The Early Years

The Early People:  Tuobeda'bš

Lake Forest Park is situated on land that was once a winter village site for the Tuobeda’bš, one of several named groups living on Lake Washington. According to oral histories, the settlement was occupied, at least sporadically, until about 1903. By that time, the traditional stream and lake fisheries had been so depleted, first by the railroad construction, and then by logging practices, that the fisheries could no longer support the population. Also, the advancement of new landowners to the area began to make impossible Native Americans' occupation of traditional territory.

Duwamish Women 1880s (Image courtesy of Shoreline Historical Museum)


Most of the first landowners in the 1860s, were either logging and sawmill operators, their employees or speculators who sold properties or just logging rights to cutters or sawmill companies. Demand for timber was very strong throughout the 1880s and 1890s, and during those decades all aspects of logging in what would become Lake Forest Park were accomplished slowly, by hand. Logs were moved downhill to the lake using flumes and skid roads, the remains of which could be seen throughout Lake Forest Park even into the 1960s.

Logging Train Peggy about 1903 (Image courtesy of Shoreline Historical Museum)

John Fish’s Logging Railroad

In 1901, the pace of logging was greatly enhanced when John Fish’s logging railroad was built along Lyon Creek to the county line, and Fish's logging camp with about 50 men was established on the north side of the creek. The train hauled the cut timber onto a long pier at Fish’s Landing, now the site of the Lake Forest Park Civic Club, where the logs were dumped into the lake. From there, they were floated in booms to mills on Lake Washington and Lake Union. Fish’s logging train was relocated to Kenmore in 1906. Most of the dense, old-growth forest in Lake Forest Park was gone and development was inevitable.