In mid-July 1937 a new publication appeared in the area. Pledging to provide news of the Lakes District, Steilacoom and DuPont, the paper’s banner headline asked its potential subscribers:
“What shall we name this paper? Send us your title and win $10 cash or Theater Tickets.”
Not a bad deal, and a good circulation booster for this four-page local weekly. That summer in 1937 Editor and Publisher Charles F. Mann, a graduate of Steilacoom Grade School grabbed his reader’s attention with a headline that read:
You Name It? Lakewood…???
As the publisher explained in a two-column story near the top of the paper: “When we started to pick a title for this newspaper we soon ran into so many likely names, most of them built around the name “Lakewood” that to save our lives we couldn’t decide on the final, catchy, descriptive second word for our masthead.
Accordingly, we’re asking all our readers to get busy and jot down a few suggestions and mail them in. MAIL, WE SAID—because we can’t acknowledge names given to as we roll by in our Jilloppy (sic) or phoned to the Society Editor at the odd hour.
We thought that a title like “Scotch Broom*” (because we aim to scrape the prairies clean for news and still keep within a tight budget)–or the Prairie Gazette, or the Lakewood Bugle, or the District Honk or something else befitting our initial venture into rural journalism. Maybe the Scratch-gravel Weekly Chronicle might do, but something somebody would be sure to slap our ears down for being flippant about our thin black prairie soil that just never seems to get enough water or fertilizer to produce a nice crop.
We did think of the Hudson’s Bay Review in honor of the first cultivators and settlers of the Lake area, or perchance use General Grant’s name in honor of the first military venture into the area. But, as we say, it’s a tough problem to find a name. In our waggish moment this morning, the idea of a Psychypath’s (sic) or Pschiatric (sic) Nightmare hit us, in honor of our two biggest institutions, but then we felt that skilled hands and minds could give their charges more channels of self-expression than we could possibly offer. SO-O-O-O–it’s UP TO OUR READERS. Won’t you give us a lift on this ???
In the second, still nameless, edition, Publisher Mann printed suggested names, telling his readers that one reader had “submitted 24 names: all different and never duplicated by others submissions.”
Some of those names included (each proceeded by the word, “Lakewood”) Charmer, Informer, Rambler, News, Broom, Prairieneer (sic), Chimes, Lake and Wood News, Echo and Record. Mann promised to publish the rest in the following edition.
Seventy additional suggested names were published in the July 23 edition, and Mann noted that Mayor Morris of Steilacoom would serve as one of five judges to select the winning name. Lee Merrill (an early promoter of the Daffodil Festival) also was a judge. Additional name choices for Lakewood’s paper included the Cackler, Off the Record, Tattler and Oak.
Single copy sales were probably very high for the July 30 issue when the name “Log” appeared for the first time, attached to “Lakewood”. Mr. Rex Rutherford of Gravelly Lake, along with Ronald Nelson, Rosalle McKernon of Steilacoom, Irene Doten of Steilacoom Lake and Irl McDaniel of DuPont each had submitted the name “Log”, but Rutherford’s suggestion was postmarked first. Hence, Mr. Rutherford received the promised movie tickets.
As a follow-up, in the August 6 issue, Mr. Mann asked readers to make suggestions for the paper’s content. “We absolutely bar all political discussions or religious discussions of any kind,” Mann warned, explaining that, “We cannot undertake to print arguments back and forth on politics, under any circumstances. Besides ruining your disposition, it would ruin us. Go pester somebody else if you feel like shouting more off your feelings on polityx (sic).”