Boehm’s is set for a tasty night of jazz, chocolate and wine

July 16, 2013

Boehm’s Candies has already begun setting up for the Issaquah Chamber of Commerce’s 25th annual Chocolate, Wine & All That Jazz event July 25.

Held at the Boehm’s Candies gardens for the 25th year in a row, the evening event will see various local restaurants, wineries, breweries, artists and art vendors providing their services. Jazz group The Scott Cossu Trio will perform at the event as well.

Ellen Martin, event and vendor manager, said excitement about the event is a testament to the support from the community.

“It grows each year thanks to community participation,” she said.

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Condition of aging Julius Boehm Pool could shape park bond measure

September 18, 2012

Come summertime, about 1,000 people each day slip into the 84-degree water at Julius Boehm Pool, a fixture in downtown Issaquah for decades.

The crowd is diverse in age and activity — early-morning lap swimmers, senior citizens in water-exercise classes, children for swimming lessons and more. Summer is the busiest time of year for the pool.

The pool is 40 years old — 15 years older than designers intended for the facility — and visitors and employees often encounter signs of age.

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What’s your Issaquah IQ?

June 28, 2012

So, you think you know Issaquah? Is the city just another buttoned-up suburb? Nope. Issaquah is home to more than 30,000 people — and more than a century of secrets. Issaquah anecdotes stretch deep into the past and continue into the 21st century. Look beyond the basics to discover tidbits and trivia.

Test your Issaquah IQ. (Scroll to the bottom to check the answers, but please, no cheating!)

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Made in Issaquah

June 28, 2012

Go ahead, sample some local products.

Boehms Candies

Boehms Candies

In 1956, Julius Boehm opened Boehms Candies in Issaquah, 17 years after the former Olympian fled Nazi-occupied Austria.

The iconic chocolatier offered a taste of Issaquah to chocoholics attracted to the city to see candy makers in action.

Nowadays, the chalet-inspired chocolate factory turns out caramels, cordials, truffles and candy bars in a distinctive gold wrapper.

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120 years of Issaquah

April 24, 2012

Click on the image to view the full-size timeline.

1892

  • Issaquah is founded as Gilman. The city is named for railroad baron Daniel Hunt Gilman.

1893

  • 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.

1895

  • Townsfolk start calling the frontier town Issaquah, or “the sound of water birds” in the language of the American Indians native to the region.

1899

  • State lawmakers approve official name change from Gilman to Issaquah.

1900

  • Wilbur W. Sylvester founds the Bank of Issaquah in a clapboard building.

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Boehm’s chapel captures the essence of the Alps

August 23, 2011

Correction: The chapel is a replica of one in Ilse Maria, not St. Moritz. Julius Boehm could not have seen the Swiss village chapel from Vienna, so he built a replica of the small church that he could see from his Issaquah chalet. The Moroder Studios’ “Christ Washing the Feet of the Disciples” artwork inside the chapel was carved in Italy, unlike the chapel doors. Kirch’l is German for “little church” or “chapel.” The High Alpine Chapel is also known as the Luis Trenker Kirch’l or Luis Trenker Chapel. In addition, the only chocolates that are “discounted” are pieces considered to be “brokens” or “seconds.”

For their wedding last July, Sara and John Henry Bruner were looking for a small, intimate venue that was in their budget and fit their personalities. He happened upon the High Alpine Chapel online.

Rev. Jeanne Dembeck stands at the top of a stair in the chapel, where newlywed couples may pull a rope to ring the brass bell in the steeple. By Greg Farrar

The unassuming website showed only one photo of the 48-person chapel in Issaquah, so the couple made an appointment to check it out. Sara recalled that her Sammamish-based mother wasn’t convinced a chapel on the grounds of Boehm’s Candies existed.

“So many people don’t know about our chapel,” said the Rev. Jeanne Dembeck as she jiggled open the chapel’s double doors, which were imported from Italy.

The unique European key design is one of Dembeck’s favorite parts of the building. The key itself doesn’t have teeth. It has little hole/nub things randomly placed on the flat part.

Dembeck relies mostly on word of mouth advertising to promote the High Alpine Chapel, although a Seattle-based travel agency does connect it with Japanese couples looking for a unique destination wedding.

“It isn’t really ritzy, but to me it is nice and casual,” Dembeck said.

And though it is just 20 minutes east of Seattle and right off Interstate 90, stepping onto the grounds of Boehm’s feels like entering another world.

On the outside, the nondenominational building is a replica of a 12th century chapel in St. Moritz, Switzerland, which still stands today. But on the inside, “It’s all Julius,” said Mindi Reid, a chief tour guide.

