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Growing up in Ames Lake: the 1970s

Updated: Mar 19, 2022

An interview with long-standing neighbor Kim Ross

Kim Ross moved to Ames Lake with her family in 1970, when she was 7 years old. They were living in Santa Barbara when her parents, both teachers, decided to move back to the Seattle area. Her mother had grown up here, as had her grandmother.

Kim’s parents looked for property all around King County. One day they found a flyer for a house on Ames Lake. Owned by the Cartozians, a prominent Seattle family, the house had been on the market for three years. They were asking $67,000.

The night before they went to see the house, Kim saw it all in a dream.

“I saw the house, the woodshed, a jar on a shelf inside the woodshed, and a German Shepherd at the door.”

The next morning when they got there, that jar was right where she saw it in her dream. The dog was there too. As far as Kim was concerned, the house was meant to be.

The Cartozians originally built a small log cabin on their property, which they purchased in 1946. In 1963, they hired an architect to design a new, bigger house. The cabin was lifted up, a foundation was laid, and the cabin was put back down on the same spot. You can still see the original logs in the walls of the 5,400 square foot house, where Kim still lives.

Of course, the community was a lot smaller in the 1970s. The kids all knew each other from riding the bus to Fall City Elementary School or to the junior high and high school in Snoqualmie. In the summer, they played together in the lake, swimming and boating to each other’s houses. The Ames Lake Community Club meetings were fun events. Held at the Grange, as they are now, there was always a potluck where the kids got to play, and everyone gossiped. The whole community fit in that one room.

In 1971, Kim’s father, Bowman Ross, heard the Redmond train depot was for sale. It was just $10.00. He bought it, and with the help of his three young daughters slowly dismantled the building over the next three months. He then used the lumber to build a stable on their property, which became home to three horses - Laddy, their Welsh pony from Carnation Farms, another Welsh pony owned by their neighbor, Sharon Miller, and an Arabian Quarter Horse that belonged to a friend in Seattle.

Kim and her sisters, Leigh and Mary, rode the horses up on the logging trails, which are now 289th and 290th streets. The surrounding area was all wilderness then, Kim reminisced, with an abandoned apple orchard tucked into the forest and mud puddles brimming with polliwogs. As she said, Ames Lake was a happy place to grow up.

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