History

Our Mission: To provide reliable, cost-based power, now and in the future.

The Lakeview Light & Water Company was incorporated March 21, 1922 as a mutual non-profit company for the purpose of obtaining electric service for its members. A Pierce County owned power line from the Tacoma city limits to a county owned sanitarium was leased from the county and extensions were constructed from this line to the various members. By June of 1931 the Company had added 12.5 miles of distribution lines and by June of 1942 was serving 459 accounts. By June of 1945 the membership had increased to 595 and the name of the company was changed to Lakeview Light & Power. By June of 1950 membership had grown to 1,275.

Black and white photo of previous crew
Staff 1956

 

Staff 1997

In 1955 the Federal Power Commission reported that Lakeview Light & Power mutual members enjoyed the lowest residential rates in the United States. For several years Lakeview was awarded the much coveted Northwest Public Power Association “One Cent Award”, for selling electricity for one cent per kwh or less. In 1954 the company began a practice which was very popular with its members. In order to comply with the non-profit requirements of its incorporation when there were funds over what was needed for sound business practices, the Board of Directors would declare a free month. Sometimes there would be two free months in a year.

In January, 1957 Mr. W.T. Jones who had served the Company as general manager since its beginning resigned because of bad health. Mr. Jones died in March, 1958. The building that is our present office was in the planning stage when he died. The Company moved into the new facilities at 11509 Bridgeport Way S.W. in 1960.

In 1969 the Company installed 316 streetlights at no extra cost to the members. The Company continued to show a steady growth as can be seen by comparing annual gross sales from 1960 to 1969, $444,604 in ‘60 and $947,654 in ‘69.

In March of 1972, Mr. Bob Eaton retired as General Manager after serving 15 years. Mr. Bob McDaniel who had been Mr. Eaton’s assistant took over as General Manager. In 1981, Mr. McDaniel died suddenly. After a thorough search, Mr. Don Geiselman was selected to become General Manager. Mr. Geiselman served as General Manager for 18 years, retiring in January of 2000, completing a 32 year career at Lakeview. Mr. Geiselman was followed by Mr. Robin Rego who joined Lakeview in 1982 and served as General Manager from 1999 to 2014. Ray Grinberg served as General Manager from April 2014 to April 2016. John DeVore began serving as General Manager in August 2016.

Company picture 2015
Company picture 2015

More than three-quarters of a century ago this corporation was formed because a few forward looking families wanted to make things better for their community. Today, Lakeview has 2,055 members and serves 10,045 meters with 83 miles of distribution line. Lakeview Light & Power continues today the commitment of its founders to serve its members at the lowest possible cost by means of a reliable electrical distribution system.

Company Picture 2016
Company Picture 2016

Interesting Facts

  • Lakeview Light & Power (LLP) hired Gunderson Electric to erect a pole line of 63 poles, which was put in service in June 1922.
  • Also in 1922, LLP leased 3 miles of poles lines from Pierce County and agreed to maintain it. They then built the Clover Creek line of 60 poles. This line probably went south into what is now McChord Field. Then in October 1922, they built a pole line extension of 6 poles to School District #2.
  • In 1923 the Van Arsdall line of 3 poles was built. It is believed that this line serviced George’s home just west of Lakewood Avenue on 109th Street SW. A 3-pole extension probably meant that the main power lines were very close to this area.
  • In 1924, a 2-pole extension to the Boot Factory was built on Pacific Highway SW. The Hanson and Ray line, the Syford and Lygem line and the Rigney line were built. There were quite a few Rigneys in this area.
  • In 1925 the Born extension, the Barker line and another Rigney line were built. This line was extended to the Sam Ambrose Sanitarium.
  • In 1926 the Barnett line was added.
  • In 1927 the Military Road line of 11 poles was built. This line is farther south yet and another Rigney was added to that line. The Kastner, Van, Rull Korvic and Foster extensions were built. These all could have been extensions of the Clover Creek line.
  • In 1928 the Ponders line of 22 poles and the Parkland line of 60 poles were built. The latter line must have gone to the area where the Schibigs and Peter Smith lived on Spanaway Loop Road. The Dimmer and Wells line was built.
  • In 1946, power rates were 4 cents per Kwh for the first 25, then 1 cent per Kwh for the next 475 and then 1/2 cent per Kwh for the next 1000.
  • In 1947, there was an outright purchase and improvement of a home site for the Company business. This included an office building, storage sheds, garage and a residence for the Company manager, who would live there and protect the Company’s property. This had 257 feet of frontage at 11417 Pacific Highway SW.
  • In 1950, the Company name was changed from Lakeview Light and Water to Lakeview Light & Power.