). Others in addition to Aldwell, realized the potential of Lake Crescent as a summer resort area and early on purchased tracts of land on speculation. A 1907 Port Angeles newspaper noted that the "platting of Lake Crescent acreage [was the] quickest and surest way to make it [a] leading summer resort of [the] state. The same newspaper article, which appeared in the Olympic Leader, announced:
By 1907 only a small portion of the acreage surrounding Lake Crescent (and Lake Sutherland to the east) was open for private acquisition, the balance being included in the Olympic Forest Reserve (Olympic Leader 1907, 6 September).
Beginning in 1905, the U.S. National Forest Service gained jurisdiction over the Olympic Forest Reserve which at that time included much of the land around Lake Crescent. By the end of the decade, summer cottages dotted the shores of the lake (Reagan 1909, 145), and several of these private resort homes stood on forest reserve land. Apparent confusion over the legal ownership and private resort use of much of the land around Lake Crescent prompted the Forest Service to survey and map the home lots around the lake in 1910 and 1911 (NFS ONF 1946, 15 August). The following year special use permit applications were adapted to, and issued specifically for, summer resort lots on both Lakes Crescent and Quinault (NFS ONF 1912, n.d.). In 1913 Olympic National Forest Supervisor R. L. Fromme explained the justification for special use permits on the forest and the abundance of these permits on Lake Crescent:
Through the 1920s and 1930s the Forest Service encouraged recreational development around Lake Crescent. In 1929 F. W. Cleator noted in the Olympic Forest Recreation Plan: "It is the Forest Service policy to favor recreation interests and scenic values on and near this lake [Crescent] over all other uses (Gallison Collection 1929).
As a surge of public interest grew in the creation of a large national park on the Olympic Peninsula during the 1930s, Forester W. H. Horning studied the effects of such a park. According to Horning in his 1936 report: "Under Forest Service control a type of public use has been encouraged along the lake [Crescent] which is undesirable in a national park and will probably be troublesome to eliminate. This is the leasing of summer homesites. A number of these leases has been granted on the north shore of the lake and summer homes erected on them" (NPS OLYM 1936, 203). Elaborating further, Horning noted that "a narrow fringe including about half of the shoreline had passed into private ownership before the national forest was created." Much of this land was divided into a large number of small lots for summer homesites and resorts. A total of 455 individual parcels of private land bordered the lakeshore. In 1936 Horning counted fifty small summer homes on Lake Crescent varying in value from $1,000 to $10,000 (NPS OLYM 1936, 178).
The boundaries of Olympic National Park were extended to include Lake Crescent in 1940, two years after the creation of the Park. Since that time, the National Park Service has gradually purchased approximately one-half of the private tracts around Lake Crescent. After purchase, many of the summer resort homes were removed in an effort to return Lake Crescent to a pre-white settlement natural state. In 1983 there are approximately 145 privately-owned parcels of land surrounding Lake Crescent.
Sol Duc Hot Springs. Natural hot springs in the upper drainage of the Soleduck and Elwha Rivers prompted resort development in the interior Olympic Mountains in the early 1900s. Although originally developed to appeal to a vastly different clientele, the professed therapeutic waters at both Sol Duc Hot Springs and Olympic Hot Springs drew large numbers of people to these unique natural attractions far into the interior of the Olympic Mountains.
According to most accounts, Theodor Moritz, a settler on the Quillayute River on the western Peninsula, was the first to discover and claim possession of the land at the hot springs on the upper Soleduck River. Arriving before the turn of the century, Moritz first erected a small log cabin on the hot springs site and completed a primitive trail up the Soleduck Valley to his claim. Word of the medicinal qualities of the hot sulphur water spread, and people with rheumatism, skin diseases and other afflictions made the long trek to Moritz's hot springs to repose in wooden tubs fashioned from dugout logs. Gradually, tents were erected over wooden floors, a dining room structure was built, and a shed with individual rooms housing crude tubs was constructed. Michael Earles, a prosperous local lumber mill owner, was among a group of visitors to the hot springs in 1903. Seriously ill, Earles was reportedly cured by the therapeutic waters and became intent on owning the hot springs (Lauridsen and Smith 1937, 162-64; Dalton Collection 1911, 11).
Michael Earles eventually took an option to buy the property, and in 1907 he organized the Sol Duc Hot Springs Company. Earles' grandiose plans for developing the hot springs were revealed in the newly formed company's articles of incorporation. The stated objects for which the company was created included the following:
The capital stock of the corporation was $50,000. In 1909 Theodor Moritz died, and Michael Earles bought the hot springs property from the Moritz heirs. Development of Sol Duc Hot Springs, which was undertaken by the Sol Duc Hot Springs Company, began immediately (Hassel 1971, 416; NOL 1966).
In 1909 the Sol Duc Hot Springs Company secured a National Forest Service permit for a right-of-way between Fairholm on Lake Crescent and Sol Duc Hot Springs (NFS ONF 1911, 25 September). One year later the company completed a fourteen mile long road to the resort at a cost of $75,000. Over this road the necessary equipment and supplies were transported to build the health resort (Morse 1971, 67, 70). In 1910, 200 persons commenced felling, milling and constructing a complex of buildings on the hot springs site. More than two million feet of lumber were milled and three-quarters of a million shingles were cut on site under the direction of Chris Kuppler and Sons, contractors. For nearly two years work continued. A new bathhouse, sanitorium, gymnasium, building to house workers, ballroom, cabins, powerhouse, ice plant and steam laundry replaced the old bathhouses built by Moritz. (Hassel 1971, 417; Lauridsen and Smith 1937, 164-65; Dalton Collection 1911, 14).
Most notable of all the structures was the expansive hotel building. In a thirty-two page booklet produced by the Chicago, Milwaukee & Puget Sound Railway Company to promote the Sol Duc Hot Springs, the three and one-half story hotel building was described as an imposing structure, massive and unique, for the first story is built of upright hewn fir logs, giving a rustic effect rarely seen. A twenty foot wide veranda encircled three sides of the hotel. Measuring 160 x 80 feet, the hotel contained 165 bedrooms, each with hot and cold running water, private telephone, and many with private baths. "The main lobby, capacious and ornate, with massive columns running through the center greets the eye of the guest, for it is 40 feet in width by 80 feet in length, while near the front entrance is a great fireplace, lending an air of comfort and cheeriness which no other agency can give." Adjoining the lobby was the dining room, "spacious, light and sumptuous in its furnishings. Here the veriest epicure may be able to gratify his every whim" (Chicago, Milwaukee & Puget Sound Company ca. 1912, 11-19).
