History of Issaquah-Fall City Road documented, now online

March 23, 2010

By Staff

After more than a year of on-the-road and in-the-archives research, the King County Road Services Division has compiled the history of Issaquah-Fall City Road. Find the information on a Web site packed with maps, photos, facts, and a mile-by-mile guide to the corridor.

The effort marks the completion of the county Historic and Scenic Corridors Project.

“County roads have always been important links to regional and community history, and this project resulted in a wealth of material that helps explain not only our transportation history, but also our human history here in King County,” county Road Services Division Linda Dougherty said in a news release.

The road division partnered with the county cultural services agency, 4Culture, and the King County Historic Preservation Program.

The grant-funded project documented the stories of more than 100 years of transportation development in the region and identified the most significant historic transportation corridors left in unincorporated King County. The county included nine corridors in the study.

Flo Lentz, preservation lead for 4Culture, said the project put the agency in close day-to-day contact with the landscapes, buildings and people near local roadways.

“King County has changed so radically in recent years, but on these corridors there is still a palpable feeling of an earlier time in the Pacific Northwest,” she said in the release.

The old Issaquah-Fall City Road connected the farms of the lower Snoqualmie Valley to the coalmines of Renton via the village of Squak, known today as Issaquah. Nowadays, the road skirts subdivisions and meanders through rolling pastures and forested slopes. The road alignment on certain sections between Duthie Hill and Fall City remains almost unchanged from 1883.

Last year, the King County Landmarks Commission chose several corridors as community landmarks. The honorary recognitions do not carry any associated land-use regulations, and the designation does not limit the ability to improve the roads in the future.

“Recognition of these significant corridors by the King County Department of Transportation is a significant milestone in the county’s stewardship of historic properties — I know of no other such local program in the United States,” King County Landmarks Commission Chairwoman Lauren McCroskey said in the release.

Find the road’s history here.

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