Unlock the Issaquah History Museums’ secrets

February 21, 2012

Issaquah History Museums Executive Director Erica Maniez leans against a historic road sign at the Gilman Town Hall Museum. By Greg Farrar

Find hidden treasures from the past in the city’s unofficial ‘attic’

There are 8,359. And counting.

That’s how many artifacts, including 3-D objects and an array of documents, make up the Issaquah History Museums’ collection.

With 7,111 photos to complement the collection, there’s no better place to get a sense of what makes Issaquah, well, Issaquah.

Among the items are rare finds — an unusual Native American trading knife buried beneath the floor of an Issaquah business or a logger’s skidding cone made right here by the town blacksmith.

Some are specific to this area, such as an early 1900s billboard — discovered later facedown in a ditch — advertising the latest and greatest in Issaquah merchants, medical care and goods.

But while each item lays claim to its own history and back story, every artifact weaves into a fabric that tells a story of who we are as a community, how we came to be and even where we’re going in the future.

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Issaquah balloons from small town to boomtown

February 21, 2012

Most citizens did not need a decennial update from the U.S. Census Bureau to recognize Issaquah as a boomtown.

The dramatic increase in population is a recent phenomenon.

Issaquah started as a pinpoint on maps, a remote hamlet in the rough-and-tumble Washington Territory.

Even as Seattle boomed amid World War II and into the postwar era, Issaquah did not crest 4,000 people until the late 1960s.

The population growth continued at a deliberate pace until a Microsoft-powered population explosion caused Issaquah and other Eastside cities to expand as the last century barreled to a close.

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Buyers discover golden keepsakes

December 27, 2011

THR buyer Noah Williams shows off a 1960s Gibson guitar purchased during a gold, silver and memorabilia buying event at the Holiday Inn of Issaquah. By Tom Corrigan

Early the morning of Dec. 21, the buyers for THR and Associates were at least temporarily on their own inside a meeting room of the Holiday Inn of Issaquah.

A national buyer of precious metal and collectibles, THR was in town Dec. 19-23 to offer those wishing to divest themselves of possibly worthwhile but unneeded items a chance to earn money for those items.

THR is the same group that produces the Treasure Hunters Roadshow TV show.

Standing by a table filled mostly with jewelry and watches, THR buyer Noah Williams said the company usually provides him with about $500,000 to spend on items during a stop such as that at the local Holiday Inn. Tough economic times and current high prices for gold and silver are driving sellers to such companies as THR, Williams said.

He added the Issaquah buying event was a lot busier earlier in the week, but sellers were still arriving in small numbers as Christmas approached.

As of mid-week, Williams said the star item purchased was undoubtedly a 1961 Gibson electric guitar. He placed the full value of the instrument at about $8,000, saying the seller had left with a check for $7,500.

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Issaquah resident’s book commemorates Pearl Harbor anniversary

December 6, 2011

 Jerry Kaufman sits at his work desk, on which is spread out an early proof of his book, ‘Renewal at The Place of Black Tears,’ and the Nikon D300 plus 18-200mm lens with which he shot the images at the USS Arizona Memorial. By Greg Farrar

The shimmering layer on the crystalline water is called “black tears” — a relic and a reminder from the attack on the USS Arizona at Pearl Harbor.

The shipwreck leaks more than a quart of oil each day and stains the harbor near the blinding white memorial to the sailors entombed below.

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Wanted: Issaquah-area residents’ Pearl Harbor memories

November 29, 2011

The attacks on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on Dec. 7, 1941, propelled the United States’ entry into World War II and reshaped history.

In addition to the tragedies in Hawaii, the attack left indelible memories for people across the nation, including in Issaquah.

Now, as the attacks’ 70th anniversary approaches, The Issaquah Press is seeking Pearl Harbor memories from local residents about how the events impacted them for upcoming coverage of the milestone.

Email your contact information to editor@isspress.com by Dec. 2, or contact the newspaper on Twitter at www.twitter.com/issaquahpress, or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/issaquahpress.

Issaquah-area residents’ Pearl Harbor memories wanted

November 22, 2011

The attacks on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on Dec. 7, 1941, propelled the United States’ entry into World War II and reshaped history.

In addition to the tragedies in Hawaii, the attack left indelible memories for people across the nation, including in Issaquah.

Now, as the attacks’ 70th anniversary approaches, The Issaquah Press is seeking Pearl Harbor memories from local residents about how the events impacted them for upcoming coverage of the milestone.