A 280-foot covered walk connected the hotel to the bathhouse where guests indulged in the curative spring waters and a resident physician gave professional instructions. The two and one-half story sanitorium, which accommodated 100 patients, was equipped with a modern operating room, laboratory and X-ray apparatus. Winding paths through landscaped lawns and gardens surrounded the hotel. In addition, facilities at the hotel included golf links, tennis courts, bowling alleys and billiard rooms. Michael Earles reportedly spent half a million dollars in creating this mecca deep in the heart of the Olympic Mountains. The formal, well-publicized opening of the hot springs was 15 May 1912 (Chicago, Milwaukee & Puget Sound Railway Company ca. 1912, 11-19; Lauridsen and Smith 1937, 165).
Sol Duc Hot Springs soon became one of the most well-known health resorts on the Pacific Coast. The resort catered to those of wealth and opulent tastes and attracted guests from as far away as Europe. In its peak year, 10,000 guests visited the hot springs. The hot springs company provided transportation from Seattle for its guests. Passengers boarded a steamship in Seattle for the seventy-five mile voyage to Port Crescent on the Strait of Juan de Fuca where they were met by automobiles which traveled to Lake Crescent. By barge, and later ferry boat, the cars and passengers were transported across the lake to Fairholm; and finally, from the west end of Lake Crescent, passengers traveled by automobile over the fourteen mile road to the resort (Chicago, Milwaukee & Puget Sound Railway ca. 1912, 21-25; Miller 1973, 17). Sol Duc Hot Springs mineral water was available in bottles and apparently prescribed by physicians for those with any number of varied physical ailments.
Michael Earles' grand creation ended abruptly and harshly when fire ravaged the buildings just four years after the formal opening of the resort. Sparks from a defective flue initiated an intense blaze that completely leveled the main hotel, sanitorium, bathhouse, powerhouse, laundry room, ice plant, engine room, seven cottages and tent frames. The health house and the dance hall were all that remained standing. The Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort was never rebuilt on a scale to match its former glory (Hassel 1971, 419). Michael Earles died in 1919, and in 1935 the Sol Duc Hot Springs Company was dissolved for nonpayment of the annual license fee (NOL 1966, 24 October).
The character of the hot springs altered markedly in the 1920s when Sol Duc Hot Springs was reestablished as an auto camp that had broad appeal and patronage from the middle income vacationing public. The hot springs reopened in 1921 (NFS ONF 1923, 23 June). In 1925 Fred Martin purchased the Earles' estate (Hassel 1971, 419). In the late 1920s, during Martin's ownership, several of the existing cabins were erected (NOL ca. 1978, 5). The health house, one of Earles' original buildings, was renamed the Buena Vista and accommodated hot springs guests until its firey demise in the late 1920s (Hassel 1971, 419). Apparently a second main lodge building was built by Martin around the same period but it, too, succumbed to fire in 1934, and in the same year many of the cabins were razed by fire. Martin died in 1935 before efforts to rebuild the resort were accomplished (NPS OLYM 1982, n.d.).
Articles of incorporation were filed in 1944 for Sol Duc Hot Springs, Incorporated, under the names of George C. Rains, Fern D. Rains and Osco R. Rains (NOL 1966, 24 October). Seven years later W. C. Able gained possession of the property. In 1966 the National Park Service purchased Sol Duc Hot Springs. Under Park Service management, in recent years several of the cabins dating from the 1920s and 1930s were replaced with upgraded, slightly larger structures, and the 1920-1930 straight line configuration of these replacement cabins, was altered. In 1983 several small mineral pools, a large swimming pool, and new bathhouses were constructed, replacing similar older facilities. A multitude of natural disasters, alterations and reconstructions at Sol Duc Hot Springs, today, render the resort unidentifiable as the prototype of any single historical resort period.
Olympic Hot Springs. Olympic Hot Springs (now known as Boulder Creek Hot Springs) is another natural occurrence of hot sulphur water that instigated resort development in the interior Olympic Mountains soon after the turn of the century. Andrew Jacobsen was the first to report the discovery of the hot springs on Boulder Creek (a tributary of the Elwha River) in the early 1890s. In 1906 Jacobsen returned to the hot springs, retrieved a bottle of its water to prove his discovery to others, and shortly afterward a business arrangement was apparently made between Jacobsen and four others to develop the area. Nothing came of this agreement (Lauridsen and Smith 1937, 160-61).
In 1907 or 1908 William (Billy) Everett rediscovered the mineral water seepages on a narrow bench 200 feet above Boulder Creek while on a hunting trip with two companions, Charles Anderson and Thomas Farrell. Together the three began cutting a crude uphill trail from the Elwha River to the 2,100 foot level site. (Anderson soon deserted the project and Everett's wife, Margaret, acquired Farrell's portion of the claim.) The Everetts proceeded to construct wood tubs, dug out sections of the forested hillside for mud baths, and built a cabin and bathhouse (Miller 1973, 13). In 1909 the hot springs was opened to the public.
A 1911 promotional brochure expounding on the virtues of the north Olympic Peninsula area noted that there were several hot springs at Boulder Creek varying in temperature from 113 to 132 degrees, as well as cold ones. All were located on a narrow bench about 200 feet above Boulder Creek with the mountains rising abruptly on either side. The publication declared that "already has this resort become known outside the country, until this past season a number of tourists and pleasure seekers, as well as others seeking aid from the curative properties of the mineral waters for various ailments, have visited the springs from various cities of the Sound and down the Coast" (Dalton Collection 1911, 14).
The city of Port Angeles, twenty-one miles to the north, was also interested in therapeutic qualities of the hot springs water. In 1910 the city made application to the National Forest Service (at that time administering the area) to pipe the water to the city limits for use in public drinking fountains and natatoriums, and to furnish water to sanatoriums, hotels and bottling works. A permit for use of the hot springs water was issued, but it is doubtful that the full commercial development of the water by the city ever occurred (NFS ONF 1910, 26 October).
Over the next decade, building improvements were made at Olympic Hot Springs. The Everetts at first erected tents to house visitors. Dewitt C. Sisson, local Elwha Valley resident, packed machinery and supplies to the hot springs by horseback from 1908 to 1913. Later Burt Herrick operated a pack train to take supplies to the hot springs. The Everetts constructed a dam and water wheel on Boulder Creek to generate electricity, and built a sawmill in 1909 (Schoeffel 1971, 413).
