To the members of the fledgling nudist club, Fraternity Snoqualmie, their beautiful and serene nudist camp must have seemed a real paradise. Even without floating bridges and interstate highways, it was only a few hour drive from Seattle and vicinity, even less from Everett and places to the north. Abandoning the worries and cares of the workaday world, they could bathe their nude bodies in the warm sunshine while watching the dragon flies skimming over the surface of the lake and hearing the delighted squeals of children as they frolicked in the sparkling water.
But a shadow was beginning to fall on this idyllic scene. Across the oceans, the guns of war could be heard as nation after nation fell to the invading armies. Would America be next? Then came the “Day of Infamy”, December 7, 1941. We were at war.
By some act of providence, our country was spared the massive destruction that many other countries had sustained. But, nonetheless, the war affected, to some degree, the lives of every man, woman, and child. One aspect of the war which was felt by all was rationing – food, clothing, gasoline, … Ah, yes! Gasoline! Car pools and public transportation helped, but after driving to work or to the grocery store and taking the kids to little league practice or to the doctor to patch up some cuts and scrapes, the gasoline allotment was nearly depleted. There wasn’t much left for trips to the nudist camp. Among the F.S. members of the early 1940’s one could hear, “We’ve gotta find something closer to home!” So began the search for a new place where they could enjoy their chosen lifestyle.
(There is another story about why some of the members decided to leave their beautiful sylvan retreat and head south. Some accounts say that there was trouble in paradise – people problems, friction, a split. Perhaps this story is closer to the truth, but we prefer to believe and to tell the gas rationing version.)
We have no details as to how the search for property progressed nor how many sites were considered. But, finally, circa 1944 or 1945, success! The new site was on the side of Tiger Mountain, south of Issaquah. There was a small clearing, surrounded by 40 acres of stately evergreen trees. It had the makings of a beautiful and modern nudist resort, but at the time, the “facilities” were rather “rustic”,…, well, “primitive”,…, well, “ugh!” A few fruit trees and a ramshackle “house” marked the remains of an abandoned goat farm. There was no electricity, no plumbing, and no road. Access to the place was by a mountain trail. The condition of the interior of the building can not be adequately described using polite language. “But it’s ours! We have a new home! What should we call it? Well, it’s surrounded by a forest. How about “Camp Forestia?”
There was so much to be done to make the camp livable. The members knew that, initially, there wouldn’t be much opportunity for recreation. Weekends would be devoted primarily to that great nudist institution, the Work Party.
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