Newspaper Archive of
The Issaquah Press
Issaquah, Washington
September 28, 1983     The Issaquah Press
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September 28, 1983

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The false front on the museum was built over the summertime. Museum takes on the look of the old Gilman Ha// Issaquah celebrated its centennial years ago and is now looking forward to its 200th year. The Issaquah Historical Society is here to help preserve our past. The new chairman of the Historical Society is Greg Spranger. He's been hust- ling donations and working on various projects since June. The first of the socie- ty's projects, the restoration of the false front on the old town hall, should be done by.Salmon Days. Spranger and his crew of volunteers have been work- ing on the false front for the museum since July '83. The museum, located at 165 An- drews Street, used to be the town hall, back when Issa- quah was still called Gil- man. The inside is also being renovated. One room is be- ing enclosed with glass walls..Some exhibits will be equipped with taped ex- planations of each item, complete with sound effects and spotlights highlighting items as they are discussed. Eventually Spranger hopes to have more than one museum for the town's past. The original would re- main the hub of the society and be restored as the original town hall. The old railroad depot next to Memorial Field would become a museum for rail- road, logging and coal min- ing artifacts. If they can ac- quire the Picketing Barn property, it would become an antique mall. The Historical Society hopes to acquire some addi- tional property, where Spranger would like to see several of the town's old homes moved as sort of a "Heritage Village." The ultimate goal would be to have these houses as self- supporting bed and breakfast inns with live-in caretakers. Society members aren't planning to preserve just old artifacts. They want the key of the society to be the best of both worlds, past and present, just as Issaquah itself is the best of the rural and urban environments. Spranger said they want to preserve the rural entity of the city and pull people into the community. He wants the society to be a kind of social organization rather than just existing as a group. Spranger would like to have the society wield some influence in the future. For example, he said, businesses would be rated and those that are really part of the community and fit in- to the character of the city would be given an endorse- ment by the society. "We want that endorse- ment to really mean something," Spranger said. The town must grow, of course, but his goal is for unity of growth, not mere conformity, he said. "'Just because something is old doesn't make it quali- ty. Not everything in the past was good. We want to choose the good stuff and combine it with the best of the present," Spranger said. During Salmon Days, the Historical Society plans to sell reprints of Bessie Wilson Craine's book, "Squak Valley." Craine came to Squak, or Sam- mamish Valley, in 1885, when she was three. Her account of the early history of Issaquah is rich in details and gives a humorous first- person narrative of her childhood and teenage years. The book is $7 a copy. Membership dues in the Historical Society include a copy of "Squak Valley." Family membership is $14, senior citizen membership is $9 and a business membership is $25. For more information on the society or "Squak Valley;" call 392-3500 and leave a message with [he answering service for Spranger. He's always more than happy to talk with anyone regarding the history or the future, of Issa- quah. --Debbie L. Romano Coal mira'rig brought prosperity to the Issaquah valley Without the lure of coal, Issaquah probably would have been settled much later than it was. There was an abundance of rich farm- land in Squak Valley, but that was nothing compared to the black mineral. The first coal claim was established in 1862 by L.B. Andrews, a year before the first family moved into the area. In 1863, the first white man, William Castro, settl- ed in the valley. The other inhabitants included tran- sient coal miners and bands of Indians. In 1864, the James Bush family, the Ed- ward Welches, William Johnson and John Holstead moved into the area, seek- ing work in the coal mines. In NOvember 1867, the peace of Squak Valley was destroyed by a band of In- dians. Legend has it the set- tiers were chosen as victims because of their remoteness and the fact that an Indian chief had been killed near Auburn by a group of white men. The Indians wanted revenge. The Castros and John Holstead were wiped out. The Bushes and William Johnson survived and high- tailed it to Seattle. The Bush family was the only one to return to their home, a year later. In 1867, William Picker- ing, then governor of the Washington Territory, bought the old Castro homestead. The big frame barn on the Pickering place was built in 1887, and is still a feature of Issaquah today, next to the Skyport Airfield. In 1885, feelings of resentment grew against the growing numbers of Chinese in the northwest. Local residents did not hesitate to pick up arms and turn back a group of Chinese before they could even enter the valley. Another group had already camped on a hillside in the valley, so the next night a vigilante group of five whites and two Indians at- tacked, shooting up the tents and wounding several Chinese. All the Chinese left by the next day. In 1892, the town was in- corporated as Gilman, though the post office designation was Olney. In 1900, the first land plat was filed under the name of Issaquah. The Issaquah Independent, the ancestor of the Press, started publica- tion the same year. In 1903, J.J. Lewis found- ed the Lewis Hometown Hardware Store. Lewis Hardware is still a well- known fixture in Issaquah today. In 1909, the Northwest Milk Condensing Company was started by local businessmen. It's better known today as Darigold. In 1911, the first high school class in Issaquah graduated. There was no rush at the reception -- only three people graduated. In 1924, Front Street and Mill Street (10th North and Sunset Way) were paved. In 1931, the first high school building was con- structed, which became part of Issaquah Junior High's campus nearly 30 years later. In 1932, Issaquah's first woman mayor, Stella Alex- ander, was elected to of- fice. A forceful character with a colorful history, she was voted out of office in 1934, before her term was over. Issaquah hasn't had a woman mayor since. In 1936, the State Salmon Hatchery was constructed. Today's Salmon Days cele- bration still centers around the annual return of the salmon to their beginnings at the hatchery. --Debbie L. Romano /Quality Bicycles From00 Around The World! BMX BIKES 10 SPEEDS Hutch P.K. Ripper Nishiki Jr !/T@D/k I Mongoose Peugeot Blanch I I li.l .00uc. ! u/l00L WESTOCK SHOES V_ c yc le . Sales.Services Repairs f"  jr-  Parts d.4ccessories Touring Bicycles ter FullselectionofMotocrossB:cycles  lllFrontSt N,lssaquah 392 4588 CREEKSIDE PROFESSIONAL CENTER 600 N.W. Gilman Blvd., Issaquah Issaquah's Medical-Dental Facility PHYSICIANS: Ed Fougerousse Jr, M.D. Internal Medicine 392-6090 Steven S. Ratcliffe, M.D. Orthopaedic Surgeon 392-3030 John L. Thayer, M.D. Orthopaedic Surgeon 392-3030 DENTISTS: Edwin W. Mitchell Family dentistry 392-1239 Jerry W. Mitchell Family dentistry 392-6466 Dewitt S. Randall Family dentistry 392-1256 INTRODUCING ISSAQUAH PARK PLAZA Presenting the largest and nicest office building in Issaquah. Its grade of finish and amenities place it among the finest in its class in the entire Seattle-Metro market. Flexible lease terms, innovative space plans and convenient access. Pleasant, Productive Working Environment Designer coordinated professional space planning 2 man offices up to 24,000 sq. ft. Full service Security Sprinkler system Ample parking Close to parks, recreation, fine entertainment and motel accommodations LEASE INFORMATION Contact Rick Ryerson 454-76t3 ISSAOUAH FABK Robinson-Ryerson Development Construction Services Project r HOME IMPROVING? J Let Lewis Hardware lend a hand.. your one-stop fix-up store LEWIS HARDWARE 95 FRONT $11'. N. ISSAQUAH 392-6919 Browse & Barter "The Store With Something For Everyone'" JEWELRY TOOLS * FURNITURE ANTIQUES COLLECTIBLES " CLOTHING " RECORDS BOOKS 155 E. SUNSET WAY, 188AQUAH '% 392-2424