Loon Lake, Washington
Open Saturday 10-4
The Old Schoolhouse
4000 Colville Rd
P.O. Box 26
Loon Lake, WA 99148
History of the Loon Lake Historical Society
Lorinda Travis was appointed postmaster for the Loon Lake Post Office on November 10, 1984. The position was perfect for her; she was interested in people and curious about the history of Loon Lake, Deer Lake, and surrounding area. She asked a lot of questions and received a lot of answers about who, what, where and when.
While visiting with Inez McKeehen, (daughter of Archie Swope -long time post-master in Loon Lake, Gail Kreuzberger (granddaughter of Evan Morgan, owner of Morgan Park) and Agnes Grant Kemp (One time teacher at the Loon Lake school and longtime resident), Lorinda realized that we were losng the first-hand knowledge of our old-timers. So, instead of saying, "Someone should do something" she said "We need to start an historical society!"
Two events were coming up: the state centennial, 1989 and the town centennial, 1991. Perfect time to put together a photo display of the history of Loon Lake! Inez, Gail, Agnes and others shared their memories and photos with us and that was the beginning of our photo collection.
A new, much larger Loon Lake grade school was in the planning stage. It would be built just north of the two-room brick schoolhouse. Lorinda worked to get the old schoolhouse, built in 1929, on the National Register of Historic Places, working with Michael Warner and SueLani Madsen, doing the paperwork needed. The nomination was accepted in May 1992.
The Loon Lake School Board put the old schoolhouse up for sealed bid in 1992. Thanks to Lorinda, Joan Easley and the Walter Davis family, the Loon Lake Historical Society won the sealed bid!
During spring break, 1993, the move was made to the new school and LLHS took possession right away.
The building needed a new roof, updated electrical and plumbing, more insulation, and a handicap lift to meet current codes. Some of the work was done by professionals but a lot was done by volunteers.
Glenn and Muriel Travis
Mike and Lorinda Travis
Frank and Ruth Girault
Pete and Wilma Stone
Don and Verla Meyer
Doris and Jess Tessier
Ken and Betty Merrick
Cliff and Karen Meyer
Walter and Betty Davis
and many others worked many hours bringing new life and purpose to the old building!
When we first took over the building, a club library, started by Lorinda, Wilma and Michelle Gimmel, was in one room and the Loon Gift Shop and the historic photo displays shared the other room. Wilma was a retired school librarian; she ran the library with the help of volunteers like Velma Loy. Lorinda wanted to know why there was no Loon Lake Library. Wilma and Lorinda were behind the push to establish a county-wide library system. When the library became a county library and moved to the old post office, the room in the Old Schoolhouse became the history room.
Joan Field Easley ran the gift shop as a fundraiser for the Loon Lake Loon Association from xxx
The research area was expanded, encouraging people to preserve their family stories and photos with the historical society. The volunteers also gathered information on the mining in the area, the resorts, sawmills, baseball team, Arcadia Orchards, churches, businesses, and more.
Funds needed to be raised, so grants were writiten for some of the major projects like the handicap lift. Gail Dahlen and Janey Miller suggested a wine tasting and silent auction fundraiser. The first "Semmer Festival" was held in August, 1995 and was a big success. Next Gail suggested a winter craft sale, but not an ordinary one, a Kris Kringle Markt like they hold in Europe. This too was a big success!
The main volunteers during that time were:
Joan Fields Easley
The Loon Lake Historical Society's Mission Statement remains the same as the early days and reads in part:
"To promote, discover, protect
and preserve matters of an historical nature
in the Loon Lake area,
including the Old Loon Lake Schoolhouse
and its many memories."
We do that by continuing to collect, display and share the memories!
The historical society has improved and maintained the old schoolhouse since 1993. It has been used as a meeting place, an event center, a place for families to gather, class reunions, the Prestini Art Exhibit, Preserve America Project, Schoolhouse Quilters, summer reading programs, candidate's night, Loonsday start and finish line, book sales space for the Friends of the Loon Lake Library, and more!
In 2022 the Loon Lake Loon Association disbanded and the gift shop volunteers expanded the focus to include crafts and gifts by local artisans and souvenirs to reflect the community. It was re-named Joan's Gift Shop to honor Joan Easley's many years of dedicated service to the community and the historical society. Joan passed away in the summer of 2022 following a brief illness and still looks over our shoulders in her gift shop!
In 2022, recovering from the COVID pandemic, we re-envisioned the Loon Lake Summer Festival to be a community gathering and celebration for all ages. We hope this will continue to expand and grow as a fundraiser for the historical society as well as bring the community together to enjoy each other and our history.
Remembering the Past
Preserving for the Future
History is not only yesterday
History is made every day
Please explore the various sections of this website as we work to "promote, discover, protect and preserve" the artifacts, photos and memories, honor the volunteers who make this possible, and celebrate our historic living exhibit, the Old Schoolhouse.
Please join us!