Early Memories of Angle Lake

An Unauthorized Reprint from the Highline Historical Society Project: 

A Gladys Solberg Oral History

My family moved to Angle Lake in 1935. My father bought the property on the north end of Angle Lake from Noble Urch. The property was a long narrow lot, 40 feet width at the waterfront and 1000 feet in length. There was a house, which was partly built but there was no indoor plumbing, and lots of work ahead to complete the house. We had a well on the top of the hill behind our house and the water was piped down to our house. No water pump was needed, because the water ran by gravity. A few days after we moved into the house (October 30, 1935), we had some very cold weather and the water pipes froze! My poor dad had to get the pipes thawed out - not a very welcome start to our new home.

My father was a longshoreman, and he worked on the Seattle waterfront. It was very hard work in those days, as the ships were loaded by hand. My brother, Erling, was 16 years old and started attending Highline High School as a sophomore. I was 10 years old and started at Angle Lake Grade School in the 5th grade. The school was an old wooden building (built in 1887) with three classrooms and a basement lunchroom. Mr. Mansfield was the principal and he taught the 5th, 6th and 7th grades, all three in one room. Marion Stewart taught 1st and 2nd grades, and Mrs. Bullock taught 3rd and 4th grades. There was a bell tower on the school and a long rope hung down in our classroom. The bell would be rung for recess and lunch times. A new Angle Lake Grade School was built in 1936, close by the old school. I went to the new school for 6th and 7th grades. Harold Mackey was the new principal, and he was there for many years. He taught 6th and 7th grades. There were 27 students in the two grades. I went to Highline High School beginning in 8th grade. I graduated from Highline High School in 1943.

The Angle Lake Presbyterian Church was located on 192nd South and close to Des Moines Way. I went to Sunday School there, and also to a Young Peoples group. There were two truck garden farms along 192nd South. The DePiano and Manzo families had these farms. There was also a mushroom plant, located where the airport was built (1944). Mr. Kelley owned the mushroom plant. Mr. Pomeroy worked and managed the mushroom plant for Mr. Kelley. My brother worked at the plant occasionally, when he was going to high school.

The only store I remember along Highway 99 in the Angle Lake area was Malmberg's Store. It was a combination gas station and grocery store, located at 188th Street. In those days 188th South was a two-way gravel road. There was a gravel pit and county road equipment located where Tyee High School is now. They kept the gravel roads in the area graded and maintained. I walked to Angle Lake Grade School, which was about 1 mile distance. Other children walked even further to school. There were school buses for Highline High School. Our bus for the south end area traveled many miles, from Angle Lake to Des Moines and around, to pick up students. We were on the bus for about an hour to get to school. Seth Campbell was in charge of buses at Highline, and supervised their upkeep. Mr. Campbell lived at Angle Lake.

At the south end of Angle Lake there was a resort for swimming and picnics, called The Plunge. Robert and Eupha Reeploeg owned and managed the resort. It was very popular for swimming. There was a large slide, a trapeze and high dives. They rented out rowboats and canoes. There was a lunch counter selling hot dogs, hamburgers, pie and ice cream cones all day long. This was part of the large dance hall where dances were held Sunday evenings during the summer. I worked there part-time during the summer when I was in high school. On Sundays I often worked all day, and until midnight when the dance was over.

There were several fruit trees on our property; apples, pear, plum and cherry trees. The former owner, Mr. Urch, planted the trees. My mother and father planted strawberry and raspberry plants. They also planted a large vegetable garden each year. Mother canned some of the fruit and vegetables. They also rented a frozen-food locker and froze some of the berries and vegetables. The lockers were located at Carlson's Market, on Highway 99 and 158th South, where Lewis and Clark Movie Theatre was later located.

I was fortunate to grow up living on Angle Lake. In the summer we could enjoy swimming and boating. And many winters in the 1930's and 1940's it was cold enough for the lake to freeze over for ice skating.

Editors Note: As a child I would love to sit and listen to stories as told by my elders. This interest in oral history has continued into my adulthood where I am particularly drawn toward the stories of the earlier years in my community, listening to the way things were ‘back in their day’… the story above turns out to include a particular item of interest to me personally with the mention of Seth Campbell who lived on Angle Lake. It just so happens that I currently occupy the cabin that he and his wife Katherine (Kitty) used to call home way back then. I invite anyone with family lineage dating back to the early days of Angle Lake to capture, preserve and freely share your stories here through our community blog.  

