Go Find Your Park Sol Duc Hot Springs
Olympic National Park is my park. It has been my park since 1944.
THIS IS MY “INSIDE STORY” ON MY OLYMPIC NATIONAL PARK
INSIDE STORY is defined as knowing something from the inside out.
INHOLDERS LIVED INSIDE OF NATIONAL PARKS
MANY PARKS, MANY STORIES. Everyone finds their park in a different place and in a different way. These stories just might inspire you to find yours.
SHARE YOUR STORY Post a picture or video of your experience on social media using the hashtag #FindYourPark. WE CAN’T WAIT TO SEE WHAT YOU DO!
THIS IS MY INSIDE STORY how I found my park in 1944,
better described as how my park found me, LIVING INSIDE MY OLYMPIC NATIONAL PARK WHEN I WAS THREE YEARS OLD.
Remember this “MY STORY”
I have a brother and two sisters,
THAT SHOULD SHARE THEIR STORIES AS WELL
Once Upon A Time in Olympic National Park
My “inside store” is kind of like the original Grimm’s Brother fairy tale
You know the one… It starts off great.. but ends up with the Big Bad Wolf swallowing the grandmother whole and the wolf eating Little Red Riding Hood..
Once Upon A Time in Olympic National Park
My family, the George C. Rains Sr. family was living inside of the OLYMPIC NATIONAL PARK as INHOLDERS at Sol Duc Hot Springs on 320 acres of private property in the fall of 1944.
MY INSIDE STORY SHALL INCLUDE THE 71 YEAR HISTORY OF
HOW I FIND MY PARK, OLYMPIC NATIONAL PARK IN 2016.
the bottom line
IT IS A LONG STORY TO SHARE AND WILL REQUIRE A SERIES OF POSTINGS ON MY WEBSITE.
JUNE 29, 1938 UNDER THE LAWS OF THE UNITED STATES AND DEDICATED AND SET APART AS A PUBLIC PARK FOR THE BENEFIT AND ENJOYMENT OF THE PEOPLE AND SHALL BE KNOWN AS THE OLYMPIC NATIONAL PARK…
THIS IS MY DAD’S INSIDE STORY
By GEORGE C. RAINS SR.
THE WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE AND WHY OUR FAMILY WAS LIVING INSIDE OF THE OLYMPIC NATIONAL PARK AT SOL DUC HOT SPRINGS ON 320 ACRES OF PRIVATE PROPERTY IN THE FALL OF 1944.
LIVING THE AMERICAN DREAM
In the year of 1944 I was employed at the Quillayute Naval Air Station doing plumbing maintenance work.
While working there I became interested in the Sol Due Hot Springs area which involved 320 acres of private land.
The Hot Springs resort property had remained idle for some period of time, and the more I thought about it, I asked myself -¬why not find out if the property was for sale and what the asking price was.
I contacted Mrs. Mirza Martin in Seattle, Washington, then owner of the Sol Due Hot Springs to see if the property was for sale, and she informed me that it was. I had $500.00 in savings banks, and I thought I would use this money to obtain an option to purchase the Sol Due property. By putting up the $500.00 for option money, an arrangement was worked out with Mrs. Mirza Martin and her attorney to purchase the property for $70,000.00. Payments annually would be $7,500.00 including principle and interest until the contract was paid in full. Down. payment was $21,000.00.
Money was very scarce during these times, and I had to hitchhike to Seattle to work out the deal with Mrs. Mirza Martin and her attorney.
On one occasion I had to take the late last ferry from Seattle to Port Ludlow. It so happened no automobiles on the ferry were going to Port Angeles, so I started walking from Port Ludlow to Port Angeles. By daylight the next morning after walking all night I finally made it to Blyn, W A. A car finally came along and I got a ride to Port Angeles.
I decided to form a corporation to handle the purchase matter of the Sol Due Hot Springs property. I hired Mr. W. F. Phillips, attorney, who was upstairs in the old Eagles Bldg. at the time, to draw up the incorporation papers. I hitchhiked to Olympia, Washington to see that the incorporation papers were properly filed. Hitchhiking from Olympia back to Port Angeles, I became stranded in Hoodsport and had to spend the night there.
