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When Everyone in the Community Knew Everyone - An Interview with Charlotte Fykerud

Updated: Apr 29

In 1941, when Charlotte was 3, her parents moved from North Dakota to Oregon so her father could find work. They thought it would be for just a few months, but they fell in love with the Pacific Northwest and a year later followed an uncle to Seattle.


The first time Charlotte saw Ames Lake was in 1962. She was invited by a lake homeowner’s friend to go fishing on the lake, which the State stocked with trout. She remembers how there was growth all the way to the water and very few houses. “It looked so dense and primeval,” she said.


In 1965, Charlotte and her husband Jack bought a little cabin on the west side of the lake. After being there for just 5 days, their eldest son Eric was born, followed by their son Kurt in 1968. There were not many families here at the time and only two had children the same age as theirs.


One of the first things Charlotte and Jack did when they moved here was to attend an Ames Lake Community Club meeting. The Community Club was initially formed to deal with the issue of public fishing on the lake. It was discussed for months.


“In 1965, everyone in the community knew everyone," Charlotte said. "There was no formal process for meeting, we just met."


"Sometimes the women around the lake had coffee together and gossiped. Several of the conversations we had were about the awful phone service around the lake. You could call Carnation, but if you wanted to call Redmond, you had to go down to the store because otherwise it was long distance.”


Charlotte and Jack bought the lot she lives on now in 1969, also on the west side of the lake. Construction began in March 1969, and they moved in in July of 1969.


“I love it here,” Charlotte said. “When I look around the lake now, even with all the houses and lights, it still doesn’t look that populated. She finished by saying, “I’m never going to leave Ames Lake.”


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