Touch A Truck

Is there a child in your family that has an enormous love for big trucks and large vehicles? If so, then we encourage you to check out the City of SeaTac Touch-A-Truck event. Kids of all ages will love to climb, run around, sit in and even honk horns of many types of trucks and vehicles. 

Parents, Grandparents, Aunts and Uncles are also invited to come touch and explore the emergency vehicles, construction and dump trucks that serve the SeaTac community and meet the people who operate them. Vehicles from Fire, Police, Parks & Recreation and Public Works Departments, along with others from local companies will be on-site. Display booths and refreshments will be also available to enjoy.

When: Saturday, August 24th
Time: 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Place: Tyee Educational Complex 

This event is free and fun for all ages. Hoses and water will be provided. Bring your own bucket and wash mitt. OK, kidding about that last part however this is a FREE event.

Tapaless On Angle Lake?!

We would not dare think of it!
Last year during Tapas we were visited by Gilligan and his fellow castaways; Cleopatra came back from the dead to join us with her minions; and we even had a Tropical Island populated with Pacific Islanders float onto the scene – one can only imagine who, or what, might appear this year!

Tasty Tapas returns again to the waters of Angle Lake this Saturday August 17th. The cost is $25 a head and is open to all active status Shore Club Members and their invited guests. If you’re not familiar, Tapas is a reference for small dishes or appetizers typically served with drinks. The Shore Club however elects to have them served at four individual shoreline locations that are accessed only by boat.

Each of four groups is assigned to an individual location initially where guests will be served appetizers and treated to a choice of refreshments then rotate to the next station every 45 minutes. Witnessing the rush of boats crisscrossing each other to get to the next station is almost as much fun as visiting with familiar friends and neighbors and meeting new guests. At 7:00 pm all the groups make their final port of call for dessert and coffee and perhaps a nightcap or two as well.  

2013 Tapas Hosts
Station #1:  Jim and Robyn Todd
Station #2:  Bonnie and Marjorie Warner
Station #3:  Helen Svenson
Station #4:  Nick and Rosalyn Zilkowski  
Station #5:  Pickets, Densmores and Langenbachs

Scheduled Dockings
4:00  First Station
4:45  Second Station (first rotation)
5:30  Third Station (second rotation)
6:15  Fourth Station (third rotation)
7:00  Dessert Station (fourth rotation)
8:30 Water taxis to depart dessert station (or later if the hosts approve and guest want to stay)

Group Leaders
Guests will be assigned to any one of the following:
Group #1 Steve Beck
Group #2 Bruce Bryant
Group #3 Lonnie Goulet
Group #4 Jonathan Standridge
For last minute assignments or changes, please contact Kathy Bryant for assistance.

Notice of Cancelation

While many firmly believe that the Horse-N-Around Race and Family Picnic event is among the best activities hosted by the ALSC, after 3 years, it became apparent that the event was just not drawing the spectator crowd necessary to sustain the event from a financial aspect.  

Feedback from the teams that have competed in the races indicate that we have been successful at tweaking the competitiveness and challenge aspect of the event to making it very appealing to competitors.  However more is needed to successfully encourage a greater number of families and spectators to participate in the event.

The members of the board have thoughtfully discussed the future of this event and what could be done to increase spectator attendance. However more time is needed to brainstorm and form ideas that will increase the turn out for this event. Therefore the ALSC Board has voted to cancel the Horse-N-Around Race for this year in consideration of introducing a retooled event for next.

We welcome any comments on this subject.

More Road Closures

As an update to our earlier alert, this construction activity has been postponed a few days and will now go into effect on Tuesday, August 13. Sound Transit’s contractor PCL Civil Constructors, will close the northbound lanes of 28th Ave South between “little 28th Avenue South” and South 192nd Street west of the Angle Lake Neighborhoods.

Unlike the previous announcement, this closure will remain in effect for the next three years. Northbound traffic will be routed alongside southbound traffic to share two lanes on 28th Avenue South. All east/west movements will be maintained through existing intersections.

Access to driveways along 28th Avenue South will be provided by temporary access cuts through the median. Early construction activity will include utility relocation, and then move into construction of columns and elevated trackway.

For more information on this activity, or if you would like to receive the most current information about the South 200th Link Extension, please visit the Project website: www.soundtransit.org/S200thstreet  or contact Jennifer Lemus at 206-398-5314.