I finally located three other gentlemen and their wives who were interested in the purchase
and operation of the Sol Due Hot Springs Resort property. I contacted my uncle and aunt
in Seattle, Mr. and Mrs. George W. Hancock; Mr. and Mrs. O.B. Tully, and Mr. and Mrs.
Roy Stafford. The four of us agreed to each subscribe to the purchase of 25 percent of the
The purchase was made and we started the resort operation in 1944.
THIS IS MY FAIRY TALE INSIDE STORY how I found my park in 1944, as described above, how my park found me, living inside of my Olympic National Park when I was three years old.
Arriving at Sol Duc Hot Springs in 1944, is one of my first memories, it was freezing cold and the ground was white…. I thought it was snow. Mom said it was just thick frost.
So there I was with my family, at Sol Duc Hot Springs, in the Sol Duc Valley surrounded by my park.
It was the beginning of my enchanted fairy tale childhood and it lasted for almost nine years.
What an ideal way to spend my childhood, nine years, 1944-1953 living in a Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort rustic, charming, four room cabin built by the Martin brothers in 1921.
How rustic and charming was our cabin? We had only cold running water, , a big wood range in the kitchen, with a screened wooden cooler for food, a bathroom with no bath tub (we took our baths and did our laundry in hot mineral in the basement of the store) We had another wood stove in the front room. The back porch was a woodshed with a kids swing. Electricity was provided by a waterwheel . We had no telephone and one radio with one radio station.
How rustic was our cabin? Well, by today’s standards…pretty rustic…
We had the wild bears that ripped off the screened wooden food cooler on our kitchen and dumped over garbage cans on a regular basis.
we had raccoon’s, Bantam Chickens and SKUNKS living and fighting under our cabin.
We had wild deer that took apples from our hands at our kitchen window.
Our rustic Sol Duc cabin was surrounded by towering cottonwood, evergreens trees and an additional 87 rustic cabins built by the Martin brothers in 1921.
As Dad said, Money was very scarce during these times…
I don’t remember being poor, but I’m guessing we were poor and lived very frugally. Mom made all of our clothes, we got two pair of shoes a year, winter shoes in the fall and summer sandals and a new dress (one of my dresses was made out of silk from a World war II parachute) for EASTER. Making it do in World War two, we had skirts of raw silk too.
In the summer, my winter shoes, with the toes cut out, because they were too small, became my CREEK SHOES.
I didn’t own a store bought doll until I was eight years old. My two sisters and I shared one homemade doll called “Fatty”
I don’t remember any toys? I don’t think they had been invented yet…
We looked on the ground for and collected tax tokens, three of them equaled one penny.
one penny would buy candy. (they were green plastic or aluminum)
There was so much more, than being poor… Like living a wonderful fairy tale.
A bit of history WA State has always been TAXING
Washington state caused a stir when their tax laws were passed and implemented on May 21, 1935. The US government and treasury department filed suit against the state of Washington claiming THE USE OF SALES TAX TOKENS AS AN ASSAULT ON US COINAGE. The governor of Washington refused to back down and the issue was tabled by the government.
Back to sharing my inside story, living inside my park.
MY FAVORITE MEMORIES, OF PEOPLE, PLACES AND THINGS
It was unbelievably, wonder- full, delightful, wet, exciting and wild living on 320 acres of private property. (kind of like a fairy tale)
A PRIVATE POOL
In 1944, after my mother removed years and tons of accumulated leaves with a wheel barrow from the little pool, we had our own private small hot mineral swimming pool that winter and every winter after…
THE WONDERFUL DAYS OF SUMMER
When Sol Duc Hot Springs was opened to and for PUBLIC USE
Every rustic cabin was full
The two swimming pools were full of splash happy people
It was affordable for every working family
Some family’s had a standing reservation for the same cabin every year
Parking areas were full and over flowing
The community kitchen and the surrounding area accommodated hundreds
Campers Camped at the affordable Olympic National Park, Sol Duc Camp ground
Fishing for trout in the Olympic National Park was a huge tourist attraction.
