The Inn at Seabeck


Seabeck on Hood Canal

At Wild dance Weekend, we met campers/dancers here in the beautiful main lobby as they arrived to pick up their room assignments; and we ate meals in the spacious and comfortable dining room at the back of the building, just off to the right in this picture.

A beautiful “camp” setting with a long and lively history, this area was first inhabited by local native tribes.
In the 1850s it was “discovered” by lumbermen looking for trees to supply lumber to the California gold rush. In 1886, there was a huge fire that burned down the pier from which ships loaded lumber. The fire was so hot it cooked apples right on the trees in a nearby orchard.

In the early 1900s the (nearly ghost) town of Seabeck was purchased by Laurence Colman and his friend Arn Allen for a summer camp and meeting facility for the YM & YWCAs.  Twenty-two years later, Laurence’s son Ken turned it into a conference center for nonprofit organizations, and twenty-five years after that — in about 1960 or 61 — I went to Seabeck for the first time — as part of a weekend volunteer labor force of teenage, YMCA Jr. Leaders from the Fauntleroy Y in West Seattle.  Among other things, we laid a tile floor in one of the buildings that was being renovated. . . . It’s a small world.  There’s more to the story, but I won’t tell it here.*

We stayed in “cottages” — renovated historic houses from Seabeck’s milltown days (most of them built in the last half of the 1800s) and danced in the Meeting House, built in 1857 — originally the town community center and mess hall for the mill workers.

We were transported to another time, another place.  It was a glorious weekend of fun and dance.

* Thanks to the Seabeck Conference Center History page for the early history of this bucolic spot on Hood Canal. In 2015 they celebrate their 100th anniversary as a conference center and camp ground for the Y and other non-profit organizations.

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