Julius Boehm, the founder of Boehm’s Candies, was born in Vienna and grew up with a view of the St. Moritz chapel from his bedroom window. He added the chapel replica to the grounds of his successful Issaquah candy shop in 1981 to memorialize fallen mountain climbers and to honor his mother.

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20 reasons to ♥ Issaquah

July 2, 2011

The spectacular landscape is a reason to love Issaquah. By Connor Lee

Discover 20 reasons to love Issaquah, from the highest Tiger Mountain peak to the Lake Sammamish shoreline, and much more in between. The community includes icons and traits not found anywhere else, all in a postcard-perfect setting. The unique qualities — Issa-qualities? — start at the city’s name and extend into every nook and neighborhood. (The lineup is not arranged in a particular order, because ranking the city’s pre-eminent qualities seems so unfair.)

Salmon Days

The annual salmon-centric celebration is stitched into the city’s fabric. Salmon Days serves as a last hurrah before autumn, a touchstone for old-timers and a magnet for tourists. The street fair consistently ranks among the top destinations in the Evergreen State and, for a time last year, as the best festival on earth — in the $250,000-to-$749,000 budget category, anyway.

Issaquah Alps

The majestic title for the forested peaks surrounding the city, the Issaquah Alps, is a catchall term for Cougar, Squak and Tiger mountains. (Credit the late mountaineer and conservationist Harvey Manning for the sobriquet.) The setting is a playground for outdoors enthusiasts. Trails — some official and others less so — for hikers, bikers and equestrians crisscross the mountains, like haphazard tic-tac-toe patterns.

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Major renovation for aging Julius Boehm Pool is a priority

May 17, 2011

The long-discussed plan to redo the outdated Julius Boehm Pool inched ahead May 14, as City Council members listed priorities for 2012 — a key step in determining how leaders decide to spend next year.

In addition to confronting increased maintenance costs as the pool ages, a 2009 city-commissioned study declared the facility as inadequate for the community.

“We’ve gone to tactical mode,” Council President John Traeger said. “We’ve got to fix the pool.”

The pool emerged as a major focus early in the session, as council members and department chiefs gathered in a map-lined Public Works Operations Building conference room. Other priorities included downtown parking, economic development and Lake Sammamish State Park.

The price tag to expand and upgrade the downtown Boehm Pool in a major renovation is estimated at $21 million. Other options could cost less.

The popular pool no longer meets demand for high school and club swim teams, recreational swimmers and children’s swimming lessons due to its age and other factors. Still, passing a municipal bond to salvage the facility might be a tough sell.

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Julius Boehm Pool upgrade is City Council priority

May 14, 2011

NEW — 5 p.m. May 14, 2011

The long-discussed plan to redo outdated Julius Boehm Pool inched ahead Saturday, as City Council members listed priorities for 2012 — a key step in determining how leaders decide to spend next year.

In addition to confronting increased maintenance costs as Boehm Pool ages, a 2009 city-commissioned study declared the facility as inadequate for the community.

“We’ve gone to tactical mode,” Council President John Traeger said. “We’ve got to fix the pool.”

The pool emerged as a major focus early in the session, as council members and department chiefs gathered in a map-lined Public Works Operations Building conference room. Other priorities included downtown parking, economic development and Lake Sammamish State Park.

The price tag to expand and upgrade downtown Boehm Pool in a major renovation is estimated at $21 million.

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Treat yourself right

June 29, 2010

On hot days, reach for the coolest treats Issaquah has to offer

Judy Sanchez, Gina Fernandez and Mari McCann (from left) serve up a famous Triple XXX super-sized root beer float. By Greg Farrar

Summer, glorious summer, means fat ice cream bars at Boehm’s Candies, enough Triple XXX Root Beer to float a battleship and ample pints at the Issaquah Brewhouse.

Summertime makes for a great excuse to sample quintessential delights from the classic Issaquah joints. Bonus: On blistering days, the treats offer respite from the heat.

Forget the drizzle and damp. Forget calorie counts. Indulge in something cool — and a little nostalgic. Hey, it’s summer.

Float on

Triple XXX Rootbeer Drive-in stands as a monument to the era before interstates and drive-thrus. Behind the barrel-shaped façade, the Enciso family serves big burgers portioned for Fred Flintstone, canoe-sized sundaes and enough flavors of shakes to put Baskin-Robbins to shame.

The titular attraction reigns supreme: root beer served in a frosted mug as big as a medieval tankard. Upgrade to a root-beer float and the potion comes crowned with whipped cream and a scoop of vanilla ice cream as big as a baseball.

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