Ann Craven’s roots go back 110 years on the Key Peninsula. Her great-grandparents, Carl and Louise Lorenz, migrated from Germany in 1872, lived in Orting, and moved to Lakebay in 1883. Lorenz constructed a water-powered sawmill, and had steamboats built from his lumber, the beginning of the local “Mosquito Fleet.”

His first boat, “Sophia,” named for his mother, went from Allyn to Tacoma and back twice a week, with an overnight in Tacoma. Delano Beach and Sylvan Glen Resorts were included on the route as needed.

Ed, Otto, and Oscar, the Lorenz sons, qualified as steamboatmen on the “Sophia,” and went on to pilot other Lorenz boats. Ed, later called Captain Ed, was the only one who remained as pilot and later captained “Arcadia,” the longest-lived boat of the Lorenz-Berntson fleet.

Ann, born in Tacoma, was diagnosed with rheumatic fever in fourth grade. Captain Ed had come out of retirement in 1938 to operate the Arcadia again, and moved back to Lakebay. They rented the Bagley house so Ann and sister Joan could live with them, “where the air was pure.”

Ann’s grandfather loved to drive and picked up children for Sunday School. He taught her to drive before she was old enough to be licensed.

In 1940, Grandpa Ed was diagnosed with cancer, so they moved to Seattle to be with Ann’s parents and nearer treatment. Grandma and the girls continued to spend the next several summers in Lakebay.

Ann fished for perch off the dock with a line between the planks. When a fish was caught, someone rowed a skiff under the dock to unhook it. The perch were always returned to the water, as the children didn’t consider them good food.

Ann’s school and summer friends included the Gateley and Brown girls. Mr. Brown was fireman on the Arcadia. The Gateleys had the first telephone system in Lakebay. Mother and daughters ran the switchboard; dad was the lineman.

The Lorenz sisters and Gateley girls took turns rowing the Lorenz skiff and riding the Gateley horses. After an early fall, Ann was told, “Get back on, you can’t walk the horse home.” One horse refused to go past the Lakebay post office and they never knew why.

Grandma called the girls home with “Yoo-hoo!” Sorensen’s parrot soon imitated it well enough to cause the girls to run home to find that Grandma hadn’t called.

Grandma taught both girls piano, then paid for additional lessons.

Ann finished school in Ketchikan, Alaska, where her dad’s job took him. She played piano for various clubs there. In college at Central Washington, she sang in the “Central Singers,” and later at University of Washington, in the a cappella choir.

In 1993, Ann moved in with her dad at Taylor Bay to care for him. She attended Longbranch Church when her cousin, former choir director Mary Entwhistle, visited. She eventually joined the church choir, and later shared organ playing with Jo Sturm. When Jo suggested a community chorus, Ann volunteered to accompany, and soon The Key Singers came into being.

Although her name is no longer Lorenz, Ann is the fourth generation of the family to call the Key Peninsula home.

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