Medical Lake History

Posted on April 9, 2014 at 6:00 am

by Joyce Callaway, Program Presenter

Have you ever had a mud bath? Have you ever wondered how Medical Lake got its name? Would you like to know the history of this interesting town? I was fascinated by the early history of Medical Lake when I read Father Kowrach’s book, How Silently.

Then I happened to see a survey many years ago that mentioned former tours of Medical Lake.  I thought: I could do that. So, the Founder’s Day planning committee added a historical bus tour of the town to the day’s activities.

Medical Lake became known as a place with healing powers. An analysis of the waters had some of the same ingredients as aspirin. Some of the maladies that were reportedly cured were lumbago, baldness, arthritis, rheumatism, and scabies.

Did you know that there were five boats carrying passengers to the three resorts on the lake in the early 1900s? Two trains and an electric train brought bathers, campers, and horse racing enthusiasts to town from Spokane, and as far away as Seattle, to spend a day, a week, or a summer in the healing waters of the lake. It was reported that fourteen hundred bathing suits were rented out for a nickel apiece on a hot July afternoon.

I met Judy Abbott who was our city historian who had gathered the bulk of artifacts, pictures, and historical records over all the years she lived here. She and I have maintained this historical collection and hope to find a permanent place to display and preserve it.

Join me at the Medical Lake Library to talk about the rich history of Medical Lake and see the salts and powders that were made from the lake waters by the three salt works. You will also be able to view a bathing suit, some dresses of the time, pictures of bygone days, and hear a little of the history of our amazing city.

Wednesday, May 7, 1pm

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