In a letter dated 8 July 1917 local Elwha River resident Grant Humes noted that the Everetts made extensive improvements to the resort (Dalton Collection 1916-1933). Workmen constructed a lodge with a dining room, kitchen and storerooms as well as a 75 x 25 foot wooden pool and a large substantial bathhouse. The first resort cabins were erected in 1919 to replace the tent frames which were torn down (Schoeffel 1971, 413-14; NFS ONF 1918, 29 June).
The popularity of Olympic Hot Springs resort heightened in the late 1910s but began to fall off in the early 1920s as Sol Duc Hot Springs reopened in 1921 after its firey destruction five years earlier. In 1920 the resort at Boulder Creek received 1,100 guests; in 1921, 850; and in 1922 only 600 visitors. While Sol Duc Hot Springs could be reached by auto tourists, and by stage, the Olympic resort was accessible only by foot or horseback traveling over a rugged eleven mile trail (NFS ONF 1923, 23 June). To ease the problem of inaccessibility, Olympic Hot Springs management leased the camp at Altaire (on the upper Elwha River) and ran daily pack trips to the resort. Finally, in 1930 a road was completed to the hot springs by the cooperative effort of work crews from the National Forest Service and Clallam County. During summer months in the 1930s, regular round trip taxi service from Port Angeles to Olympic Hot Springs delivered guests to the resort for only $3.75 (Schoeffel 1971, 414, 415).
Harry Schoeffel arrived at Olympic Hot Springs after World War I and in 1921 he and the Everett's daughter, Jeanette, were married. Management of the resort was assumed by Harry and Jeanette Schoeffel in 1924 and continued for over forty years. Under the Schoeffel's management, Olympic Hot Springs continued to develop over the next several years. Development plans executed by the Port Angeles architect, James B. Jackson in the late 1910s were carried out during the 1920s. By 1923, a bathhouse (with six tubs), men's and women's dressing rooms and a store building stood on the resort site. Cottages and tents provided space for ninety guests and an eighty-foot high truss bridge spanned Boulder Creek (NFS ONF 1923, 23 June). New construction at Olympic Hot Springs continued in the late 1920s and early 1930s. In the summer of 1927 the Schoeffels completed constructing a new log hotel on a small bench on the north side of Boulder Creek. The building was complete with a lobby, dining room and twelve second floor bedrooms (NFS ONF 1926, 25 June; 1926, 28 December). In 1930 the Schoeffels constructed a new pool. And in 1932 ten more sleeping rooms were added to the main hotel building (Schoeffel 1971, 414). Following the Depression, which slowed construction during the early 1930s, the Schoeffels added several new cabins, remodeled many older ones and made improvements both to the swimming pool and to the road leading to the resort, in 1936 (NFS ONF 1937, 6 March).
Nineteen forty ushered in a time of change at Olympic Hot Springs. In late January of that year the main hotel building was completely destroyed by fire. The same year the Boulder Creek/Elwha River area was one of several additions made to Olympic National Park. Under Park Service administration, the Schoeffels leased the resort and immediately reconstructed the lodge. During the 1950s, Park Service managers insisted on the chlorination of water at the hot springs which caused a substantial decline in business. Finally, in 1966, Olympic Hot Springs was closed to the public. The weight of heavy snow during winter months in the late 1960s and early 1970s collapsed the roofs of several of the buildings (Schoeffel 1971, 415). In late 1972 all structures of the Olympic Hot Springs were surveyed for removal by the National Park Service (NPS OLYM 1972, 24 November). During the following months, eighteen buildings plus the main lodge and the swimming pool were destroyed. Today, there are only remnant evidences of the complex of resort buildings at Olympic Hot Springs.
Elwha River. Nothing remains of the buildings at Waumila Lodge to belie its earlier existence. Approximately five miles within the Park boundary, just south of the Elwha Ranger Station, a small open field on Griff Creek marks the site of the cluster of rustic peeled log and wood frame buildings that once comprised Waumila Lodge.
Built as an auto camp around 1930, the main buildings at Waumila Camp (as it was first known) consisted of a log store building and separate open-sided log dance pavilion. Ten housekeeping cabins stood nearby, some of log and some of wood frame construction. Saddle and pack trail service provided by the lodge proprietor transported visitors and supplies to the upper Elwha Valley and its tributaries and boat service took guests on excursions on nearby Lake Mills (UW 1944, n.d.; NPS OLYM 1932, 1947, 1958; NARS: RG 79 1942, 22 June; Olympic Peninsula Resort and Hotel Assoc. ca. 1946).
During the early 1930s, local resident and packer Joe Stanley operated Waumila Camp. Around 1936 Arthur and Rhea Shelleberger purchased the resort and carried on the operation of Waumila Lodge until the late 1940s.
At that time a Mr. Lee, and finally Roy E. Thomas, Jr., conducted operations at the resort. The buildings at Waumila Lodge stood until 1936, at which time they were removed. (NARS:RG 79 1948, 28 October; NPS OLYM 1932, 1947, 1958; UW 1934, 20 August; NOL 1963, 14 November).
Heart O'the Hills. As early as the late 1920s, a small private resort with a store, gas station and housekeeping cabins existed on the northern flank of Mount Angeles at the end of a six mile road leading from Port Angeles (Gallison Collection 1929, 14). By the 1940s, Claude Spencer owned and operated Heart O'the Hills Resort near Lake Dawn at the present northern boundary of Olympic National Park. During Spencer's proprietorship of this mountain lake resort, six furnished cabins were available for guests. A small store selling staples and supplies was on the premises. Vacationists at Heart O'the Hills Resort partook of fishing, hiking and horse packing (Olympic Peninsula Resort and Hotel Assoc. ca. 1946; UW 1944, n.d.).
In the early 1970s buildings associated with the Heart O'the Hills Resort were removed. More recently constructed, individual resort cabins remain standing but are located just north of and outside the present Park boundary (Hughes 1983).
