WITHIN THESE WALLS
A GLANCE INTO THE PAST
by Neo Brown
Once called the “Edwards Pavilion”, this beautiful rustic structure was erected in 1923, of hand-hewn logs from the Edwards homestead. This was an extension of Edwards Resort, a fishing and recreational getaway, here on Lake Lawrence. Many popular bands played here for Saturday night dances. People came as far away as Tacoma and Seattle in their Model T Fords and earlier in their horse and buggies. Frank and Jennie, with a few helpers, worked many long hours, running the resort and dances plus cooking and serving a Saturday midnight supper. During the winter months they chipped away at the thick ice on the lake and stored it in the icehouse (made of railroad ties and sawdust) to use as refrigeration for all year around. Children were welcome at the dances and babies were put to bed in the little stacked cages that were surrounded by wire for safety.
Imagine Frank and Jennie’s two-story house that now sits adjacent to the lodge, less three rooms, being pulled by three teams of horses from the lake, up the hill to where it presently sits. After the house was moved, Puget Power raised the lake level 18 feet to the base of the lodge. The resort got its start here on the hill, while the lake was still high. The little general store was in the end building next to the house, now over a century old.
In 1929, the lake was lowered back down to its present level. Frank and Jennie’s son Lee and his wife Ruby began running the resort and dances in 1948. There were 12 cabins and through the years at least 75 camping spots and 110 hand-built wooden boats. Lee built a 20-foot water slide that became quite an attraction in those days. The season started in April and ended after duck season the middle of January. An end to the big dances came around 1960.
In 1973, the over 50-year-old resort closed, and the camping era ended. The resort property is now enjoyed by many private homeowners. The café, playground, swimming area and the Edwards Pavilion became part of the Lake Lawrence Community Club. Although much remains the same, a few necessary improvements have been made since the dances in the ’20s. This historical unique building holds many weddings and special occasions most weekends throughout the year.
Music, joy, laughter and tears have penetrated these walls for decades. The floors have endured many nights of dancing feet and wonderful memories still linger.