Email your contact information to editor@isspress.com by Dec. 2, or contact the newspaper on Twitter at www.twitter.com/issaquahpress, or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/issaquahpress.

‘Annie Get Your Gun’ actor hitches show to composer Irving Berlin

November 22, 2011

Josh Feinsilber (left), as Little Jake, Analiese Emerson Guettinger, Maggie Barry and Vicki Noon star in ‘Annie Get Your Gun’ at Village Theatre. By Jay Koh/Village Theatre

“Annie Get Your Gun” at Village Theatre is connected to Irving Berlin by more than just the score.

The connection between the local staging and the storied composer is Josh Feinsilber, 10, the actor and Issaquah Highlands resident playing Little Jake, a pint-sized assistant to the show’s sharpshooter and heroine, Annie Oakley.

Josh’s great-grandfather, Joe Feldman, penned a song for touring musicians at the tail end of the Great Depression.

“Irving Berlin’s film featured one of my numbers by a big band coast-to-coast, and stated that ‘the local lad writes at least four hits a year or considers the year wasted,’” Feldman told The Washington Post in 1938.

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Off the Press

November 22, 2011

Not all turkey legs are enjoyed equally

Bob Taylor Press sports editor

Ever since Issaquah Salmon Days, I have often been asked by people in the community how I enjoyed that turkey leg.

They were referring to a Salmon Days story written by Issaquah Press reporter Dave Hayes, our staff gourmet. Dave interviewed people who were dining on some of that scrumptious cuisine that is always at Salmon Days. One person he interviewed was Bob Taylor, who apparently enjoyed gnawing on a turkey leg.

That Bob Taylor was not I.

There is no way, and I reiterate, there is no way a turkey leg gets to my chops on Thanksgiving or any day.

I do not enjoy turkey legs, or even chicken legs, for that matter.

It has everything to do with my childhood. When I was just a little lad, every Thanksgiving my mother would put a turkey leg on my plate.

“You will enjoy this,” she would say.

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U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert honors Issaquah veterans

November 15, 2011

U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert (left) greets World War II veteran and University House Issaquah resident Eugene Klineburger on Nov. 10. By Greg Farrar

The day before the United States paused to honor veterans, attention focused on the greatest generation and the sacrifices members made to fight and win World War II.

The early Veterans Day observance in Issaquah included a visit from a congressman and a chance to share stories about the long-ago conflict.

Jack Yusen served aboard the USS Samuel B. Roberts amid World War II, until Japanese forces sunk the destroyer escort in the Battle of Leyte Gulf — the largest naval battle during World War II. Some sailors survived the attack only to bob in the shark-infested Philippine Sea until rescuers arrived days later.

“We had no water, no medicines, no food,” Yusen said Nov. 10. “If one of the guys got bit by a shark, we’d push him away, because the blood made other sharks come. It was horrible. I was 18 years old, but we survived.”

U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert met Yusen and about 15 other veterans at University House Issaquah, a retirement facility, to pay tribute to veterans from World War II and other conflicts. In a brief speech, the congressman called on others to acknowledge veterans’ sacrifices and service. (The National World War II Museum estimates about 1,000 veterans of the conflict die each day.)

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Veterans receive salute at Issaquah ceremony

November 15, 2011

A World War II Navy veteran, Paul Miller has been through his share of Veterans Day celebrations.

Issaquah High School Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps members present a 21-gun salute to close the Veterans Day celebration at the Issaquah Valley Senior Center on Nov. 11. See a slideshow of photos at www.issaquahpress.com. By Tom Corrigan

Not surprisingly, he still thinks those remembrances are important and worthwhile.

“We need to pay our respects and honor those who have served and … especially those who made that ultimate sacrifice,” he said following the 45-minute commemoration at the Issaquah Valley Senior Center on Veterans Day.

The ceremony ended with a 21-gun salute provided by the Issaquah High School Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps.

“Veterans do not take life for granted,” said veteran and Issaquah City Councilman Fred Butler, who presented the keynote talk during the event. “They know that duty and sacrifice are more than words.”

Butler said the country has a new breed of veterans in those returning from often multiple tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“Too many veterans with real skills cannot find jobs in this economy,” he said.

He urged those listening to get to know those new veterans and help and hire them if possible.

Issaquah Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 3436, led by David Waggoner, presented the Veterans Day event. For his part, Waggoner’s talk highlighted an Issaquah vet he believes deserves more attention then she has gotten so far.

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