North Fork Skokomish River. At the southeast boundary of Olympic National Park the North Fork Skokomish River empties into Lake Cushman. Prior to the enlargement of Lake Cushman in 1926 by the construction of a dam, public resorts were erected on the lakeshore. The original Lake Cushman (approximately one-fifth the size of the present lake) was famous for its fishing and scenic beauty before the turn of the century. Early explorers of the interior Olympic Mountains (such as the James Wickersham party and the Lieutenant Joseph O'Neil party) along with recreational climbing parties and miners cut trails up the steep-sided canyon of the North Fork Skokomish above the lake. According to a 1906 magazine article describing the resorts in the area, Lake Cushman was aptly called the "Gateway to the Olympics" (Putnam 1906, 188-91).
Lake Cushman, similar to Lake Crescent on the north Peninsula, was established very early as a summer resort area. In 1890 the first regular steamer line carried passengers to the west bank of Hood Canal, sixteen miles east of Lake Cushman. That same year a tent welcoming visitors on the lake was set up on the east side of Lake Cushman. From this rude beginning, owners of the tent operation purchased several hundred acres on the west side of the lake a year later and immediately began construction of the Cushman House Resort.
The Cushman House was among the first summer resorts in the state of Washington. Early settlers on the lake erected the Antlers, an intricately built log cabin resort, in the late 1890s (Putnam 1906, 190; Overland 1981, 10). With the completion of the Lake Cushman Dam in 1926 both the Cushman House and the Antlers, along with other lakeside resorts, succumbed to rising waters that backed up for several miles up the North Fork Skokomish River. In 1929 Forest Service Recreation Engineer F. W. Cleater noted that with the formation of a new, much larger lake, only 150 acres of land surrounding Lake Cushman was of recreational value (Gallison Collection 1929). In 1983 only small portions of the northern tip of Lake Cushman adjoin the Olympic National Park boundary.
Prior to the inclusion of the Staircase area into Olympic National Park, Staircase Resort was established on the bank of the North Fork Skokomish River. In the mid 1930s Lester and Anna Dickinson operated the resort as well as packed and guided parties into the mountains. During the fifteen year management by the Dickinsons, the complex of buildings at Staircase evolved (NPS OLYM ca. 1968). By the mid 1940s, Staircase Resort consisted of fourteen furnished and unfurnished cabins. At that time cabin rates ranged from $1.50 to $6.25 a day. Meals were not available, but a store at the resort provided staples and milk (UW 1944, n.d.). In the late 1940s, Mr. and Mrs. Paul Danford took over operation of the resort from the Dickinsons. Eleanor Danford continued as proprietor of Staircase Resort into the early 1950s, during which time management and maintenance of the buildings faltered (UW 1950, 5 December). In the late 1950s Staircase Resort ceased operation, and in subsequent years the Park Service removed most of the buildings. In 1983 one Staircase Resort cabin remained and served as quarters for Park Service employees at Staircase Ranger Station.
Interior Mountains. Nowhere on the Olympic Peninsula was the effect of capitalizing on the mountainous wilderness realized more than in the Quinault River drainage. With the imminent completion of the Peninsula's loop highway, private investors joined with public commercial interests at the southern end of the Peninsula to devise plans aimed at developing tourist travel by promoting the rugged interior of the Olympic Mountains. From the mid 1920s to the early 1930s energetic leadership and financial investments based in the communities of Hoquiam, Aberdeen and Quinault coincided with the country's heightened appreciation for outdoor wilderness experiences. They produced four backcountry recreation building complexes, Low Divide Chalet, Nine Mile Shelter (also known as the Halfway House), Graves Creek Inn and Enchanted Valley Chalet. In 1983 only the Bath House at the Low Divide Chalet, and the Enchanted Valley Chalet remained standing.
Two separate private parties, the Olympic Chalet Company and the Olympic Recreation Company, organized in the mid 1920s for the purpose of developing the recreation potential of the Olympic Mountain wilderness. Well organized and aggressive in their approach, the Olympic Chalet Company, based in Hoquiam, Washington, submitted an initial plan to the U.S. National Forest Service for the construction of three chalets and twelve shelter camps spaced about ten miles apart in the southern section of the Olympic Mountains. On 15 March 1926 a permit was issued by the National Forest district supervisor for the construction of a chalet at Low Divide at the headwaters of the North Fork Quinault River and a shelter at the nine-mile post on the North Fork Quinault, approximately halfway between the end of the Quinault Road and Low Divide (NFS ONF 1927, 27 January; Aberdeen Daily World 1954, 22 November). In mid June 1927 work resumed on the 35 x 50 foot main chalet building and before the end of the season the rustic log structure, with a large rock wall chimney, was completed (Daily Washingtonian 1927, 28 June). The following year workmen completed the 18 x 20 foot bathhouse, set against a steep wooded hillside only a few feet behind the main chalet (NFS ONF 1929, 5 January). Finally in 1929 and 1930, five shake cabins (some were "duplex" cabins) were constructed in the vicinity of the chalet building. The Olympic Chalet Company selected R. E. Voorhies to lease and manage Low Divide Chalet (Aberdeen Daily World 1974, 1 September).
Even before the ensemble of buildings was completed at Low Divide, Northwest newspapers and periodicals publicized the Olympic Chalet Company's development scheme. In the early spring of 1929 the Portland Sunday Oregonian reported:
Three years later an article written about the Olympic Peninsula appearing in the Argus magazine further described the Low Divide Chalet: "The traveler demanding comfortable accommodations can find a rustic chalet at Low Dividethe crossroads of Olympic trails. This chalet offers excellent resort service in a wilderness setting, and is the first unit of a carefully planned development financed as a community enterprise by forward-looking citizens of the [highway] loop cities" (Linklater 1932, 33).
The stockholders of the Olympic Chalet Company contemplated further development of the Quinault drainage. In 1929 the company proposed building an airplane landing field at Low Divide. The Forest Service, who saw the project's potential enhancement of recreational values and fire fighting capabilities in the area, seriously considered the plan (NFS ONF 1929, 18 February). The same year Olympic Chalet Company officials gave fleeting consideration to damming a glacial stream in Martin's Park above Low Divide to create a lake for use as a landing place for a hydroplane (NFS ONF ca. 1929, 18 April). In the early 1930s the Olympic Chalet Company sought financial support for constructing an aerial tramway from Quinault Lake to the top of Mount Baldy (NFS ONF 1933, n.d.). None of these projects were carried out.
