Issaquah History Museums unveils oral history treasure trove

August 28, 2012

For decades, old cassette tapes sat squirreled away in the Issaquah History Museums’ expansive collection.

The cassettes, long relegated to gathering dust, contained oral histories from early residents and intimate details about a bygone era — Issaquah in the early 20th century, as a coal- and timber-fueled boom started to wane and decades before explosive growth transformed the area into subdivisions and shopping centers.

The cassettes in the oral history collection ranged in date from 1958 to 1993, but little information accompanied the tapes, so museum staffers and volunteers could only speculate about the contents.

Until now.

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Issaquah Valley Trolley is back on track, poised to return

August 14, 2012

The historic Issaquah Valley Trolley Car No. 519 undergoes renovation at the Gomaco Trolley Co. facility in Ida Grove, Iowa. Contributed by Gomaco Trolley Co.

Quietly, after a decadeslong coal and timber boom fueled expansion, passenger rail service to Issaquah ceased 90 years ago.

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Issaquah trolley project experiences milestones, setbacks

August 14, 2012

Issaquah Valley Trolley Project organizers have experienced milestones and setbacks since spearheading the project to bring a historic trolley to Issaquah a dozen years ago.

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Issaquah Salmon Hatchery history is focus of 75th anniversary program

July 17, 2012

Friends of the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery
The historic Issaquah Salmon Hatchery started raising salmon along Issaquah Creek in 1937.

The iconic Issaquah Salmon Hatchery is celebrating 75 years, and to mark the occasion, the Issaquah History Museums is educating residents about the downtown facility — a lifesaver for countless salmon since the 1930s.

Conservationists and longtime Issaquah residents credit the hatchery for restoring the historic Issaquah Creek salmon runs after decades of logging and mining damaged the creek and surrounding watershed.

The program is among a series of events to commemorate the 1937 hatchery opening.

Jane Kuechle, Friends of the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery executive director, plans to offer attendees a glimpse at the hatchery from throughout the decades.

“It’ll be a past, present, future kind of presentation,” said Laile Di Silvestro, Issaquah History Museums program coordinator.

In 1936, Works Progress Administration crews started to build the hatchery complex on a former city park and bandstand.

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Saloon stories recount mayhem, carnage and chaos

June 28, 2012

Patrons celebrate the opening of the Union Tavern. The building that housed the establishment was repurposed as a restaurant before it was demolished in 2000 to make room for the Issaquah Library. Contributed by Issaquah History Museums

Pistol duels. Free-for-all brawls. Bombings.

These are just a few standout bar stories that permeate Issaquah’s rich history and its favorite drinking establishments along the way.

Many of the early hotels — if not every hotel — in the area would have had a drinking establishment associated with the business as Issaquah became established as a municipality.

“They knew that whenever the miners did get home, they were going to want to get a beer, to get a drink they enjoyed,” said Issaquah History Museums Executive Director Erica Maniez. “It made sense to have them right there in the boarding house, or they could walk down the block and go to a saloon.”

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Celebrate Independence Day in Issaquah with parade

June 26, 2012

Fireworks are banned in Issaquah and surrounding areas, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of ways to celebrate Independence Day.

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Issaquah hosts forum to focus on employment

June 12, 2012

Citizens can join state legislators and business leaders soon at a local forum to discuss the dearth of young adult employment in Washington.

The employment rate is only 43 percent for young adults age 16 to 24 in Washington — the ninth-lowest in the United States, according to government labor statistics. Community Forums Network is hosting forums and promoting a survey to collect feedback on how to fix the problem.

The local forum is hosted by the Issaquah Chamber of Commerce, Issaquah History Museums and Community Forums Network.

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Employment is focus for state legislators, business leaders at Issaquah forum

June 4, 2012

NEW — 12:30 p.m. June 4, 2012

Citizens can join state legislators and business leaders soon at a local forum to discuss the dearth of young adult employment in Washington.

The employment rate is only 43 percent for young adults age 16 to 24 in Washington — the ninth-lowest in the United States, according to government labor statistics. Community Forums Network is hosting forums and promoting a survey to collect feedback on how to fix the problem.

The local forum is hosted by the Issaquah Chamber of Commerce, Issaquah History Museums and Community Forums Network. The event scheduled for 3:30 p.m. June 14 at the Issaquah Train Depot, 50 Rainier Blvd. N.

The forum is free and open to the public. RSVP and find more information at the Community Forums Network website about the event.

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Online survey benefits Issaquah History Museums

May 22, 2012

Citizens can help the Issaquah History Museums earn a grant by completing a survey online and then forwarding the link to others.

The nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving local history is participating in a program to earn up to a $2,000 grant from Community Forums Network and Dick’s Drive-In Restaurants.

The participating organizations help Community Forums Network gather information. The network then awards grants based on how many people complete the survey and designate a particular organization as a beneficiary.

The survey topic is young adult employment. The survey includes a topic video featuring interviews with state Attorney General Rob McKenna, former U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee, state Sen. Jim Kastama and state Rep. Cary Condotta.

The survey takes about 15 to 20 minutes to complete. Find the survey at www.communityforumsnetwork.org/take-survey. Incomplete surveys do not count for the beneficiaries.

The museums received $100 last year after encouraging citizens to participate in a previous survey.

Who’s News

May 22, 2012

Issaquah History Museums director wins county award

The Association of King County Historical Organizations recently honored Erica Maniez for her long-term leadership of the Issaquah History Museums.

The association chose Maniez for its 2012 Willard Jue Memorial Award, citing her 12 years of work in locating and digitally cataloging items for the museums’ collections, capturing oral histories of longtime Issaquah residents, providing local schoolchildren with educational programs and tours, and writing two books about local history.

King County Councilman Larry Phillips presented the award to Maniez at a ceremony at the Museum of History & Industry in Seattle.

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