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Stumptown Summer Fun

10¢ diving board, 100mph boat races, and canoe jousting!

Do you know the secret to summer fun in Whitefish? For over 100 years, the answer to finding summer fun centered around Whitefish Lake! Here is a collection of the most unique ways people enjoyed Whitefish Lake over the past 100 years.

Pictured above, the Regatta drew huge crowds to watch daring racers as they traversed the course at speeds over 100mph. The Regatta started in the early 1900s and turned Labor Day Weekend into a bustling community celebration with power boat races, parades, royalty, water-skiing exhibitions, sailing races, and parachuters landing on City Beach.

The Regatta thrived on community camaraderie and, at one point, was the longest running regatta in one place in the country (source C. Abell). The Regatta pictured above (ca 1947) shows a heat of racers speeding towards the starting line. (aka the dock!). It hosted a countdown clock that racers could not pass before the clock hit zero. Early racers were disqualified.

Elsewhere in the photo you can see racers sitting on their boats in the pit area while they wait for their turn (middle left), four men on horseback enjoying the spectacle (center), and the town ambulance ready in waiting in case of injury (bottom right).


Back before City Beach hosted firework shows on the 4th of July, it was still the center of the Independence Day Party as it hosted hundreds of people for events like log rolling and canoe jousting. Pictured here is the crowd ca July 4, 1923.

Log rolling provided fun for all ages - especially as competitors crashed off the log into the water! If you look closely at the smiling face of the spectators in this photo, you can imagine the laughter after one of the guys took a fall off the log. Further back on the shore, the white bathhouse provided a place to dry off and change.

Canoe jousting (not pictured here, but we would love a photo if you have one!) featured two competitors standing in canoes with a long stick that had a boxing glove on the end. The first one to knock the other competitor down won!

Close inspection shows a few cabins dotting the hillside along the back of this photo. These were likely the start of one of the cabin camps. If you have more photos or details about these cabins from this era, the Stumptown Historical Society is looking to learn more about them! Please email us at


Glenwood Park hosted endless summer fun for kids and adults! Pictured here is the dock and diving platform where kids would gather to relax and impress with each other with flips, jumps, and other schenanigans. Entry cost 10¢, although rumor has it that some people would slip in without paying!

Glenwood Park was owned by the Seeleys and also acted as a hub for recreation on Whitefish Lake. Their dock was the best place to fill up with gas - and it was a popular place to stop!


You can’t talk about summer on Whitefish Lake without talking about the Viking Lodge! The Viking was a mainstay in Whitefish for years as it lodged skiers in the winter and vacationers in the summer. Pictured here, three water bikes rest at the dock outside the Viking ca 1970. Word around town is that these bikes look cool but were a nightmare to ride!


Did you ever ride the Ranger? The Ranger was a tour boat cruising the waters of Whitefish Lake (photo ca 1950). Tour boats like this played a key role in tourism and transporting people to the various cabin camps and dancehalls around the lake. Sandra Joy (Hartman) sits on the bow of the Ranger in this shot!


Thanks for reading this story about the secret to summer fun in Whitefish!

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What a great post!

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