August 28, 2012
The next stop for the Issaquah Valley Trolley is downtown Issaquah.
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.
August 22, 2012
NEW — 5 p.m. Aug. 22, 2012
Issaquah Valley Trolley Project organizers said a 1925 streetcar is due to return to Issaquah on Thursday after a monthslong restoration in Iowa.
August 14, 2012
Quietly, after a decadeslong coal and timber boom fueled expansion, passenger rail service to Issaquah ceased 90 years ago.
July 24, 2012
Before the Salmon Days Festival turned into a Pacific Northwest icon, organizers turned to a bona fide Pacific Northwest icon in 1970 to lead a parade at the celebration.
The clown J.P. Patches, a mainstay of after-school TV for generations of Seattle-area children, and sidekick Gertrude marched in the initial Salmon Days parade before a 15,000-member crowd.
Chris Wedes, a.k.a. Julius Pierpont Patches, died July 22 after a long battle against multiple myeloma, a blood cancer.
Dressed in a tattered hat and patchwork coat, J.P. Patches resided in a landfill, cavorted alongside the mop-headed Gertrude — played by ex-Marine Bob Newman in lipstick and a Raggedy Ann wig — and introduced TV audiences to a colorful cast of characters as a host on KIRO.
July 24, 2012
Longtime Salmon Days Festival volunteer Robert Wayne Uht died July 15.
Uht, 76, resided in Issaquah for more than 30 years, and served as Salmon Days cochairman and Issaquah Chamber of Commerce board member.
The festival organizer spent hours building floats for the Grande Parade alongside the other cochairman, Dave Bahm. Uht also served the community as a longtime Kiwanis Club of Issaquah member.
Uht and wife Johanna relocated from Issaquah to Sequim 18 years ago. In Sequim, Robert Uht continued the tradition of participation in local celebrations. He served as a ditchwalker — a person walking alongside a parade float — in the Sequim Irrigation Festival.
July 23, 2012
NEW — 11:30 a.m. July 23, 2012
Before the Salmon Days Festival turned into a Pacific Northwest icon, organizers turned to a bona fide Pacific Northwest icon to lead a parade at the celebration.
July 17, 2012
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.
July 10, 2012
July 4 parade has become candy mecca
Before the July 4 Kids, Pets N’ Pride Parade becomes a distant memory, let’s revisit it.
The parade has been a community treasure since its first march down Front Street more than 30 years ago. There just isn’t anything as patriotic as this celebration of families decked out in every conceivable red, white and blue outfit with their fun accessories, all while riding bikes and scooters, walking dogs and rabbits, and waving flags.
Sadly, it has become hard to enjoy it, given the many kids in the middle of the street scrambling for the tossed candy. Read more
July 3, 2012
Rotary International District 5030 — which runs from Mill Creek to Enumclaw — has recently found itself in distinguished company.
The district, which includes the Rotary Club of Issaquah, joins the Gates family, Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen and former Seattle Mariner Jamie Moyer as recipients of the Seattle-King County First Citizen Award for their commitment to community and public service.
Don Oellrich, president of the Rotary Club of Issaquah, said being part of the district that received the award is an honor.
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!)