Submitted by KM Hills.
I have not swam this much in years and most of my swimming has been in American & Steilacoom Lakes. To my surprise when I went for a swim after work on Thursday, at North American Lake park, I saw something I have not seen in years.
This seaplane up out of the water. If you didn’t live here prior to 2005 you may not know that where the boat ramp is, used to be “American Lake Seaplane-W37” base. In the 60’s, 70’s & even into the 80’s it was a well used seaplane base.
Planes flew in and out regularly and many of the planes were based here where there was a refueling station and hanger available. Between 1989 & ’91 I worked as a lifeguard for Pierce County Parks at North American Lake and loved watching the occasional plane still took off and landed. While planes are still able to use American Lake the numbers have dropped off significantly since the City of Lakewood closed the base in 2005; citing the risk of potential crashes and liability issues.
It was a good swim, great weather, a great view of the Mt. with a bit of nostalgia thrown in getting to see this plane. Wouldn’t it be great if the City sponsored an annual event to celebrate the history of the old base, where the next generation could see these amazing floating planes take off and land?