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Welcome sign in Soap Lake

Soap Lake is a town of 1,600 people (2018) in Columbia River Plateau of Washington State. The lake and the town gets their name from the naturally occurring foam that gives its water a soapy appearance, and because the lake's mineral-rich waters have a slick, soapy feel.


The choosing of the town’s name ended the battle between two rival factions. One group had platted a town site and called it Siloam in 1905; while another faction named their town-to-be Cottage City on 1908. The name Soap Lake came from the word Smokiam, an Indian term which translates to “Healing Waters.” The tribes used the lake for healing purposes for themselves and their animals for many years before the area was settled by pioneers. At that time, Soap Lake was already a busy resort and health spa. It contained four hotels and many rooming houses and businesses catering to sojourners seeking a cure. The residents were very proud of the two-room schoolhouse built in 1907. Even though Soap Lake’s main industry was derived from the medicinal lake, it became a social center. In its heyday celebrations, socials, and gatherings where held continuously. Especially well known were the open-air dances, which would draw participants from miles around.

Soap Lake was incorporated as a town on June 9, 1919.

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South shore of Soap Lake

Soap Lake is a meromictic soda lake in the town of Soap Lake, Washington formed by the Missoula Floods at the foot of the Grand Coulee.







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Routes through Soap Lake
BrewsterSun Lakes-Dry Falls S.P.  N WA-17.svg S  Moses LakeMesa

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