This tour around Lake Stevens began in a clockwise motion with long ago happenings at Lundeen Park and unusual history from North Lakeshore Swimming Beach. Today, we are visiting North Cove Park on the banks of Lake Stevens in Lake Stevens, Wa. This spot right here is what put this town on the map. Like many of our PNW towns, logging paved the way.
The Rucker Brothers, Wyatt and Bethel, laid eyes on this jewel of a Lake in the early 1900s and devised a plan to build a successful lumber mill at its shore. By 1907 their dream had become reality. The Rucker Mill was state of the art and known for its neatly painted white fencing. The facility was well cared for and very aesthetically pleasing with quarters for employees and their very own physician. They even went as far as to plant white swans in the lake to add to the ambiance of the area. Lake Stevens is a 1,000 acre lake that is crowned by the jagged peaks of the North Cascades with Mt. Pilchuck at front and center. One can only envision what this once wild landscape looked like. I am quite sure it was a moving experience. To this day she still retains a certain captivating beauty.
The original mill tragically burned to the ground in 1920, but the Rucker brothers were resilient businessmen and they immediately rebuilt. However, in 1926 a second fire nailed the hole in the coffin. Leaving 300 workers without employment. The sounds of buzzing saws and clouds of sawdust were finally over as the structure was ultimately dismantled. Somehow, the town of Lake Stevens persevered and evolved into the charming community that it is today. The only standing relic of the mill site is the concrete foundation of the old smokestack that still sits within the confines of North Cove Park with a town population of nearly 30,000 surrounding it.
The park grounds today is 4 acres and houses the Lake Stevens City Hall as well as the public library and history museum. there’s a nice boardwalk that takes you out over the lake as well as ample picnicking space on the grassy lawn, Keep watch in the near future as major renovations are underway. There is talk of an amphitheater, a spray park and pavillions for farmers markets and vendor booths.
See you at the next stop as we continue our tour around the beautiful Lake Stevens!