BACK THEN THERE WERE STILL FISH TO FISH FOR IN OLYMPIC NATIONAL PARK
Hikers hiked to the lakes to fish, Fisherman and fisher-boys fished in the Seven Lakes Basin (actually eight) Sol duc, Long, Lunch, Morgenroth, No Name, Clear, Round, and Lake No. 8. Other lakes are encountered along the way are not considered part of “seven lakes” include Heart Lake, Deer Lake and Mink Lake.
And, the old folks, woman and little kids stayed at Sol Duc Resort and went swimming…
HOW DID THOSE TROUT EVERYBODY USED TO FISH FOR GET UP INTO THEM THAR HILLS?
Great question, I just found the answer three days ago on Jan 18,2016 …
During the summer of 1933 Snider CCC Camp enrollees worked with THE U.S. BUREAU OF FISHERIES AND THE STATE GAME COMMISSION TO PLANT 77,000 TROUT in the higher lakes and headwaters of streams in Clallam County THE CCC ASSISTED IN TRANSPORTING THESE FISH BY PACK HORSE TO REMOTE LOCATIONS IN THE OLYMPIC
AS INHOLDERS OUR FAMILY LIVED INSIDE OF THE OLYMPIC NATIONAL PARK EVEN IN 1944 INHOLDERS WERE SUBJECT TO NATIONAL PARK RULES AND LAWS
I don’t know exactly how old I was when I realized that living inside my park had drawbacks. When I noticed the look on my parents faces when they heard the rumble of the Park Ranger, two gun Merrill’s car crossing the bridge?
It only happened, you could only hear the rumble of a vehicle crossing the bridge and echoing through the valley, when Sol Doc Hot Springs was closed for the winter.
What did I know and when? I was just a little kid…
When I was older, I knew why the Park Ranger, two gun Merrill showed up.. and I DID NOT LIKE HIM.
It was illegal to shoot off fireworks in every National Park, even on your own 320 acres of private land.
If we saw him, we knew he was on our private land to inspect, to see what was going on, Two Gun Merrill was there to force and/or enforce National Park laws and rules, including writing tickets for violations.
Fun and games on the Fourth of July, you bet. There was only one park ranger. In the summer time there were lots of kids, even kids with cars. Kids like to shoot off fire crackers, this is the game of tag that we played with Two Gun Merrill. It was about a mile from behind the big pool to the community kitchen . So, we kids, would shoot off a bunch of fireworks behind the big pool… Two Gun Merrill would come running.. Then we kids would jump in the car and go down to the community kitchen and shoot off more fireworks. Back and forth, laughing our heads off.
How old was I? just a kid… OLD ENOUGH TO REMEMBER.
When I was older, I kind of sort of figured out why the Park Ranger, two gun Merrill showed up in the winter time . It was illegal to shoot off guns/firearms in every National Park, even on your own 320 acres of private land.
As Dad said, Money was very scarce during these times…
Feeding a family of six was expensive.
I knew what the sound of an echoing firecracker/gunshot would do.
I never saw the illegal shooting or dressing of a deer, But I’m sure our family, by definition ate camp meat: illegal venison.
BACK WHEN THERE WERE STILL FISH TO FISH FOR IN OLYMPIC NATIONAL PARK
BEFORE THE TROUT WERE ELIMINATE BY THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE, TO PROTECT THE NOT SO ENDANGERED SPECIES LIKE LONG TOED SALAMANDERS AND FROGS
Dad went fishing for trout up in the Seven Lake Basin.
We had a walk in freezer up at the Sol Duc Store.
As a kid, I ate a lot of free trout when I lived in my, Olympic National Park
HOW DID OLYMPIC NATIONAL PARK RANGER, “TWO GUN MERRILL”
GET HIS NAME? URBAN LEGEND HAS IT..
THAT IN AN ATTEMPTED QUICK DRAW PRACTICE, HE ACCIDENTLY SHOT OFF ONE OF HIS TOES
An urban legend is a secondhand story, alleged to be true
and just plausible enough to be believed
The bottom line
MY INSIDE STORY, ON MY OLYMPIC NATIONAL PARK IS A LONG HISTORY TO SHARE AND WILL REQUIRE A SERIES OF POSTINGS ON MY WEBSITE.
To be continued….