The 1970’s were coming to an end. This had been a decade of major change. Park Forestia had come a long way from the rustic nudist camp of the early days. With a filtered swimming pool, a large wading pool, a hot, bubbly spa, and a warm, toasty sauna, we, the members of Fraternity Snoqualmie could truly say that we had a modern nudist facility. One last vestige of the old days remained. Having withstood the ravages of time and years of neglect, an old building with its sagging ceiling and creaky, uneven floor still served as our clubhouse. We needed a larger and more substantial building.

If you still have your May, 2002 Forestian, please look at the “Late 1950’s” map which was part of “Up on the Hill, IV”. Where the club house stands today was a small building which had once been a snack bar. By the mid 1970’s, snack bar service had been discontinued. It was decided that the old snack bar building was no longer needed and that where it stood would be an ideal location for a new club house.

About 1979, a large work party assembled to demolish the old snack bar and in a few days the building was history. Forms were built and concrete was poured for the foundation of a new building roughly twice the size of the old snack bar. Meanwhile, plans for the new building were drawn and evaluated.

The original plan called for a “pavilion” consisting of three walls and a roof rather than a fully enclosed club house. The side facing the sunning lawn and swimming pool was to have been left open, providing a wind break, a shelter from the rain, and a shady area for use on hot summer days. This proposal was not well received by the members. Back to the drawing board.

Proposal Number 2 called for a fully enclosed, two story building. The first floor would be a club house and the second floor would be used as a dormitory where members and visitors could lay down sleeping bags and spend the night. This concept was also not well received.

The third time was the charm. Members reacted very favorably to plans for an enclosed, one story building complete with fireplace.

“Bootleg” construction was no longer an option. The club applied for and received a building permit. Work parties consisted of a few members with construction expertise and a larger number of less skilled workers. Work went fast and in a few weeks the club house was ready for occupancy.

One important task remained ­ a task which would bring a few tears to the eyes of the old timers — demolition of the old club house. Clearly, we had no other choice but to demolish the building, but for those of us who had been around for more than a few years, the old club house was filled with memories. After a weekend of work, memories were all that remained.

As a final note in this episode, we would like to keep a promise we made almost a year ago. In “Up on the Hill, III” in April, 2002, we told about wiring the old club house for electricity during the World War II years when wiring supplies were scarce. The building was wired with telephone wire, intended for low voltage. There was concern that the wire could get hot and possibly start a fire. We promised to tell you more about this later, so here it is. The fire never started, but…

When the building was finally demolished and the wiring was exposed, lo and behold, it was bare wire! All the insulation had been burned off. What’s the moral of this story? Well, most of us don’t like bureaucracy. We hate to be bothered with building codes, wiring codes, etc. We don’t like the hassle of getting a building or wiring permit. But some control is necessary. We’ll tell you more about another code and permit incident next month.

The old club house An old postcard

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