The resort is located on the south shore of Offut Lake. Early property records show the original resort property was owned by
J.E. Corlette during the early 1900's.
J.E. Corlette eventually sold to Charles and Ada Short in 1938. The Shorts built the structures known for many years as Ada's Resort. Thurston County records first list the property as an operational resort in 1939.
We believe these photos were taken in the early 1900's. They depict early,
primitive camping and boating on the shores of Offut Lake.
Ada's Resort was one of several resorts and attractions on Offut Lake. Ada's Resort consisted of a restaurant, rental canoes, tent
sites, bath house, fishing docks and a diving platform.
We believe the restaurant was called The Lady of the Lake. Other nearby attractions included an ice cream parlor, swim/diving dock and dance pavilion. The Offut Lake community of resorts and recreation was a popular destination for many South Sound residents. Ada's Resort was sold in 1953 after Ada died. The name of the resort was changed from Ada's to Offut Lake Resort.The Offut Lake Resort sported a host of owners, Kenneth Young and other owners we don't have much information on. (yet!)
It had a dining area, cocktail lounge and a "take-out" window.
In1973 Norm and Beulah Larson came on board.Photos of the restaurant and dockside in the years the Larsons operated the resort.
History of these years written by Beulah Larson in March 2010.
"When we bought Offut Lake Resort, my husband and I thought our lives would be nothing but fun and happiness from now on. After all we both loved camping and fishing. We loved people and working outside. Most of all we could operate a business and care for our two children and not have to hire a babysitter.Bill and Carol Klaus bought the property in 1985.
It was Sept 1973 when we bought it. It was run down. There were no campers there on Labor Day week-end. We went to work cleaning, painting upholstering the dining room chairs. Painting the lodge inside and outside. We put down new carpeting and put in a game room. We put in a small grocery store in one corner of the lodge. We also made an apartment in part of it. It looked good when we finished our work.
That, however, was not the end of our hard work. We still had two cabins, a couple of trailers and the bathrooms to paint. We also put in a playground, put in hook-ups and a new septic system. We had all winter to work on these things. At the time we bought the resort, the lake was open for only 6 months out of the year. Opening day was the 3rd Sun. in April and the last day was Oct. 31st.
All our hard work and the brochures we made and handed out, paid off. When we opened in April, we were filled and had to run away campers, but we learned there was a lot of work and not a lot of money. Opening day never stopped being a thrill, however.
Something else we did was to put in a new kitchen. To start with, we served breakfast and mostly short orders. A lot of hamburgers, cheeseburgers, fish and chips, chicken etc. I soon found out I would be spending most of my time in the kitchen. I would be in there from 6 am to about midnight.
We had regulars that came out just about every week-end. Or some that spent the summer and came back the next year. We met a lot of nice people and a few that weren't so nice. We found the people that were run off from the state parks were the ones that caused us the headaches. My husband, Norm, had to go stop a fight one night and they were chopping up one of our picnic tables for their bonfire. They were all drunk. We told them to leave. A couple days later, the cops stopped in to see if they had left one of their kids here. It seems they were missing one.
Norm loved to fish, but didn't get much of a chance. He only liked trolling. If I could find a few minutes once in a while. I liked fishing off the dock. The fish were so nice. We got some big ones off the dock. One year someone caught a very big one from a boat. It measured 27 in. That's a big rainbow. It was in the paper.
Our son, Nick, was 9 years old when we moved there. He was used to being around machinery with his dad. He drove our small tractor and trailer to pick up the garbage from all the campers and haul it to the dumpster. He helped with boats and canoes. Even though he kept busy with the work he did there, and his school work, he still enjoyed it Everyone there loved him.
We had some good times and some bad times there. It was a lot of work, but I'll always have fond memories of living there at the resort, and of the people we got to know.
Photos of Bill and Carol Klaus and views of the old restaurant.
Written by Carol KlausThe Klauses ran the resort until 1989 when they retired. Soon after, the park went through foreclosure...the old restaurant was closed, and except for a dedicated few campers the resort cycled through a dormant period.The Klauses regained control of the campground after foreclosure and it was once again placed up For Sale.....that's when our story begins.
"We bought Offut Lake Resort in the spring of 1985. It had been closed for two years, so we need to get the business going.
We invited every Elks, Eagles, Moose and Odd Fellows lodges to come camping. We then bought a net pen and five
hundred pounds of brooder trout to put in the lake. To keep the birds of prey out of the pen we had to cover it with a nylon net.
There was a string on the cover which hung down in the water. When we would feed the fish they would sometimes strike at
the string in their excitement. So Bill hung a small cow bell on the string. In no time at all the fish would see Bill with the
food can and start ringing the bell. It was a huge hit with the patrons and got us a lot of business."
.. May 1998These are old family pics of the Pogues. The first is Rob Pogue (our "boat-guy") having at his 10th birthday party in our Lakeside area.(1989)The second pic is Becky, her son Tom and his friend Andy, spending a quiet afternoon on the docks. (1984)We've spent years enjoying this lake and it's campground. We were offered the opportunity to purchase the resort in 1998 and we've been here ever since!
To be continued......