Juanita Beach wins Washington Outing Resorts Association Award on January 4, 1931.

  • By Alan J. Stein
  • Posted 11/13/2002
  • HistoryLink.org Essay 4017

On January 4, 1931, the Washington Outing Resorts Association presents its annual award for the most modern, clean, and convenient outing resort in the Northwest to Juanita Beach. Leslie Forbes, whose family has owned the property since the 1870s, accepts the trophy cup.

Best in the Northwest

The Washington Outing Resorts Association had organized the year before to encourage resort owners to maintain modern facilities and to provide the utmost of convenience for their visitors. In the association’s first year, resort-owners joined from Snohomish, Pierce, Thurston, and King counties, and proudly displayed a membership sign on their premises.

In August 1930, a committee of five toured the region and visited various resorts. Points were given for modernity of facilities, cleanliness, and overall satisfaction. Of the resorts visited, Juanita Beach scored the highest. At the annual meeting at Seattle’s New Richmond Hotel, association president Oliver Campbell presented Leslie Forbes with a foot-tall trophy cup.

In 1876, Dorr and Eliza Forbes homesteaded the Juanita Beach property. In 1916, during the construction of the Lake Washington Ship Canal, lake waters were lowered by 8.8 feet, which exposed an expansive sand bed on the Forbes’s waterfront property. Soon, swimmers and sunlovers swarmed to beach for summertime fun.

In 1920, Dorr and Eliza’s son Leslie opened a concession counter with his business partner Ed Nelson. Within a few years, the popularity of the beach allowed Forbes to expand his business into a successful resort. Leslie and his wife Alicia operated the resort until their retirement in 1956, at which time they sold the property to King County.


Dorris Forbes Beecher interview by Matt McCauley, May 29, 1993, transcript, Kirkland Oral History Project, Kirkland Heritage Society, Kirkland; “Juanita Beach Given Award” East Side Journal, January 15, 1931, pp. 1, 6.

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