The Lakebay Marina:
Lakebay Marina is nestled in Mayo Cove on the western shore near Penrose Point State Park on the Key Peninsula. Lakebay Marina has been a favorite stop in the South Sound for many years and is still welcoming boaters at the marina docks. If space is not available at the docks, boaters can anchor out and come in by dinghy to enjoy lunch on the historic pier with take-out orders from the Lakebay Café.
When the Lakebay Marina property went up for sale last year, RBAW (Recreational Boating Association of Washington) became concerned that the property might be sold to a private developer and that this historic destination would be lost forever to the boating public. RBAW saw the opportunity to acquire this unique asset to preserve the history and recreational playground that this site affords. Locals as well as County officials have long cherished Lakebay’s unique place in history. In 2019, the Lakebay Marina site was placed on the Pierce County Register of Historic Places by unanimous vote of the County Council. With the recent increase in boat sales and boating activity, it is vital that marine destinations are supported, and opportunities are not missed to preserve public boating facilities.
RBAW spearheaded the drive to preserve Lakebay Marina for the boating public, and entered into a purchase-sale-agreement with the owner(s) of Lakebay Marina. Fundraising for the purchase began in earnest shortly thereafter, and Pierce County contributed $250,000 from their biennial budget towards this important goal. The closing date towards the end of September 2020 is fast approaching, and RBAW needs to raise another $800,000 to meet the full purchase price. RBAW is actively seeking donations from boaters, yacht clubs, and recreational organizations in order to meet the closing deadline for this 18-acre property, which includes 600 feet of shoreline, a boat ramp, tidelands, and forest. After completion of the sale, RBAW plans to donate the property to Washington State Parks & Recreation to be enjoyed as a public park for generations to come.
During the 1950’s, RBAW was successful in purchasing land on Sucia Island in the San Juan’s before a developer could create vacation properties. RBAW then donated the island property to the State for a state park, which remains a favorite boating destination to this day. RBAW plans to repeat a similar success story at Lakebay Marina.
How We Can Help
Bob Wise, President of RBAW, and Councilmember Derek Young of Pierce County have been advocates of preserving the Lakebay property for public enjoyment. The Waggoner Cruising Guide and the NMTA (Northwest Marine Trade Association) are lending their support by hosting a Live Webinar Fund Raising Event, scheduled for Thursday, August 6th at 7 p.m. We encourage every boater to make a meaningful donation for this worthy cause. You can donate online by going to: www.rbawmarineparksconservancy.org. The RBAW Marine Parks Conservancy division is a 501(C)(3), and contributions may be tax deductible. You can also mail donations to:
RBAW Marine Parks Conservancy
PO. Box 17591
Seattle, WA 98127-1269
Your generous donations are needed by September 10th, 2020. Please send your contributions to RBAW without delay! For questions regarding donations, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
A Rich History:
The Lakebay Marina site has a rich heritage dating back 135 years. William and Sarah Creviston homesteaded at Lakebay in 1871. Sarah was the first school teacher for the area, and their son was the first non-native born on the Key Peninsula. Then Carl Lorenz arrived at Lakebay in 1875 and constructed a sawmill on nearby Bay Lake. He also built the original pier in Mayo Cove in 1884, along with several boats that were used to deliver lumber produced from his mill. Carl soon realized the need for water transportation and built more boats, with help from his sons. These steamboats delivered freight, groceries, mail, livestock, and people throughout Puget Sound and became known as the Mosquito Fleet. Half of the Mosquito Fleet boats were built or based out of Lakebay under ownership of the Lorenz-Berntson Navigation Company which operated for 74 years.
In 1928, farmers on the Key Peninsula joined the Washington Co-Operative Egg and Poultry Association and built a warehouse at the end of the pier, now home to Lakebay Marina. The Lakebay co-op was a successful venture, shipping 150 cases of eggs per week to Tacoma, averaging $1,000 dollars per day in sales. Special refrigerated rail cars were used so that eggs could be shipped as far away as the East Coast. With approximately 370 members in the co-op, it was also a social affair that drew families and friends together for special events, particularly in the 1930’s.
As roads improved, the co-op moved from Lakebay and the main building and docks became a destination for pleasure boaters. Mark and Cindy Scott became the third owners of Lakebay Marina in 2013. Mark has many fond childhood memories of Lakebay and the Lakebay Café. It is the wish of many boaters that Lakebay Marina continue its tradition of fun times and good memories; together we can preserve this special place for future generations. Contact RBAW now with your much-needed pledge.
The Team at Waggoner Cruising Guide