Ahhh, the days of no electricity, no running water and no indoor plumbing. That was life growing up on a houseboat on Lake Tapps in the late 1940's and early1950's. At the time, Lake Tapps operated only as a reservoir for the Deringer power plant located in the valley below. The lake bed had been logged leaving lots of stumps and floating debris. Who would want to live there? Those days would come but not yet. The only way to get around was by boat or along unpaved logging roads. Following is a photo from my early days showing the road to the lake.
My sister Lynn and I are pictured going for a walk. The only development I am aware of on the lake during this period were several floating cabins strung together by a boardwalk.
Our houseboat is shown on the immediate right - photo taken in 1947. As you might expect, houseboats were virtually all summer use only, except for a few families, like ours, who had no money and couldn't afford to live anywhere else. My grandfather worked at the power plant and no doubt got us a place here through his contacts.
This view from the lake shows our A-frame houseboat right in the middle. Pretty neat setting except for a few inconveniences, like taking a bath in a tub using water heated on our wood stove and brought in by bucket. Like making a run for it to the privy on shore when you had to go or using an emergency chemical can that had to be dumped after it got full. Learning to read by candlelight - very romantic I'm sure.
Kind of like being on vacation every day, I guess. Dock party circa July, 1949.
Somehow, we managed to get a sailboat for use on the lake. My dad's pride and joy, but sure scared the heck out of me. You can tell, I'm really excited.
Sailboats are tippy in the wind and I had to move from side to side so we wouldn't tip over! Time for stern concentration.
Here's my favorite picture, showing my sister Lynn fishing off the dock.
Unfortunately, Lynn passed away two years ago. Always looking out for her bro. Great memories of life at Lake Tapps. Probably one of the reasons we bought a fixer upper cabin here at Lake Sawyer. Great place to live. We even have electricity, running water and indoor plumbing! And while the house was still a mess, the first thing we did was buy a sailboat.