Two of the lesser known lakes in south King County are Pipe Lake and Lake Lucerne. Technically they are only one water body connected by a natural canal. And fewer still remember this bridge which crossed over that canal when milling surrounding timber was more important than resorts or lakefront residences. The date this bridge was built is lost to time, and it’s not yet certain when it came down, though some claim it collapsed or was heavily damage by an overloaded log truck. One date is certain – this photo was taken in August 1934.
Originally, the two water bodies were known as Pipe Lake. According to the late Bud Dubigk, whose family once owned much of the surrounding real estate, Pipe Lake got its name because seen on a map the larger western portion looks like a pipe, while the eastern sector resembles a puff of smoke. Around 1920 or so, that puff of smoke was renamed Lake Lucerne for the famous lake in Switzerland. Around that time, lake resorts were increasingly popular as entrepreneurs seized on mobility provided by automobiles coupled with increased leisure time when 8-hour days and 40-hour work weeks became common. In time resorts would be built on both lakes. The Lake Lucerne lodge can be seen in the distance below the center of the bridge. Next week, more about “Beautiful Lake Lucerne,” the early resort which helped popularize both lakes.