The Evergreen Playground

Resorts of the Peninsula


Michael Earles opened his Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort in 1912, and the Hot Springs Company provided transportation to this remote area. The Sol Duc steamer picked up passengers in Seattle, Port Townsend, Port Williams, Dungeness and Port Angeles and took them to Port Crescent. Autos would pick up the groups and transport them to East Beach at the east end of Lake Crescent. Here a steam launch would take the visitors to Fairholme at the west end of the lake. A Stanley steamer provided the final leg of the journey to the resort.

"We can't put the feel of high mountain beauty into words but you can imagine the lure of such a river as the Sol Duc leaping and tumbling down through the low-hanging fir and spruce standing sentinel around."

- Sol Duc Hot Springs Promotional Brochure

This scene was played out at all the resorts along the north and south shores of Lake Crescent—East Beach, Log Cabin Hotel, Hotel Crescent, Marymere (destroyed by fire in 1914 and replaced by Rosemary Inn), Ovington's, and Singer's Tavern. Other property owners offered tent accommodations. Steam launches and ferries dropped off and picked up vacationers all along the lake.

The Olympic Hot Springs offered more rugged accommodation. Until 1930 when a road was completed, these springs were accessible by foot or horseback only. The resort boasted a log hotel, pool, and cabins. In 1966, it closed to the public.

When the Olympic Loop Highway was completed in 1931, existing resorts and campgrounds adapted to serving the auto tourist. In the mid 1930s, twelve resorts dotted the lake. Auto camps sprung up in the 1940s and 1950s. Beardslee Bay Camp, Lenoir's East Beach, Log Cabin, Bonnie Brae, LaPoel and Julius Peterson's resort served the auto-touring visitors. Health resorts, hotels and coastal getaways were within driving distance from Seattle and the nearest ferry all year long. Port Angeles, Port Townsend, Lake Crescent, Lake Ozette, and Forks were destinations that boasted every convenience of luxury resorts within the wilderness of the northwest.

"The magnificent Olympic Peninsula in the extreme "upper left-hand" corner of the United States is truly America's Last Frontier. In this scenic paradise are areas not yet reached by white man.wildernesses so forbidding only the very hardy dare venture near. Yet a great many parts of this rugged country are easily accessible by automobile and boat.just a short ride from metropolitan centers."

- "Visit the Olympic Peninsula," 1949 Directory, Olympic Peninsula Resort and Hotel Association


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