A Brief History of the Lake Bronson Club

A group of five single men, four single women and one couple held a home meeting on July 29, 1937 to finalize plans for a constitution and bylaws for a nudist club. A collection was taken to place an ad in the Seattle Times on Sunday, August 1 for a tract of land. Those eleven persons were declared charter members of the new club, yet to be named.

On August 5, 1937, the list of charter members grew to 12, and a President, Vice President, Secretary-Treasurer and two Trustees were elected to office. Those officers were then empowered to get the Corporation papers executed. By then, the new club had received 23 replies to their Seattle Times classified ad and a camping trip was planned. Plans were also made to apply for membership in the national organization as soon as all the details of incorporation were completed. All were encouraged to contact friends who might be prospective members. The new corporation bylaws were accepted by the 12 members.

September 16, 1937 an attorney explained the Bylaws and Articles of Incorporation and they were signed by the club officers. On November 6, 1937 a meeting was held in the attorney's office to transfer all assets to the new corporation "Fraternity Snoqualmie, Inc." On February 25, 1938 all photography rules were established. The official photographer took all pictures, processed them and controlled them. Delegates attended the Western Conference in August, 1938 at Hesperia, which is now Squaw Mountain Ranch. They also visited "The Beavers, a new club located near Montesano.

It was learned that the Lake Bronson property was for sale and was known for many years to be a good skinny-dipping spot. By July of 1938, the Lake Bronson property was being used with permission of the owner. By November 1938, the group had made a commitment to purchase the property but had trouble keeping up with payments. In 1940 the club was still having problems making payments on the land. Those helping make the payments were excused from paying club dues. In the January, 1938 issue of "The Nudist" magazine, Fraternity Snoqualmie, P.O. Box 940, Seattle, Washington, was listed as one of ten new clubs whose affiliation with the ASA was in process.

By September of 1940, there was discussion about building cabins on the property and publicity began to appear in the national magazines. The club picked up 13 new members in 1940, including several destined to become long time members. A volleyball court was completed at the top of the hill in March of 1941. The club dropped its membership in the ASA in September of 1941 due to national problems, and become known as the Blue Mountain Country Club. In the 1940s, many members were willing to pay dues, but refused to help pay for the property. Payments were left to a very few, so a corporation was formed with stockholders who made the payments out of their own pockets. Monthly payments to Weyerhaeuser were $13.

By October of 1941, a procedure had been established for allowing members to build cabins. Cabin sites were leased by contract between the individuals and the trustees. The title to the cabin after four years would revert to the corporation, but the builder would have use of the cabin as long as he remained a member in good standing and kept the cabin in repair at his own expense. In January, 1942, the dues were $15 per couple, $15 for a single man, and $10 for a single woman. An ad was placed in the magazine "Sunshine and Health' for the first time in 1942. The first club newsletter, the "Blue Mountain Backlog", was published quarterly. The year 1942 also brought American involvement in World War II, and with it a host of problems such as "no bonfires on the beach", gasoline rationing and transportation problems. Car pools were set up and funds were held for evacuation of members to the camp if necessary. To help the gas rationing problem, a gym was occasionally rented in Seattle for nude swims and games. In September of 1942, papers were drawn up to allow the Blue Mountain Country Club to lease the property from the land owners. A motion was passed to allow any member of the armed forces and the ASA to be welcome on the grounds without a fee.

In 1942, the property was being purchased by nine couples for $25 down and $5 per month. The payments to Weyerhaeuser were $45 per month. Although there were nine parties making the payments, the actual people changed frequently. The lease agreement between owners and the club was approved. A horn was installed under the eves of the barn to sound when gate opened unless a hidden switch was first turned off. This stopped a lot of surprised trespassers.

In August of 1943, the present trail around the Lake was completed and construction of a volleyball court on the beach was started. In early 1944, a bulldozer had been hired and a road was finally pushed through to the beach and grass was experimentally planted on the beach. The last meeting of Fraternity Snoqualmie at Lake Bronson was held in August of 1944. All the club officers had moved to the new grounds by spring of 1945. Papers was drawn up to lease the Lake Bronson property to the Blue Mountain Country Club in 1945. Leases were also made available in 1945 for individual camp sites. Lake Bronson Associates, Inc. finally owned the property free and clear by July 8, 1948, at which time they received the deed from Weyerhaeuser Timber Company.

In January of 1959 a new social group formed at Lake Bronson, and it was called "The Lake Associates". The land owners formed an agreement with the new social group with regard to finances and mutual responsibilities. The Lake Associates grew into a very successful club and remained on the Lake Bronson property until April of 1987, when it left to become a travel club and seek an adequate property of its own. At that time, the resident club at Lake Bronson became known as "The Lake Bronson Club".

In 1962, the roads were improved, the beach area was enlarged, and a full-time caretaker was hired. The membership had then grown to 49 adults and 33 children. In 1968, electricity was brought into the property and 12 buildings had signed up for electric service. With electric power on the grounds, a drilled well and new water system were installed. The tennis court was added in 1976.

From that point on, there has been continuous growth and improvement of the amenities at Lake Bronson. The first "Rustic Days" event was held in 1973, and it attracted a surprising 351 visitors. The Northwest regional (NSA now NWNA) convention was held at Lake Bronson for the first time in 1977 and again in 1983,1993,1997 and 2000. The ASA 50th Anniversary Convention was held at Lake Bronson in 1981. The Lakeview Cafe was completed and opened for business in 1993. The R.V. Park opened in 1994 and the Beach Gazebo was built. The Park Office complex adjacent to the R.V. Park was completed in 1996. In addition to a modern office and upstairs apartment, it contains restrooms, showers and laundry facilities for members and guests. In 1996, Lake Bronson Club membership grew to over 300.

Lake Bronson Club, Family Nudist Park looks forward to serving the Northwest Nudists well into the 21st century and beyond.