WHEN COAL WAS KING: 1939 Cherokee Bay Resort

As noted last week, this connected water body in west Maple Valley was originally known as Pipe Lake. Around 1920, the eastern “puff of smoke” joined to the western “pipe” was renamed Lake Lucerne in honor of its larger Switzerland namesake. By 1925, Lake Lucerne sported a popular resort featured in a 1927 Seattle Times ‘motorlogue’ sponsored bythe Lamping Motor Company, distributors of the Reo Flying Cloudautomobile introduced that year. America’s car culture had taken root in the 1920s aided by newly paved roads and destination campgrounds like Beautiful Lake Lucerne. Before the invention of the automobile, the average American rarely traveled more than 12 miles from home, the distance a horse and wagon could comfortably go in a day.

The first mention of Cherokee Bay on Pipe Lake dates to 1934, though a Pipe Lake Hotel was noted in 1926 possibly associated with a nearby sawmill. As can be seen in the distance, the Cherokee Bay resort featured a lodge-style structure, high dive, swimming beaches, changing facility, and picnic tables. Assessor records show a 1932 construction date for the lodge, which is still standing though in an altered state. The canoe in the foreground was available for rent. During the 1950s resorts like this began a slow decline in popularity. By 1958, the Northwest Land Company has purchased more than 200 acres, including this resort, much of which once belonged to the Dubigk family. In the early 1960s, Cherokee Bay Park was platted into hundreds of small lots, with shared beach access and community club facilities fashioned from the old resort. Those facilities still serve homeowners in Cherokee Bay neighborhood. This 1939 photo # P.09.68.01 by Roger Dudley was donated to the Maple Valley Historical Society by the late Hal Pelton, a Dubigk family relation. Additional information was provided by JoAnne Matsumura, an Issaquah historian, who is helping Carol Davis assemble a book about nearby Lake Lucerne. Next week a photo of the same Cherokee Bay resort from the shore looking towards the lake.