Part of this road is now SE 24th Way. The Donnelly Mill moved from the town of Donnelly on the southwestern shore of the lake to Monohon, and a new company was established to run it.
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The new company was named the Allen and Nelson Mill Company, and the mill, which began operation in Monohon in November , became the town's anchor for the next 36 years. In the company was sold to C. Bratnober , John E. Bratnober , and C. John Bratnober, a preeminent player in the plateau's timber industry for most of the first half of the twentieth century, expanded the mill's operations and the town of Monohon grew along with it. By the town had a population of , its own water system, a railroad depot, and a room hotel. It all came to a spectacular end on June 26, , when nearly the entire town burned down in a fire that was caused by a carelessly flipped cigarette butt that landed in a pile of sawdust.
The town never came back, though the mill was rebuilt and soldiered on in various incarnations until The only remaining traces of Monohon are a few early twentieth-century Allen and Nelson Mill homes that were not burned in the fire. Inglewood, located just north of Monohon, was an informal community that stretched north along the lake from today's SE 8th Street past Weber Point on the northeastern shore of the lake, and east to at least th Avenue NE. A relatively small but thriving and diverse community sprang up there between and A glimpse from the census shows how diverse: More than 30 percent of Inglewood's "non-Indian" inhabitants reported they had been born in countries other than the United States; two-thirds of those came from the Scandinavian countries of Sweden, Norway, and Finland.
Forty-five Indians were also recorded in the census, representing 20 percent of the community's population. Most of the men and some of their sons worked at either the Lake Sammamish Shingle Mill at Weber Point or at a logging camp in the area. There were lots of children in early Inglewood, and there was a school there for them.
The Inglewood Grammar School was built in the first half of the s and operated until It was located on the southeastern corner of NE 8th Street and th Avenue NE, near where the Sammamish 76 service station is now Originally a simple log building, by the school had been replaced by a more substantial structure. The school was a traditional one-room school, complete with cloakroom and porch in the newer building. One teacher taught students from first through eighth grades, and the students were seated in rows according to their grade.
The building survived for more than half a century after the school closed before finally collapsing from neglect in the mids. There was a Sammamish before the Sammamish we know now. The first Sammamish slowly developed around on Weber Point. There wasn't really a town by this name -- it was actually a part of the Inglewood community. But most of its 50 or so residents who lived there during the s considered themselves residents of "Sammamish," and it had a stop on the rail line, two operating shingle mills, and a building that was a bunkhouse, cookhouse, company store, and office all in one to serve the mills.
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The first shingle mill, owned by the Lake Sammamish Lumber and Shingle Company, commenced operations in or and got off to a fast start. In , it produced more than seven million shingles. It operated for several years before burning down. In , Joseph Weber ? The first mill was located at the tip of Weber Point, but by Weber had built a second mill slightly farther inland.
The mills produced up to , shingles primarily cedar daily, and thrived through most of the s. The first mill closed shortly after , but the second mill and the small community of Sammamish carried on through the s.
However, their days were numbered. By , most of the trees near the eastern shore of Lake Sammamish had been logged.
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Logging operations were shifting farther east, to Beaver Lake and beyond. Work at the mill slowed, exacerbated by the effects of the Great Depression then underway. Weber closed his company in December , and later in the decade he sold his land and moved to Seattle. Many of the area's residents also moved during the s, and by the end of the decade the first Sammamish was gone. Sammamish was home to no fewer than four resorts during the early and middle decades of the twentieth century.
Typically the resorts consisted of quiet cabins and a lake that provided plenty of aquatic activities, and all of them had a dance floor that was sure to please.
In their heyday they were a welcome retreat both for locals and visitors. Alexander's Beach Resort was located on the southeastern shore of Lake Sammamish, just north of the southern boundary of today's Sammamish city limits. Caroline Alexander opened a small picnic area there in and operated it until her death.
Her daughter Hazel Alexander Ek and son-in-law George Ek took over and expanded it into a mecca that became a favorite for company picnics, private picnics, and picnics hosted by political parties. The resort had a dance hall with a stage and a large open-air pavilion with a huge foot-byfoot oven and four foot-long tables capable of seating hundreds. The Eks sold the property in but the resort remained in operation until , when it was sold yet again.
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The new buyer razed the structures and turned the property into the Alexander's on the Lake development. About , John Tanska bought 40 acres there and spent several years clearing the land. By , a small auto camp was open on the southern half of his acreage. The camp itself was just a field where people pitched their tents and enjoyed the great outdoors, but Tanska also took over 10 cabins on the site that had been left over from an earlier logging operation and rented those out to visitors.
The cabins were located near the current intersection of th Avenue SE and SE 24th Street, and some still survive as remodeled houses.
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The auto camp had a small dance floor and it also sported a popular Finnish sauna. It closed in , shortly after John Tanska's death. The acre resort opened about with five small cabins but languished until the late s, when owner Reiff French dramatically expanded it. He renamed the resort French's LaPine Resort, but the name didn't catch on. It was "Pine Lake Resort" to some, "Frenchy's" to others. French eventually built 15 cabins 16 if you count his , a small grocery store, and a dance hall that was a favorite with square dancers.
Like Alexander's, Pine Lake Resort also was a favorite for picnickers. It operated until , when King County bought the property and converted it into what's now Pine Lake Park. Owners Gus and Lulu Bartel had 15 cabins built on the property as well as a small lodge and a dance hall. Musician Quincy Jones b. In , Dick "Andy" Anderson and his wife, Ruth b. Today , it's known as Beaver Lake Park. The resort at Beaver Lake has another claim to fame. In , the Red Cross Aquatic School held the first of its training schools there.
Ten-day classes were held there most years between and , but it's the class that stands out: Clint Eastwood b. The school offered classes in first aid and water safety, and Eastwood evidently taught both. Two pictures of him hard at work appear in the June 27, , issue of The Seattle Times. He wasn't famous yet -- his acting career didn't start until a few years later -- but he was catching the photographer's eye even then.
There was more on the Sammamish Plateau during those years. There were dairy farms, chicken farms, and even a small mink farm for a few years. One chicken farm in particular was well known. In , C. Sween pronounced "Swinn" was going to take up dairy farming until he realized that most of his land wasn't suitable for cattle. Almost on a lark, he took up chicken farming. His timing was perfect. The poultry industry in Washington was nearly non-existent in , but that changed dramatically over the next 15 years. He grew his farm accordingly and by he had acres stocked with several dozen chicken coops and thousands of chickens.
That year his son, William "Bill" Sween and Bill's wife, Faye , took over operations at the farm. They began raising fryer chickens C. Sween had centered his operations on egg-laying chickens and dramatically increased their operations, so much so that at one point in the s Sween's Poultry Farm was the largest fryer grower in the state, processing half a million chickens every year.
The Sweens retired in By the time the Sweens closed their farm, the High Lonesome Ranch was in full swing a couple of miles away.