Experience 40 years of Issaquah History Museums milestones

October 9, 2012

In 40 years, the Issaquah History Museums has experienced numerous milestones.

  • 1972 — Issaquah Historical Society is founded.
  • 1972 — Issaquah Historical Society leases Gilman Town Hall from city.
  • 1973 — Gilman Town Hall opens as organization’s historical center.
  • 1983 — Society negotiates purchase of Issaquah Train Depot from city.
  • 1985 — Ground is broken on depot restoration project.
  • 1985 — Work on Gilman Town Hall remodel starts.
  • 1989 — Weyerhaeuser Corp. donates caboose to the organization.
  • 1992 — Issaquah Train Depot is added to the National Register of Historic Places.
  • 2004 — Issaquah Historical Society changes name to Issaquah History Museums.
  • 2005 — Puget Sound Energy donates historic Alexander House to the museums. The organization later donates the building to the Issaquah Chamber of Commerce for offices.
  • 2006 — Museums’ oral history project captures the stories and memories of about 25 narrators.
  • 2012 — Refurbished Issaquah Valley Trolley Project streetcar returns to Issaquah for service.

Downtown Issaquah Valley Trolley starts service soon

October 8, 2012

Issaquah Valley Trolley Car No. 519 stops at the Issaquah Train Depot. Contributed from Issaquah Valley Trolley Project

NEW — 8 a.m. Oct. 8, 2012

The long-planned Issaquah Valley Trolley is due to start service Oct. 14, as organizers start limited service after more than a decade of planning.

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Salmon Days Festival returns to downtown Issaquah

October 2, 2012

A chinook tries to surmount the weir Sept. 28 at the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery. By Greg Farrar

The ode to salmon migration, Issaquah’s iconic Salmon Days Festival, returns to downtown Issaquah on Oct. 6-7.

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Issaquah Open Mic night steams to train depot

September 25, 2012

Doug Browning knew he had a good thing going with open mic night. Now if only he could convince the owner of a venue to give his event a permanent home.

After a virtual game of musical chairs in locations in restaurants around town, Browning believes his group has struck a deal to keep a musical evening for amateur singers in a permanent home for the foreseeable future.

The Downtown Issaquah Association is now co-sponsoring the event along with the Issaquah History Museums and the Issaquah Valley Senior Center, Browning said.

It was much like a three-team trade — the open mic guys get to use the depot museum and the history museums gets to use the senior center in return. Everybody wins.

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StoneFest comes to downtown ArtWalk

September 4, 2012

See stone carvers in action as StoneFest comes to ArtWalk and downtown Issaquah.

The annual event — presented by longtime local business Marenakos Rock Center — includes public events Sept. 7 at ArtWalk and Sept. 8.

Participants can see stone artists conduct carving demonstrations and display works at the historic Issaquah Train Depot, 50 Rainier Blvd. N., during ArtWalk. The free event runs from 5-8 p.m. at downtown Issaquah businesses and venues.

The following day, passers-by can admire the works and talk to stone carvers.

StoneFest is a gathering for people involved in building, designing, carving and creating objects with natural stone. Find the StoneFest daily schedule at www.stonefest.org.

Trolley returns, and supporters prepare for rides to start in October

August 28, 2012

The next stop for the Issaquah Valley Trolley is downtown Issaquah.

Traffic is stopped at Front Street North and Northwest Dogwood Street as the restored Issaquah Valley Trolley Project car makes its way to the Issaquah Train Depot barn. By Greg Farrar

On Aug. 23, a vintage streetcar completed a 1,659-mile trip from Ida Grove, Iowa, to Issaquah aboard a specialized flatbed trailer. The arrival marked a milestone in the $744,700 effort to refurbish the vehicle, restore downtown railroad track and prepare the streetscape for streetcar traffic.

Organizers plan to start offering rides to the public starting Oct. 14, a day after a celebration for the Issaquah History Museums’ 40th anniversary. The planned route stretches about a half-mile from the Issaquah Train Depot to the East Fork of Issaquah Creek at Darigold.

“It looked every bit as good as we expected it to — and probably better,” Issaquah Valley Trolley Project Chairwoman Jean Cerar said. “If you gave it just a cursory glance, actually, it kind of looked like the car that left, only brighter.”

Crews repainted the streetcar in the same cream-and-red color scheme, but beneath the surface, workers installed modern systems and revamped the battered interior. The result “has that new trolley smell to it,” Cerar said.

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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 Train Depot film series presents ‘Bluebeard’

July 10, 2012

The popular Films @ the Train Depot! series includes Hollywood classics and stars from a bygone era.

The next entry in the popular series is “Bluebeard” from 1944. In the film, John Carradine stars as Gaston, a puppeteer — and a wanted serial killer. Gaston has high expectations for his models, and he strangles them if they fail to please him. Model Lucille (Jean Parker) vows to bring the monster to justice.

The film plays at 7 p.m. July 14 at the historic Issaquah Train Depot, 50 Rainier Blvd. N. The program is free, due to support from the city Arts Commission and the King County cultural agency 4Culture.

Since the film program launched in October 2009, it has featured series of Bing Crosby films, train-themed films, films set in Washington and noir classics.

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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