120 years of Issaquah
April 24, 2012
- Issaquah is founded as Gilman. The city is named for railroad baron Daniel Hunt Gilman.
- The postmaster called for mail sent to Gilman to be addressed to Olney, Wash., to avoid confusion between Gilman and Gilmer, another city in the state.
- Townsfolk start calling the frontier town Issaquah, or “the sound of water birds” in the language of the American Indians native to the region.
- State lawmakers approve official name change from Gilman to Issaquah.
- Wilbur W. Sylvester founds the Bank of Issaquah in a clapboard building.
- The precursor to Darigold, Northwestern Milk Condensing Co., starts operations.
- The imposing Bank of Issaquah opens downtown. (The building remains in use as Museo Art Academy.)
- Fischer’s Market, a butcher shop, opens. (Fischer Meats is still in business along Front Street North.)
- The first concrete sidewalk is poured in Issaquah.
- The first class graduates from Issaquah High School — Mary Gibson, Olive (Gibson) Bayh and Mabel (Ek) Brady. The first men graduated from the school in 1916.
- The first car is shipped to Issaquah by rail and later assembled.
- Issaquah Theatre opens. (Village Theatre later occupied the space and rebuilt the structure in 2010-11.)
- World War I starts in Europe, but the United States does not enter the conflict until April 1917.
- Issaquah residents Peter Erickson, a U.S. Army private, and Carl Albert Larson, a U.S. Army corporal, die in France. Erickson perishes Aug. 10 and Larson perishes Oct. 9.
- World War I ends Nov. 11.
- Grand Ridge Mine ceases coal-mining operations.
- Railroad passenger service to Issaquah is discontinued.
- Issaquah Round-up is held to celebrate the Fourth of July. (The annual celebration returns until at least 1931.)
- Issaquah hosts Washington’s largest-ever Ku Klux Klan rally — attracting 13,000 attendees — near the modern-day Issaquah Transit Center site.
- Fire destroys Bratnober Lumber Co. — as well as a hotel, railroad depot, a post office and 50 company houses — along Lake Sammamish.
- Leaders pass a city ordinance requiring all sidewalks to be made from concrete.
- City residents celebrate inaugural Labor Day festivities.
- Issaquah Salmon Hatchery opens as a Works Progress Administration project.
- World War II starts as Nazi Germany invades Poland.
- Lake Washington Floating Bridge opens, connecting the Eastside to Seattle as never before.
- Japanese forces attack Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, prompting the United States’ entry into World War II.
- By the time the war ends, Issaquah loses 13 residents in military service.
- World War II ends after U.S. forces drop atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and Japan surrenders.
- A magnitude-7.0 earthquake centered near Olympia rattles Issaquah and the Puget Sound region, causing more than $25 million in damage.
- Issaquah dedicates a memorial to World War I and World War II veterans who lost their lives.
- Chocolatier and former Olympian Julius Boehm opens Boehms Candies.
- Nike Ajax missile site — a Cold War deterrent to nuclear attack — comes online atop Cougar Mountain.
- Issaquah Chamber of Commerce offers Lake Sammamish State Park as possible Seattle World’s Fair site.
- Issaquah Train Depot closes.
- Issaquah Skyport — a center for skydiving, gliding and hot air ballooning — is leased and the Seattle Sky Sports Club is founded.
- U.S. military deactivates Nike Ajax missile site atop Cougar Mountain.
- A magnitude-6.5 earthquake, centered the near the epicenter of the 1949 temblor, shakes the region, causing about $12.5 million in damage.
- The modern Triple XXX Rootbeer Drive-in opens. (The iconic drive-in remains open at the same location nowadays.)
- Salmon Days Festival starts, replacing the earlier Labor Day celebration.
- The stately Gibson House, home of former Mayor W.E. Gibson, is razed, leading preservationists to focus on the remaining historic structures in Issaquah.
- Issaquah Historical Society forms.
- Developers start saving and relocating historic structures to form the Gilman Village shopping center.
- Notorious serial killer Ted Bundy abducts Janice Ott and Denise Naslund from Lake Sammamish State Park.
- Issaquah railroad trestle is dismantled as crews construct Interstate 90.
- Village Theatre opens in the old Issaquah Theatre and presents “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.”
- Issaquah Alps Trails Club forms, spearheading environmental preservation of Cougar, Squak and Tiger mountains.
- Issaquah Historical Society members encourage city to purchase and restore Issaquah Train Depot.
- Issaquah Skyport closes, setting off a fierce debate about how to use the open space in the future.
- Issaquah Creek floods repeatedly, causing significant damage to surrounding businesses and homes.
- Issaquah Farmers Market debuts downtown. (The market later relocated to the Pickering Farm site.)
- Issaquah Alps Trails Club members march from Snoqualmie Pass to Seattle to advocate for a greenbelt along Interstate 90.
- Planning starts for a Port Blakely Communities urban village on Grand Ridge.
- Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust, a nonprofit group dedicated to preserving open space along Interstate 90, is formed.
- Friends of the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery forms after state considers closure of historic hatchery.
- Issaquah Creek floods, leading to changes in city flood policies and efforts to reduce flood risks.
- Costco completes relocation of corporate headquarters from Kirkland to Issaquah.
- Construction starts on Grand Ridge urban village, called the Issaquah Highlands.
- Residents settle into homes in the Issaquah Highlands.
- Leaders approve a development agreement to build a Cougar Mountain urban village.
- Modern City Hall and Issaquah Police Department building opens along East Sunset Way.
- A magnitude-6.8 earthquake rattles the region for 45 seconds.
- Residents start to move into homes in the Cougar Mountain urban village, Talus.
- The $8.2 million, 15,000-square-foot Issaquah Library opens along West Sunset Way.
- Issaquah Valley Trolley starts inaugural run along long-unused downtown tracks. (The restoration process continues to bring the trolley back on a permanent basis.)
- Floods drench the region and cause Issaquah Creek to overflow into surrounding land.
- City Council members pull the plug on the Southeast Bypass, a proposed roadway across Tiger Mountain.
- Issaquah and Tibbetts creeks flood, causing about $1 million in damage.
- Reconstruction starts on Issaquah High School.
- Issaquah surpasses 30,000 residents in the 2010 Census.
- Rebuilt Issaquah High School opens to students.
- Swedish/Issaquah, the first new hospital on the Eastside since the 1970s, opens to patients.
- Issaquah celebrates 120 years.
Other Stories of Interest: 1962 Seattle World's Fair, Boehm's Candies, Century 21 Exposition, Cold War, Costco, Cougar Mountain, Darigold, earthquakes, Fischer Meats, flooding, Fourth of July, Friends of the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery, Gilman Village, Independence Day, Interstate 90, Issaquah Alps Trails Club, Issaquah Chamber of Commerce, Issaquah City Hall, Issaquah Creek, Issaquah Farmers Market, Issaquah High School, Issaquah Highlands, Issaquah History Museums, Issaquah Police Department, Issaquah Salmon Hatchery, Issaquah Skyport, Issaquah Train Depot, Issaquah Valley Trolley Project, Julius Boehm, Labor Day, Lake Sammamish, Mountains to Sound Greenway, Nike Ajax, Port Blakely Communities, Salmon Days Festival, Southeast Bypass, Swedish/Issaquah, Talus, Tibbetts Creek, Tiger Mountain, Triple XXX Rootbeer Drive-in, Village Theatre, World War I, World War II