Private and financial support and leadership of the Olympic Chalet Company came from leading citizens in the Hoquiam/Aberdeen area, many of whom had connections with organizations promoting the general development of the Olympic Peninsula. Secretary-treasurer of the company, F. W. Mathias, was also secretary of the Grays Harbor Chamber of Commerce. C. W. Mumaw was the leading spirit in organizing the Olympic Chalet Company and became president of the organization. As development director of the Grays Harbor Railway and Light Company as well as president of the Olympic Development League (made up of commercial organizations from Aberdeen, Olympia, Shelton, Port Townsend and Port Angeles), Mumaw wielded great influence in development schemes around the Peninsula (TRL 1931, 25 August).
Mumaw was a tireless, undaunting promoter of the Olympic Chalet Company plans to develop the interior mountains while preserving the wilderness setting. Speaking before the Hoquiam Chamber of Commerce in 1930 after returning from a trip to the East, Mumaw declared: "Advertising the Olympic Peninsula as a wilderness area is the most effective argument that can be advanced to the eastern man who is thinking of a summer vacation" (TRL 1930, 4 January). In describing the company's rustic chalet and shelter to prospective advertisers at the New York Central Lines Railroad in 1930, Mumaw emphasized the ruggedness of the country, the wildlife, and the remote location of the Low Divide Chalet (NFS ONF 1930, 20 September).
As president of the Olympic Development League, Mumaw extended an invitation to President Herbert Hoover in 1930 to visit the Olympic Peninsula, "the most scenic area in America." In his letter to President Hoover's secretary, Mumaw stated: "I do not know of any attempt on as large a scale as we have here toward developing a 'wilderness' area" (NFS ONF 1930, 24 May). Mumaw was a vocal opponent of proposed roads bisecting the mountains. He insisted that the ruggedness and wilderness of the Peninsula were its chief attractions.
The country's financial depression of the late 1920s and early 1930s had a devastating effect on the chalet company's future development plans as well as its existing operation of the Nine Mile Shelter and the Low Divide Chalet. In 1932 and 1933 payment of the Forest Service special use permit went unpaid. In a 1934 letter to Olympic National Forest Supervisor H. L. Plumb, W. C. Mumaw wrote: "We [the Olympic Chalet Company] have acted in good faith in regard to the Chalet, and have put in perhaps more money than were [sic] justified, and since its inception have never earned any revenue" (NFS ONF 1934, 27 November). In 1936 the Olympic Chalet Company was automatically dissolved by the State of Washington for nonpayment of the annual corporate license fee (NFS ONF 1938, 16 March). The final demise of the Low Divide Chalet came during the winter of 1944. A snow avalanche caused by winter storms completely demolished the main lodge building and the cabins (NARS:RG 79 ca. 1944a, n.d.).
In succeeding years the National Park Service occupied the Low Divide Chalet bathhouse during the summer months as a ranger station. In 1981 a prefabricated building replaced the deteriorating Low Divide structure as a ranger station. In 1982 the bathhouse was scheduled for removal.
The Olympic Recreation Company, unlike the Olympic Chalet Company, pursued a somewhat different course in the history of recreational development of the wilderness in Olympic National Park. Starting from a more modest base of financial and community support, the Olson brothers of the small south Peninsula community of Quinault proceeded slowly with their plans to open the Olympic wilderness to tourists. In the end, due to both natural and human circumstances, tangible evidence of their efforts outlasted those of the Olympic Chalet Company. In 1983 one of the two major structures constructed by the Quinault-based team not only remains intact but received new life through rehabilitation.
In 1926 the Olson brothers (including Elvin, Ignar, Herbert, Richard and Teander) vied with the Olympic Chalet Company for Forest Service approval to develop the North Fork Quinault River and were turned down. Undaunted and equipped with fifteen pack horses and extensive knowledge of the Quinault River backcountry, they submitted a second application to the U.S. Forest Service for permission to develop three tracts of land in the main East Fork Quinault drainageone at the head of the East Fork Quinault, one at the fork of Graves Creek, and one at Lake Sundown (NFS ONF 1927, 13 January) Unable to proceed with construction plans in the summer of 1927, the five Olson brothers began their venture by organizing a guide service for hikers and campers that operated from a base tent camp known as South Fork Camp (NFS ONF 1927, 30 June).
Eager to develop the recreational potential of the East Fork Quinault drainage, the Forest Service completed a prospectus for constructing public accommodations at the headwaters of the East Fork and at the mouth of Graves Creek. Minimum requirements established by the Forest Service for the building project at the East Fork Quinault included an expenditure of at least $7,500 within a three-year period, adequate proof of financing capabilities, and "architect's plans embodying a harmonious design either in rustic, Swiss chalet, or other suitable style. . . ." (NFS ONF 1928, 15 March). Officials of the Olympic Chalet Company and the Olympic Development League resisted possible competition with their development scheme on the North Fork Quinault. In retaliation the Quinault Commercial Club adopted a resolution supporting the Olson Brothers' proposal for development of the East Fork Quinault (NFS ONF 1928, 21 April). Considerable correspondence and discussion between the Olympic Development League, the Olson brothers and the Forest Service ensued over the next several months. Finally, on 3 January 1929 the National Forest Service issued a permit for the development of five acres of land in the upper East Fork Quinault, known as the Enchanted Valley Recreation Unit, to the Olson brothers of Quinault, who were by then incorporated as the Olympic Recreation Company (NFS ONF 1929, 3 January).
With M. K. Mulkey as president of the company and Charles Thomas as secretary-treasurer, the Olympic Recreation Company proceeded with the construction of Graves Creek Inn in 1929. The following year this rustic log structure was completed at a cost of $5,055, and work on a two and one-half story log structure in the upper East Fork Quinault watershed began (NFS ONF 1931, 20 February). In August 1931, the Enchanted Valley Chalet was completed (Gallison Collection 1954, 20). (The two and one-half story chalet joined a small 12 x 18 foot log structure constructed around 1925 which was later under lease to the Olympic Recreation Company. The cabin stood approximately 175 feet from the chalet.)
The efforts of several local Quinault citizens made completion of the chalet possible. Elvin Olson supervised the construction of the 28 x 42 foot hewn log building and packed materials into the site over a thirteen mile trail. Bricks and mortar for the chimney, the disassembled window frames and sash, and milled lumber for the interior, were all packed in by horse. Tom E. Criswell, assisted by his son Glenn, were the actual builders of the hewn log structure. All the furniture including chairs, settees, bunk beds and tables were also fashioned by Tom Criswell. The Knack Manufacturing Company of Hoquiam furnished the window frames (Gallison Collection 1954, 20; NPS OLYM 1977. 14 July; ca. 1982).
