Cohoe Beach History

Cohoe Beach has been a special place to generations of families.

The conditions at Camp Cohoe are ideal for the development of bodily vigor, mental alertness and sense of fair dealing which is so essential if a girl aspires to be a successful member of society.

Camp Cohoe brochure, 1930

A Salt Water Camp For Girls

Beginning in the 1920s, Cohoe Beach was the site of a camp for girls ages nine through eighteen who came from as far away as the East Coast to spend eight weeks on the shores of the Puget Sound. The building we now call the cottage was one of the camp buildings.

In 1930, the cost was $250 for the full eight-week session. In applying, each girl was required to submit three references, so that they might be “vouched for by responsible people, who know her to be the kind of girl we desire at the camp.”

To arrive at Camp Cohoe, campers were accompanied by a chaperone on the Northern Pacific Train from Portland, Oregon and a steamer from Pier 3, Seattle, to the nearby Port of Eglon. Those arriving by automobile could take the ferry from Edmonds to Kingston, just as today.

When Camp Cohoe began, however, only trails and rough wagon roads connected it to the larger world, and the community in which it was located, Eglon, depended on the Mosquito Fleet steamships that once criss-crossed the Puget Sound for access to Seattle and beyond. (To read more about the history of Eglon, see “Port of Eglon purchases the community’s dock on August 30, 1919,” Kit Oldham, historylink.org.).

“Half a mile of tide land stretches out in front of the camp.”

Advertised activities included rowing, canoing, sailing, swimming, hockey, tennis, games, hiking, fishing, camp fire singing, thrice-weekly instruction in handicrafts, and camping trips to different parts of Hood Canal and Puget Sound.

Along with these more adventurous pursuits, “girls prepare meals, learn to wash dishes systematically, become expert bed makers and are taught to be neat and efficient in all they undertake to do.”

Campers were asked to bring books to contribute to the Camp Library, located in the cottage. The camp had its own cows to supply fresh milk and cream and a fruit orchard, of which at least two apple trees, three plum trees, and a pear tree remain.

Ghosts from the past?

We’ve heard rumors that the cabin is still occupied in spirit by a former owner and longtime resident, who once attended Camp Cohoe as a camper, but we haven’t seen or heard any sign of her ourselves. If you’re curious, our neighbor has written a book on the subject.