Len and Betty Carpenter
with children Lee (standing in front of
Betty), Jean, John and Ken
Cotten told me: "I remember stopping at the Fire Lake Lodge
with my folks. The lodge had a funny poster of a lady in her
underwear (in the bathroom), and if you lifted the cover (that was over
her underwear) a buzzer would go off out in the bar much to everyone's
amusement. They also had a great jukebox."
Dennis Christian, who contributed generously
to the Polyefko's history, told me that his parents once ended up
with 2 goats as partial payment on a bar tab. The goats were allowed
to roam the lodge parking lot until they ate the door gasket out of a customers
In the fall of 1970, Laughlin (the original
owner of the land) and his 2nd wife Esther, sold the lodge to David
and Loretta Spaulding for $33,000. The deed described the sale as: "All
and the whole of Government Lot 95, Section 30, Township 15 North,
Range 1 West, Seward Meridian in the Anchorage Recording District,
save and except the west 132' of said lot, together with
perpetual right of ingress and egress over the presently constructed
20' roadway, together with water system and 500' deep well, unto Kenneth
and Esther Laughlin." (Alaska DNR Deed Book 415, Pages 92-93).
On 5/4/1973, the Spaulding's sold the lodge to the Jehovah
Witness Chugiak Congregation and the church put a big sign on the
front of the building that said "Kingdom Hall". (Alaska DNR Deed Book
454 Page 479).
On 8/31/1977, two years before his death, Kenneth Laughlin
gave the final 132' piece of Lot 95, to Loren and
Jane Sasseen. The deed said that the transfer of ownership was "for the
sum of love and affection". (Alaska DNR Deed Book 226, Page 610).
On 11/27/1978, the Sasseen's sold the 132' section of Lot 95
to Everette and Ilona Calkins (Alaska DNR Deed Book 358, page 383).
Four months later, Calkins sold it to Robert Phillips (Alaska DNR
Deed Book 394 Page 664).
On 2/22/1983, Robert Phillips sold the 132' section of Lot 95
to Boyd and Shirley Bennett. On this document, is a description of where
the 500' deep water well was: "Northwest corner of said Lot 95; thence
S89° 51' 00"E a distance of 50' more or less to the true point of
beginning; thence on a bearing S55° 42' 00" W, a distance of 80'
more or less, including said well with 6" casing". (Alaska DNR Deed Book
853, Pages 93 and 95).
In 2006, the Anchorage Water and Wastewater Utility, in conjunction
with the Alaska Department of Transportation and the Anchorage School
District, installed a sewer main that serviced 22 properties along the Old
Glenn Highway as well as the Chugiak High School. To accomplish that, the
State of Alaska purchased Lot 95 from the Jehovah Witness Church and demolished
the old Fire Lake Lodge. (Alaska DNR Document 2007-020038-0, dated 1/28/2007)
There are, no doubt,
many more Fire Lake Lodge stories out there. If you know of
any, drop me a line.