Category Archives: Local

Mayfield Lake and Mayfield Dam

Tacoma Power creates recreational opportunities, while bringing us energy –

Did you know that some of our most popular recreation spots were created by dams built by Tacoma Power?

On Highway 12 East, on the way to White Pass, stop and visit Mayfield Lake–one of Tacoma Power’s loveliest contributions to our area.  Mayfield Lake was created by Mayfield Dam.mayfield lake bridge

Mayfield Dam is a sight worth seeing, on its own.

Mayfield Lake is on Beach Road, off of Highway 12.  Go about 17 miles east on Hwy 12 after getting off of I-5 Exit 68. Continue reading Mayfield Lake and Mayfield Dam

Peaceful Mineral Lake

Beautiful, Pristine Mineral Lake

Mineral Lake is a wonderfully scenic and peaceful place.

It’s a great place for a relaxing day hike, or just to gaze out over the beautiful lake.  If you want to stay overnight, there are options that range from bed and breakfasts to tent camping.


Home of the Ten Pound Trout!


Mineral Lake, “home of the ten pound trout,” is famous for its trout and bass fishing.

It’s stocked annually by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Click here for more information about Mineral Lake fishing from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. Continue reading Peaceful Mineral Lake

Dreamers, Loggers and Trains-Capital Forest’s Early Years

Feature photo above – Bordeaux logging camp train, 1906, Clyde Cummings, engineer.  Photo from the Washington State Historical Society.

The Early Settlers

The 1870s brought the first logging claims to the Black Hills region of southwest Washington Territory.   The Black Hills got their name from the dark shadows that frequently covered the thick forested slopes.

This area would eventually become Capital State Forest–named for its close proximity to the state capital of Olympia.

In 1880, a Utopian society from Brooklyn, New York tried to settle in the area.  Most of the group didn’t last the first winter.

However, New York names like Central Park and Brooklyn still dot the nearby areas.  Undeterred by that group’s misfortunes, more Utopian groups arrived in the Puget Sound area over the next few decades.

Serious logging of the Black Hills began in the 1880s and 1890s.  Washington became the 42nd state in 1889, and Congress granted the new state 5,000 acres in what was to become Capital Forest.

A lower elevation logging camp was set up in 1898, in what would become the town of Bordeaux.

During the 1920s and 1930s, Bordeaux’s population grew to 500.

Bordeaux Logging Camp
Bordeaux Logging Camp

1902 saw the first of a series of devastating wildfires in the logging hills. Continue reading Dreamers, Loggers and Trains-Capital Forest’s Early Years