Information about Holden Village

Holden Village is a retreat center in the central Cascade mountains of Washington state. It is remotely located up Lake Chelan and up Railroad Creek valley. There are NO telephones at Holden Village. To get in touch with them you must write a letter. Their address is:

Holden Village    
HC00 Stop 2    
Chelan, WA 98816-9769  

(What is the strange HC00 Stop 2 in the address? The HC means Highway Carrier. You might see HCR (Highway Carrier Route) in many rural route delivery addresses. In Holden's case the "highway" is Lake Chelan. And the carrier is the Lake Chelan Boat Company. The only way I can figure out the Stop 2 is that it is the 2nd regularly scheduled stop for the boat. Fields Point being the first and Lucerne being the second.)

Holden was started in 1937 as a mining village by the Howe Sound mining company. The mine's main ore was copper. The mine closed in 1957 when the price of copper dropped. In 1961 the mine site was donated to the Lutheran Bible Institue in Seattle. They started Holden Village Inc to run the village as a retreat center.

Holden is a wonderful place to visit. It is a journey to get there because you must take a boat to get to Lucerne and then a bus up Railroad Creek valley. Most of the vistors come during the summer (June through September). During those months up to 500 people will be in the Village. There are lots of things to do then. The main focus is programs led by many interesting and knowledgable people. But hiking is just as important. The Village is run by volunteers. Some people stay for years. During the summer many stay for 3 weeks to 3 months.

Holden Village is a small town. This means that it must generate its own electricity, dispose of its own waste, distribute its own water, maintain the buildings and roads, and fight fires. Electricity is made with two hydro-electric generators. Water comes from a small diversion dam up Copper Creek. There are also two diesel generators on site. Holden has a large septic system to dispose of waste water. It heavily recycles. All trash is sorted by hand. All food waste is composted.

The Forest Service opened the mine during their remediation study. Here is their website You can get to some pictures from inside the mine there.

The "Official" Holden web page is now up and running (as of 2/19/1999). They have done an excellent job.

There is a club on Yahoo where Holden folks can get together to chat or post messages. You can get there at

Patty (Haddon) Tappan has a very informative site dedicated to the Village during the mine operation.

Here are some other sites that might interest you.

Lake Chelan Boat Company Link bus    
KOZI, Radio Lake Chelan Lake Chelan    
Wenacthee Chamber of Commerce      

home Holden Photos

(part of Joel Lagerquist's personal web page [last update 03/22/2002])