John Ames came to Tolt in the early 1900s and built a home for his family across the Snoqualmie River from the Tolt River – McDonald Park. There was a trail from the Ames home over the hill that connected with the road to Redmond. The trail eventually was widened into a good road.
In those days, there was no electricity or running water in the area. Most families simply journeyed there for the day or camped there for the weekend.
Ames built a ferry, which ran on a cable, and charged a small fee to carry passengers and wagons across the river. This was a popular way for the people of the Tolt community to travel: across the river by ferry and over the hill.
Ames built another building, separate from their home, calling it “The Blue Front” and took in paying guests. He drove a hack to Seattle, stopping at the Deller Hotel to tell all of the visitors that he talked to about the great fishing and hiking in the Tolt area. It wasn’t long before he convinced many people to come and spend a week at his resort hotel.
The Ames’ son, Arthur, was killed while working on the railroad. His father named Ames Lake in his honor.
From the book, “A History of Tolt/Carnation: “A Town Remembered,” published November 1987 by the Tolt Historical Society.