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like2thruhike
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PostTue Sep 20, 2011 10:45 pm 
I was checking out my new Green Trails Snoqualmie Pass Gateway map and I noticed "ruins" noted near Snow Lake.The r word is pretty exciting for curious minds so I had to do Google search.I just found foundation pictures....Pictures,history?

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puzzlr
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PostTue Sep 20, 2011 11:04 pm 
I have not seen anything there, but didn't know to look until you pointed it out. Here's some detail from that map
Snow Lake Detail
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Snow Lake Detail

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B+L
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PostWed Sep 21, 2011 6:48 pm 
alpental.com has some info that claims more of the ruins were more visible in the 60's, although I don't remember it looking much different when I was a kid in the early 70's than it does now.

I was told back then that it was a hunting/fishing lodge, but I have no idea if that is true or not.

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kleet
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PostWed Sep 21, 2011 7:25 pm 
Not much there these days, just an old foundation and parts of a wall and chimney. I captured this photo of a rare Short-panted Dayhikian Mikious scrambling amidst the ruins once.

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Elvis
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PostWed Sep 21, 2011 10:03 pm 
From a post a long time ago on a trail not too far away:

hermes wrote:
Many years ago a ranger doing restoration work up there told me it used to belong to the Bullitt family (yes, another of their country retreats) of King TV fame.

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B+L
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PostThu Sep 22, 2011 6:50 am 
Having read most of the various books by and about the Bullitts, as well as actually having known some of them, I found the claim about them owning the old cabin to be pretty dubious. So I did a little research.

I had to fish this out of Google's cache and run it through the Wayback Machine: Camping at Snow Lake in the Ninteen-Forties: During World War II

Now that seems much more plausible.

Edit: There's a little more information in a WTA trip report.

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puzzlr
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PostThu Sep 22, 2011 6:03 pm 
As great as the wayback machine is, I've had a lot of trouble with it consistently bringing up results. I'll risk posting the text of that story here for additional internet redundancy:

Quote:
As a teenager who lived in Alki, I frequently camped at Snow Lake, particularly because my Uncle Aldrich owned a 2 story log cabin and several acres on the north side of the Lake. Aldrich was a timber cruiser for the Weyerhaeuser Lumber Company.

The cabin had a concrete slab floor, and concrete walls for 3 feet or so, and then construction using logs etc. The windows had shutters made with half-logs.  The main door faced the Lake.  The second floor was reached by either of 2 built-in ladders affixed to the north wall, with cut-outs on the upper floor.  There were 8, probably, built-in bunk beds.  Thin mattresses and pillows were stored in large wooden boxes, with tight fitting covers, to discourage the small animals from ripping the bedding apart.

The kitchen area on the first floor was in the northwest corner, and contained a standard cast-iron stove.  I was told that a large, burly Swede or the equivalent carried the stove on his back to the Lake.

Our water for cooking and drinking came from a stream maybe a hundred feet from the cabin on the west side.  I think it was year-around.  I have no recollection of any water pollution issues; including the now prevalent gerardia (beaver fever).

Security was a continuous problem for my Uncle.  He used large hinges, a large padlock hasp, and a large padlock on the front door.  The back door by the kitchen was secured inside.  He even affixed a large brass plaque on the front door which read something like “Warning.  Danger.  Electric shock hazard”   It was completely bogus, as there wasn’t any conceivable electricity source.  However, he told me that it did deter some of the otherwise attempted break-ins and vandalism!

One day he heard a lot of hollering etc. from up on the ridge, so he closed up the front door with the padlock, closed all the shutters on the windows, and secured the back door.  He waited, and shortly after the party arrived at the cabin, with my Uncle inside, one of the party started chopping with an axe on the wood by the padlock hasp.  He then walked out the back door, and proceeded to the vandals and asked them what they were doing.  They might have been fortunate they weren’t shot, as my Uncle held strong opinions about most things!

There was a wooden boat, which was stored inside the cabin.  It had to be carried across the vegetation to the shore.  I think there might have been less shrubs and other ground cover than exists in 2006

One morning my fellow camper & I wanted pancakes for breakfast.  We had the pancake mix, but no syrup.  So….we hiked out to Snoqualmie Pass, and borrowed or purchased syrup, then back to Snow Lake..  It was an 11 mile round trip hike then, as the trailhead was closer to the Pass. Also, the revised trail alignment to the ridge, with a shortcut and yet steeper, wouldn’t be constructed for many years.

Don Fenton
San Diego

One problem with this story is that it says the cabin was "on the north side of the Lake", which is not where the ruins are. It's an easy detail to forget, I guess, so I'll go with "on the south side of the Lake"

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B+L
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PostThu Sep 22, 2011 6:23 pm 
puzzlr wrote:
One problem with this story is that it says the cabin was "on the north side of the Lake", which is not where the ruins are. It's an easy detail to forget, I guess, so I'll go with "on the south side of the Lake"

Maybe his map was upside down.  The WTA link is to a trip report from another family member and she's clearly talking about the ruins everyone wonders about.

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sarbar
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PostThu Sep 29, 2011 11:26 am 
The foundation is very, very obvious (at least it was to me). Considering that Snow Lake hasn't been in Wilderness that long....it wasn't that many decades ago nearly the entire lake was privately held.....

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puzzlr
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PostSun Nov 17, 2013 8:57 pm 
An old thread, but I ran across this photo in the November 1999 issue of Pack & Paddle, page 19. Next summer I'll try to reproduce the exact angle of this photo.
The Snow Lake cabin, now roofless, as it appeared in July, 1955. Photo by Karl Duff
The Snow Lake cabin, now roofless, as it appeared in July, 1955. Photo by Karl Duff

This cabin is clearly on the south side of the lake, so maybe there were two cabins with Aldrich's being on the north side. This is what was left as of Oct 21, 2013, taken from the opposite side.
Cabin ruins
Cabin ruins

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puzzlr
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PostSat Sep 13, 2014 10:27 pm 
I finally got a chance to repro the 1955 shot to confirm that it is in fact the same cabin as the ruins that are there now.

Comparison of Snow Lake cabin in 2014 and 1955. 1955 shot is by Karl Duff.
Comparison of Snow Lake cabin in 2014 and 1955. 1955 shot is by Karl Duff.

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puzzlr
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PostWed May 06, 2015 4:40 pm 
Ran across another "view" of this cabin while scanning old photos at the National Archives
From a USFS aerial photo taken on 7/25/1942. It shows the Snow Lake cabin still in place with a path leading down to the lake shore.
From a USFS aerial photo taken on 7/25/1942. It shows the Snow Lake cabin still in place with a path leading down to the lake shore.

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Bernardo
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PostWed May 06, 2015 4:52 pm 
Nice find.

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Chico
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PostWed May 06, 2015 6:07 pm 
Amazing you even spotted it on that image.

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puzzlr
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PostSat Apr 15, 2017 12:13 am 
I finally found a good photo of the Snow Lake Cabin.  Source:  Snow Lake with cabin, August 26, 1938

Snow Lake with cabin (Aug 26, 1938)
Snow Lake with cabin (Aug 26, 1938)

[Edit] The link structure at washingtonruralheritage.com changed since this was posted. As of Feb 2021 the new link is Snow Lake cabin. Also check out the entire Pio Panieri collection.

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