Over the next few years the Olson brothers made improvements to the building. A water system was added, and in 1934 a bathtub was installed on the second floor. Ignar and Herbert Olson devised a sled mechanism for skidding this cumbersome fixture over the trail while harnessed to a horse (Gallison Collection 1954, 21).
The spectacular natural setting of the chalet captured the whimsy and imagination of those who hiked or packed into this remote interior valley. Forest Service recreation specialist, F. W. Cleator, wrote in 1929:
Known locally as the "Valley of a Thousand Waterfalls," it was F. W. Cleator who suggested to the Olsons that the name be changed to "Enchanted Valley" (Gallison Collection 1954, 16). Described in 1930s promotional literature that expounded on the outdoor recreational opportunities of the Olympic Mountains, Enchanted Valley was lauded as "a region of rare beauty, with snow-capped mountains encircling the valley which contains one hundred acres of fine park land. Rocky walls on the north shore of the river rise two thousand feet into the sky" (Olympians, Incorporated Collection ca. 1930). The Enchanted Valley and its chalet were a featured stopping place for hikers and horse caravans. In 1936 the Olympic National Forest printed a brochure describing a thirteen day trail riders trip through the Olympics. The fifth day brought the prospective party to Enchanted Valley. "Here the Swiss type chalet means shelter, a fireplace, women, cooks, ashless food, a bath, good beds. How welcome the sight will be! Across the river after a good shower, myriads of waterfalls tumble down the mile long sheer face of the rock walls" (NFS Northwest Regional Office 1936). Myrtle Furseth, who was hired as cook at the chalet in the mid 1930s, recalls that guests at Enchanted Valley Chalet included Olympic Superintendent Preston Macy, and parties from cities in western Washington State, as well as from the East (Furseth 1983).
Events with effects reaching far beyond the canyoned walls of Enchanted Valley impacted the historical course of the chalet during the two decades after its foundation was in place. The country's financial depression considerably slowed all recreational activity on the Peninsula and delayed completion of the chalet by several months. Although the hard times of the Depression markedly reduced business at many Peninsula recreation resorts, the period from 1932 to 1936 was apparently the chalet's busiest time of operation. In 1938 the East Fork Quinault River drainage was included in the 682,000 acre Olympic National Park approved by Congress. The Olympic Recreation Company anticipated their operations would be out of keeping with Park Service philosophy. In 1939 stockholders of the company decided to sell their buildings at Graves Creek and Enchanted Valley to the Park Service. Operations at the Enchanted Valley Chalet continued for three more years before the building was closed to the public in 1943. At the height of World War II U.S. defense activities, the chalet was selected as a desirable defense outpost, and from 1943 until the end of the war the building was manned by Aircraft Warning Service personnel. A legislative bill passed by Congress in 1944 empowered the Park Service to purchase the holdings of both the Olympic Recreation Company and the Olympic Chalet Company. Finally, sale of the Olympic Recreation Company property was consummated in early 1951 (Gallison Collection 1954, 23, 26-27).
Enchanted Valley Chalet was put back into public use in 1953 when Olympic National Park Superintendent Fred Overly visited the building and determined that public use had, so far, been satisfactory and that minimal fire and safety improvements to the building would render it useful once again (Gallison Collection 1954, 29). Over the next thirty years, Enchanted Valley Chalet served as a shelter for hikers passing through the valley. But age, weather, inadequate maintenance and administrative protection took their toll and made the structure vulnerable to decay and vandalism. In the early 1980s the second floor and attic were sealed off from the public while the ground floor housed seasonal ranger quarters. In 1983 the Olympians, Incorporated (a hiking club of Hoquiam, Washington) and the National Park Service worked cooperatively to stabilize and secure Enchanted Valley Chalet, thus extending the life of the building. Enchanted Valley Chalet stands as the last extant structure in Olympic National Park representing the efforts of a commercial enterprise to develop the recreational potential of the Peninsula's interior mountain wilderness
Quinault Lake. Approximately twenty-eight miles southwest of Enchanted Valley Chalet lies Quinault Lake, an area of early recreational use on the Peninsula. Four miles long and two and one-half miles wide, the waters of Quinault Lake were included in the Quinault Indian Reservation long before the turn of the century. Portions of the north shore presently lie within Olympic National Park.
The Lake Quinault shoreline, just as the shores of the two other large, fresh water lakes on the PeninsulaLakes Crescent and Cushmanwitnessed initial recreational use in the early 1890s. Within two years after settlers moved into the area, the first hotel was established on the south side of the lake in 1891 (Rigley 1973, 182). Shortly afterwards a second hotel was built on the south side of the lake. (This lodge burned in 1923 or 1924 and about two years later a new lodge building was constructed on the original hotel site. This building continues to operate today as Quinault Lodge.)
Other public resort facilities, including the Lochaerie Resort cabins, were constructed along the north shore of the lake. Regardless of protests from the lake's early settlers, land surrounding much of Lake Quinault was included in the Olympic Forest Reserve created in 1897. Under U.S. Forest Service administration, recreational use around the lake was permitted. In 1910 and 1911 the Forest Service surveyed and platted lots around Quinault Lake and issued special use permits for development of summer home sites (NFS ONF 1946, 15 August; NARS:RG 95 1916, 22 April).
Recreational development lagged until 1915 when a road extending to the southwest part of the lake opened the area to automobile traffic. In 1916 Olympic National Forest Supervisor R. L. Fromme noted: "The lake has been inaccessible and is only just now becoming known to local tourist travel" (NARS:RG 95 1916, 22 April). Aberdeen and Hoquiam residents expended great energy in encouraging the recreational use of Quinault Lake, known as one of the "beauty spots of the country." Local community efforts encouraged the Forest Service to set aside 6,754 acres around the lake as the Quinault Recreation Unit in 1922 (TRL 1922, 8 August). Seven years later Forest Service recreational planner F. W. Cleator reported that in the Quinault Recreation Unit scenic and recreation values should take precedent.
