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Tanglewood Island - Fox Island's 'Lighthouse'

Tanglewood Island 'Great Hall' Demolished

The 'Great Hall' of the Tanglewood Island's Lighthouse, just four days before demolition began on January 24, 2014.

2/1/14: Work has stopped, due to a lack of proper permitting on the demolition, the County has issued a stop work order.

1/27/14: Fox Island -
After standing since 1947, the most-photographed landmark of the Fox Island area was demolished, due to rotting wood, foundation damage due to tidal erosion and neglect.  Ownership issues over the years prevented timely upkeep of the building, the top of the lighthouse has been missing since 2004, and the main structure fell to the wrecking ball on January 24, 2014.

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News Tribune Article: Property Owners Defy County, reduce Tanglewood Island icon to rubble


The Lighthouse and Great Hall during its better days, as photographed by John Ohlson on August 25, 2002


Fox Island's 'Lighthouse' is a non-functioning lighthouse that at one time was Dr Schultz's office and infirmary and residence/office of a camp director.  It is located on Tanglewood Island, a privately owned island next to Fox Island. The lighthouse was repainted as a Boy Scout Eagle service project some years ago.

Camp Ta-Ha-Do-Wa

The 'Fox Island Lighthouse' was built by a Dr. Alfred L. Schultz in 1947.  He purchased the land for $8000 in 1933, and later he constructed a boys camp called 'Ta-Ha-Do-Wa' on what was then known as Graves Island (another whole story).  It was renamed to Tanglewood Island in 1947.

Dr. Alfred SchultzThe Island now called Tanglewood changed names when the camp was built.  The lighthouse was lit for a while, but was never used as a navigation aid. 

Dr. Schultz used it for his office for the boys camp and as a dormitory for the camp counselor's, as well as an infirmary for the camp. It was nice adjunct to a first class boy's camp.

Camp Ta-Ha-Do-Wa Artifacts

Camp Ta-Ha-Do-Wa Application Form Camp Ta-Ha-Do-Wa Daily Schedule Camp Ta-Ha-Do-Wa Master Plan

Click to see the full copy of the Camp GuidebookThese long lost artifacts from Camp Ta-Ha-Do-Wa in the 1960's include the camper application form, Master Plan and Daily Schedule.  Thanks to former campers Clint Walker and Steve Lockitch for this look back into the history of Tanglewood Island's beginnings as a youth camp for boys.

A full copy of the 30 page Camp Ta-Ha-Do-Wa Guide Book for 'Particular Parents' from 1957 may be found here.

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Tanglewood was at one time an Indian Burial Ground.  The Indians buried their dead in two ways.  One, by placing them in canoes together with their possessions and lashing the canoe high off the ground between two trees; the other method, was to bury them in shallow graves, again, together with their possessions. 

To the Indians, a burial ground was a sacred place to be treated with great respect. A remote area such as Tanglewood was used so that it could easily be avoided.  Unfortunately, to our knowledge, Tanglewood Island is no longer available for parties or rentals. It is somehow tied into the county and zoning and health and other regulations.  What we recommend is that you get hold of the Chapel by the Bay and have it there.  It is just as picturesque and much more accessible and you can actually see Tanglewood Island from the Chapel.

Tanglewood Island Campfire Stories:

Steve Lockitch, a camper at Camp Ta-Ha-Do-Wa in the 1950's, relates this story, that was told around the campfire:

Every year we would all get together for a big all camp campfire, on one end of the island called "Dead Man's Point", and toast marshmallows and then tell this story:

When the island was first founded, there were three friendly Indian tribes called the Owahs, the Tagos, and the Siams.  Well they were so friendly, they intermarried and had kids. Soon enough they lost their identities and could no longer be called the Owahs, Tagos, or the Siams. This was a big problem so the leaders of the 3 tribes went out in the woods to decide what to call their combined tribe.

When they came back, they announced they finally came up with a name to honor all 3 tribes so they called a campfire of all the tribe folks and announced the new name was "Owah-tago-siam". Well, everyone was so thrilled that they all started to chant the name faster and faster. Well, all us campers were all chanting owahtagosaim faster and faster when the older campers, who knew what was coming, stopped and the new campers were left chanting what become "oh what a goose I am"!

For more information about the history of Tanglewood Island, you may want to visit the Fox Island Museum. They are located at: 1017 9th Avenue, Fox Island. 
Their phone number is 549-2461
Website: Fox Island Historical Society

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