Logan County Colorado Pioneers
Ole J. and Annie (Pederson) Lovfald, brother Helge and Sophia (Mardell) Lofall, 9 North 49 West
2005 Kitsap, Washington
Dale Lofall Age: 70
Quote: "My grandfather's name was originally Lovfald, but one of his daughters didn't like the Norwegian sound and asked him to change it to Lofall. He built a store, the post office, and what remains of the old dock down there."
When you gaze out the big bay windows of Dale Lofall's living room, your eyes can roam more than 180 degrees up and down Hood Canal.
But what really draws your attention is a relatively new dock almost directly in front of his place and the remnants of an old dock just to the left. Both of these docks are major symbols of the history of this North Kitsap area, which was named after Lofall's grandfather, Helge Lofall.
The old dock was built by Helge, a Norwegian immigrant, who originally fled from Colorado to Rockford, Wash. (near Spokane) in a covered wagon when the dustbowls occurred in the Midwest in 1907.
In 1908, Helge visited Norwegian friends in the Ballard district of Seattle and, having been a fish buyer in the old country, decided to look around this area. He bought an 80-acre waterfront tract of what became known as Lofall, raised his family of nine children with wife Sophia, and lived to a grand old age of 98.
"My grandfather's name was originally Lovfald, but one of his daughters didn't like the Norwegian sound and asked him to change it to Lofall," says Dale Lofall. "He built a store, the post office, and what remains of the old dock down there."
Lofall was a thriving, bustling community of mostly farmers, though some worked for the Port Gamble mill and others worked for the Moe Brothers lumber company in Big Valley. The brothers unloaded and rafted their timber in the water near the dock before it was towed up to Port Gamble or other spots to be milled.
"Like many other waterfront communities around here, Lofall had it's heyday when the mosquito fleet buzzed in and out of our dock, bringing supplies and mail and taking out produce, milk and other products," says Lofall, who reports he has loganberries descending from some of the original vines planted back then.
Lofall's dad, Bill, lived in Lofall but was a commercial fisherman who owned a 50-foot purse seiner he used to fish for salmon in Alaska. His mother, Martha Paulson Lofall, was from another pioneering family — her dad, Knute Paulson was a homesteading farmer in the Vinland area of North Kitsap.
"My parents met at a dance at the old Breidablik Hall —she wasn't supposed to go because her parents were opposed to dancing, but her brother, Ole, took her," says Lofall.
Lofall, now 70, helped to mind what had by then become a "gentleman's farm" with a few cows, pigs and chickens. He started out in Breidablik Elementary but was among the first to go to Poulsbo Elementary, next attending Poulsbo Junior High, then becoming a graduate of North Kitsap High School.
And, like his father and grandfather, Lofall had a yearning to see some of the world. So he joined the Army after two years of work as a Lofall ferry deckhand and a stint at Boeing as a draftsman. He had six-month tour of duty in Adak, Alaska, then resumed the same job again at Boeing for five years. But he found his real niche at Keyport where he was an electronic technician for 29 years before retiring at age 55.
Along the way, he and his former wife Gaye had seven children — all with first names beginning with the letter "D." He laughs as he counts how many children each of his children has, then he totals them. He now has 20 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
And he says the whole family enjoys that "newer" dock you see directly in front of his house. It's part of a community recreation area he founded but originally was used as a dock for the ferry that transported passengers to the Olympic Peninsula before the Hood Canal Bridge was built.