Private recreational interests continued for years to come. Irving Brant, in his 1938 Report on the Enlargement of Olympic National Park, recommended that the south shore of the lake be excluded from any park addition since "private developments are so extensive, and the public lands so limited. . . ." Consequently, in 1940 only lands north and northeast of Lake Quinault were added to Olympic National Park. Of the approximate 28,000 acres added in the Quinault Lake region, roughly 4,538 acres were privately owned parcels (Gallison 1962, 36, 31, A82). Several acres of these privately owned lands were devoted to recreational use near the lakeshore. By 1961, privately owned land in the Quinault Lake vicinity was reduced by only 1,000 acres (Gallison Collection 1962, A82).
The inclusion of privately owned land on the north side of Quinault Lake within the Park boundaries has been the focus of considerable discussion over the last twenty years. In 1983 privately owned land on the north shore of Quinault Lake remains within Olympic National Park boundaries. However, there are no extant historic resort structures located on public land within Park boundaries.
Queets River. Limited resort facilities developed in the Queets River Valley. After an initial settlement colony arrived on the Queets River in the early 1890s, clearings were cut in the forest, and the area became established as a farming community. Around 1908, Malcolm M. and Edna (Strickler) Kelley settled on a claim in the Queets Valley (Cleland 1973, 254). Soon afterwards, William and brother Mart Killea arrived in the valley and settled on land adjoining the Kelley homestead (NPS OLYM n.d., Memorandum from Hartzell). In 1913 Kelley and his brother-in-law, Mr. Ferguson, purchased the Killea property along with four other nearby homestead clearings. This collection of cleared agricultural land became known as Kelley's Ranch, with headquarters on the old Killea property (Williams 1975, appendix).
Kelley operated a Hereford cattle ranch at first. But as recreational use of the Olympic Peninsula accelerated, cattle were replaced with approximately twenty pack and riding horses. Malcolm Kelley adapted facilities at the ranch to accommodate guests (Williams 1975, appendix). During the 1920s, five guest cabins, a bunkhouse and a refrigerator, laundry and storehouse building were erected (NARS:RG 79 1948, 12 February). Ownership and operation of the ranch continued under Malcolm Kelley until 1940 when the National Park Service acquired all privately owned lands in the Queets Corridor. That year the Kelleys sold their ranch and moved to Tacoma (Cleland 1973, 254). Among the more notable guests of Kelley's Ranch was Zane Grey, sportsman and noted author of over fifty novels of the West. He is reputed to have spent several summers at Kelley's Ranch, and at least one of his books used the Queets area for the setting of a story (Alcorn and Alcorn 1973, 33).
Kelley's Ranch continued operation for several years under National Park Service permit. Under the proprietorship of Ed Olsen in the early 1940s, rates for the cabins varied from $3.50 to $4.00 per day per person, and meals served family style were from $.75 to $1.00. Saddle and pack horses were available for hire (NARS:RG 79 ca. 1944a, n.d.). In the late 1940s Kelley's Ranch provided accommodations for thirty-eight guests (Olympic Peninsula Hotel and Resort Association ca. 1946, 8).
By 1950, the Park Service noted that "new and improved cabins, [a] barn and other buildings are badly needed" at Kelley's Ranch. That same year some improvements were completed including the installation of a new water system and power plant and the reroofing of the main building (UW 1950, 5 December). According to Floyd Dickinson, district ranger in the area, Kelley's Ranch continued in operation until the mid 1950s. Dickinson recalls that fire or flood substantially damaged the complex of resort buildings (Dickinson, Floyd, 1982). In 1983 the only extant building at Kelley's Ranch is a small generator house, apparently constructed by the National Park Service in 1940.
Coastal Strip/Ozette Lake. Recreational resort development received an unprecedented boost with the completion of the Olympic loop highway (now U.S. 101) in 1931. Ribbon-cutting ceremonies for the new circumferential highway took place at Kalaloch near one of the earlier established coastal resorts, Becker's Ocean Resort. There were no roads to the property when Charles W. Becker, Sr., acquired roughly forty acres of land just south of the mouth of Kalaloch Creek in 1925. A main residence/lodge building and several small wood frame cabins were erected in the late 1920s near the edge of a short bluff overlooking the beach. According to Marian Becker Dickinson, the first buildings were constructed from milled lumber that washed onto the beach (Dickinson, Marian 1982).
Following completion of the loop highway, several additional guest cabins were constructed by Charles W. Becker, Jr., between 1934 and 1936 (NARS:RG 79 1948, 12 February). Like a number of other Washington coast resorts, Becker's was occupied by the U.S. Coast Guard during World War II during coastal defense patrol operations. When the resort complex reverted to recreational use after the war, the Beckers improved existing buildings and constructed several new cabins in the late 1940s and the 1950s. Many of the small older cabins were moved back from the bluff at the same time (NARS:RG 79 1948, 12 February; Dickinson Marian 1982). Between 1950 and 1954, the Beckers erected a new lodge building to replace the original inn building that burned in 1943 during the coast guard occupation (Dickinson, Marian 1982).
Becker's Ocean Resort was included in the Coastal Strip acquisition area authorized by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1940 and consummated under the Truman administration in 1953. In 1978, the National Park Service purchased the Becker property and turned it over to a concessioner for operation, thus ending fifty-eight years of operation by the Becker family. Becker's was soon after renamed Kalaloch Lodge. In 1981 and 1982 major landscaping and building changes took place when several older, small, randomly sited wood frame cabins were replaced by a dozen closely spaced log cabins arranged in a crescent shaped configuration.
During the 1930s when automobile access to the western coastal region of the Peninsula opened the area to tourist traffic, several other resort operations joined Becker's Ocean Resort. Typically designed as auto camps, these coastal resorts consisted of simple wood frame, shingle or board and batten-clad cottages. These auto camps provided modest, less costly accommodations, and thus satisfied the needs of many vacationists during the Depression years of the 1930s. Some of these auto camps continued to operate during the 1940 war years, although many were occupied by the military or those employed in local wartime industries. Immediately following World War II, tourist travel on the Peninsula increased and greater demands arose for cabins and camping areas along the coast (NARS:RG 79 1945, 15 August).
In 1940, five or six auto camps existed along the beach between Kalaloch and the mouth of the Quillayute River when the Public Works Administration was authorized to purchase land in the narrow Coastal Strip for eventual inclusion in Olympic National Park. These beach resorts consisted of between five and twenty-two housekeeping cabins, some of which were furnished, and usually had running water, electricity and stoves. Showers and restrooms were often in a separate building. Most of the resorts located in the Coastal Strip sold groceries in a main building and had gasoline pumps. In addition to Becker's Ocean Resort at Kalaloch the Park's coastal acquisition area in the 1940s included Ashenbrenner's Pioneer Camp at Kalaloch, Ruby Beach Ocean Resort, La Push Ocean Resort (later the La Push Ocean Park), the Harvey Smith Ranch at La Push, and a resort at Mora operated by Rozella Andrews (NARS:RG 79 1942a, 31 July; 1948, 12 February).
