In the mid-1920s, a group of Portland and Gresham businessmen recognized the recreational potential of Blue and Fairview lakes and proposed to build the Fairview Country Club on the shores of Blue Lake. According to the Portland NEWS TELEGRAM, the private club was “to include rustic lodges and facilities for pleasure craft, tennis, archery, badminton, a putting green, and an eventual 18 hole golf course.” The club house was to be a “two-story facility with a ballroom, a ladies tea-room and card room, a smoking room, showers, a canoe storage and eventually a bowling alley.”
The dreams of the organizers of the Fairview County Club never materialized during the depression years, and the property passed into private ownership and became Blue Lake Park. Nick and Maidie Welsh became involved in the park in 1928 when they purchased the boat and canoe rental concession, and then purchased the original 35 acre park in 1935. They expanded the park, added rides, games, a tavern, swimming area, dance pavilions and a baseball park. The Welshes were always concerned about the quality of the water and the life around the lakes, and they carefully treated the water for weed control, and maintained a chlorine treated swimming area. The park was the place to play in those days. They continued to expand the park and were responsible for much of the property development. It was operated by the Welshes until 1960 when it was purchased by Multnomah County. It is now under Metro’s control.
Ridge Avenue, now Interlachen Lane, is the mile-long natural rock dike separating the two lakes (the natural dike protected Blue Lake from the flood waters of the Vanport flood in 1948). People began coming to the lakes in the 1920s, first to build summer cottages and then permanent homes. The original plat for Fairview County Club tracts shows lots 1 through 33 on Fairview Lake, and lots 24 through 91 on Blue Lake.
December 4, 1930 a homeowner’s Association was formed to provide water and other necessary services. With the development of West Interlachen in 1971, Lachenview in 1974, and inclusion of the Blue Lake Water Cooperative on Blue Lake Road, and Interlachen water, there were now four water systems. An Interlachen Water Peoples Utility District was formed in 1998 to unify water service for the community. The PUD only provides water service and is billed separately from the Interlachen, Inc. annual dues.
As the area has developed, the homeowner’s association has evolved into an incorporated community, Interlachen, Inc. holds an annual meeting in April at which time officers are elected, reports given by the various committees, and lake-use problems are discussed and resolved. The development of lake rules to insure safe boating is one of the most important functions of the association. It works in co-operation with Metro to insure swimming and boating safety.
Interlachen, Inc. has a social side and sponsors picnics, street dances, garage sales, band concerts and breakfasts and bar-b-ques. It also has a strong political voice in east county.
Become a member of Interlachen. Help maintain our quality of life.
Get to know your neighbors, participate, and enjoy living on the lakes!!
Written by Mary Lou Welsh Johnson
21518 N.E. Blue Lake Road Fairview,