Following World War II, when several resorts were used for military personnel, many resort buildings fell into disrepair. In 1950 Olympic National Park Superintendent Preston Macy commented that both Ashenbrenner's Pioneer Camp and La Push Ocean Park had run down considerably during the war (UW 1950, 5 December). In 1953 a presidential proclamation signed by Harry Truman finalized the addition of the Coastal Strip to Olympic National Park. In ensuing years Coastal Strip auto camps were purchased by the Park Service. La Push auto camp was deleted from the Park in 1976. Today Becker's Ocean Resort (now Kalaloch Lodge) is the only remaining resort within the Park's Coastal Strip.
About three miles inland from the ocean at the north end of Ozette Lake, Charlie and Ida Keller established the Lake Ozette Resort when a road was completed to the area in 1935. The Lake Ozette Resort included twelve cabins, a store and a service station (NPS OLYM n.d., Peninsula Profile No. 10). In 1940 only two of the Ozette Resort cabins were included in the Olympic coastal acquisition area. These, like other resort cabins along the Olympic Peninsula's Pacific coast, were occupied by the U.S. Coast Guard during World War II (NARS:RG 79 1943, 1 April). The Kellers sold their resort in 1945 (NPS OLYM n.d., Peninsula Profile No. 10). The Ozette Resort tract of land remained split between public and private ownership until the passage of the Olympic Boundary Adjustment Act in 1976, when the entire complex of resort buildings was purchased by the National Park Service. In 1981 the Ozette Resort store and cafe closed (PADN 1981, 4 October). By late 1982 the cabins and cafe structures were removed. There are presently no recreational resorts in the Ozette Lake area within Olympic National Park.
For students of American culture, for those seeking to understand more of how we have developed as an affluent, vacation-bound people, or for those exploring the fascinating tie between urban America and its wilderness parks, the recreational development era of the Olympic Peninsula offers interesting insights. At virtually the same pace that an urban and industrial society established itself in Seattle, Portland and other Northwest cities, so too did retreats from the pace and pressures of the same society develop on the Peninsula. Beginning in the 1890s and accelerating with improvements in transportation, vacationers spread across the Peninsula, covering both the interior and shores of what is now Olympic National Park with a complex of trails, shelters, private cabins, and scores of resortsplaces to go to escape the city, to recreate in an awesome wilderness, and to return with a "spring in the step and a twinkle in the eye." Five basic forms were established: trails for backcountry travelers, private cabins, the shoreline lodge and cabins, the hot springs, and the rather romantic backcountry chalets.
The most adventuresome groups and individuals utilized the 300 miles of trails and ninety shelters established as early as 1933 to enjoy the depths of the Olympic range. Following the lead of Wickersham, O'Neil and others, the Oregon Alpine Club, Mazamas, Klahhane, Olympians, The Mountaineers, and the Boy Scouts brought large and small groups into and sometimes completely across the Park. Much of the trail system they used remains as do nineteen of the early shelters. Four of these on the Bogachiel still retain the integrity of a shelter "system," spaced every four and one-half to five miles, while other individual shelters stand as nearly unaltered examples of architectural types, such as the T-shaped log Soleduck Falls Shelter and the rectangular pole and shake Three Forks and Pelton Creek Shelters.
In addition to hikers and climbers, hunters, fishermen, photographers and film makers all found recreation in the Park interior. Attracted, like many other visitors, by the promotional efforts of the railroads, Chambers of Commerce, the loop highway and Herb and Lois Crisler's elk film footage, each group played an important role in Park development directions and concerns. Similarly, owners of private cabins, like the Remann and Botten (Wilder) Cabins, evidence an earlier form of recreational development cut off by the establishment of the Park but, nevertheless, deserving interpretation.
The development of resorts, more formal recreation experiences, depended directly on the growing urban middle class, on inexpensive steam and later automobile transportation, on mass media advertising and on a cultural assumption that substantiated man's need for time in wild and quiet places. Balanced with this for many was a requisite assurance of comfort, convenient access and dependability. With the 1931 completion of the Peninsula's circumferential road, older resorts shifted to accommodate a new, different, and much larger clientele, the automobile tourist. While some places retained the older sense of exclusivity, more often resorts changed (sometimes even shifting entrance from waterfront dock to new highway) to meet the needs of this emerging democracy on wheels. Like the contemporary Columbia River Scenic Highway that made possible automobile access to the Gorge, the Peninsula became a playground for not hundreds, but thousands, and entrepreneurs saw in the serenity of lakeside or ocean beach, and the grandeur of the Olympics the chance to promote a share of this new and mobile market. The resorts of the area became popular access points for those fascinated by the varied grandeur of the mountains and coast of the Olympic Peninsula. As dependable places of some comfort and safety, they collectively offered the first popular participation in the same sense of discovery and exploration and quiet contemplation shared by the early exploring expeditions.
Yet for all the thousands that visited, for all the historical significance of this first mass accessibility to the quiet of larger lakes and the Pacific coastline or the wilderness of the interior, only three places within the nearly one million acre Park still retain the sense of time and place that allows a modern visitor to appreciate this era in resort development. Many once-famous resorts were lost to fire, some to the Great Depression, one to an avalanche, and at least two to a level of success that dictated near-total replacement. Ovington's and Qui Si Sana were unable to survive, but Singer's and Rosemary still remarkably and significantly retain the integrity that allows us to understand, and even participate in, an earlier form of wilderness resort experience that captures the reverence for peace and the recognition of a popular, urban need for quiet, natural places.
While recuperation at a hot springs is still possible within the Park, it is in a modern facility built to meet even larger demands and more stringent standards of public health.
Coastal resorts were far more numerous outside the Park, but success at Kalaloch brought the same, if somewhat less sensitive, renewal and refurbishment. Finally, in the backcountry only the Enchanted Valley Chalet stands, newly rehabilitated, as a hallmark of the popular interest in and concern for the interior that led to the creation of Olympic National Park.
Last Updated: 01-Oct-2009