Quasquicentennial: Issaquah’s 125th

On April 29, the City of Issaquah kicked off a year-long celebration of Issaquah, in honor of the town’s  quasquicentennial – or 125th birthday! The festivities will include a time capsule full of things that symbolize Issaquah as it is today. The time capsule will eventually rest beneath one of the school cornerstones behind the Gilman Town Hall, and will be opened in 2092 for Issaquah’s bicentennial celebration.

A time capsule is a great way to represent Issaquah as it is right now. The Issaquah History Museums are creating their own digital time capsule, filled with 125 things from Issaquah’s past. For each year since Issaquah’s incorporation, we are sharing a photograph, artifact, oral history, article, or other history-related goody. Follow up on Facebook to see these posts immediately, or visit this page.

And remember: it’s your history, Issaquah. We’re just keeping it for you.

Today’s Post


In 1932, Stella May Alexander, Issaquah’s first woman mayor, was elected. To learn more about her, visit http://www.historylink.org/File/8474.

Stella Alexander on the day of her installation in office, 1932. [IHM]

Stella Alexander


Donna Pedegana in her senior portrait, 1948.


In 1930, following the crash of 1929, the nation is plunged into a Great Depression. Like others nationwide, Issaquah residents are impacted by the Depression in a variety of ways. #Issaquah125

Issaquah Kiwanis 75 Years


In 1929, the Kiwanis Club of Issaquah is formed in 1929 – and continues to service the Issaquah community to this day. #Issaquah125

Issaquah Valley Dairy truck with driver [IHM 2011.035.001]


In 1928, Henry Bergsma founds the Issaquah Valley Dairy, which delivered milk throughout the area until the dairy farm closed in 1962.. #Issaquah125



In 1927, this group of Issaquah High thespians poses for a picture. Stage make-up and costuming suggest that the play may have featured pirates or gypsies – or both. #Issaquah125



The IHS Exhaust was a regular publication of Issaquah High School. This 1926 issue publicizes an upcoming concert, discusses school spirit, and reminds students of appropriate stairway safety, among other topics. #Issaquah125



By 1925, the Issaquah Depot is closed to passenger service, largely because automobiles are becoming more widespread. One stage, operated by Lorenzo Francis, has a regular stop in front of the Grand Central Hotel. #Issaquah125



In 1924, Andy Wold opens his hardware store in the Wold Building. The Wold Building still exists today, on the northeastern corner of Front & Sunset. #Issaquah125

Bill Evans


In 1923, Bill Evans is born in Issaquah, WA. Bill lived most of his life in Issaquah, and he participated in a 2006 oral history project shortly before his death. Bill’s easygoing nature, flair for telling stories, and affection for his hometown are all evident in the interiew. #Issaquah125

From the December 31, 1922 Seattle Times.


In 1922, Elsie Wendt, the wife of an Issaquah miner, makes the papers when she goes to the mines to learn her husband’s job. #Issaquah125

John Fischer Cash Market with a 1920s era truck. [IHM]


In the early 1920s, John Fisher Cash Market, precursor to Fischer Meats, opens. #Issaquah125

Ben Legg


In 1920, Ben Legg made a name for himself in the Seattle newspapers. Read about the real person behind “Bad Ben Legg.” #Issaquah125

Livestock in downtown Issaquah. [IHM 72-21-14-90b]


In 1919, an ordinance is passed prohibiting cattle from running at large in the streets. Violators are subject to fines as high as $25. #Issaquah125

Jake Schomber and Minnie Wilson, circa 1917


Minnie Wilson and her sweetheart, Jake Schomber, wrote to each other during the time he was in the army. This dramatic scene from their love story took place in 1918. . #Issaquah125

Alvo von Alvensleben


In1917 Alvo von Albensleben, manager of the Issaquah & Superior Mine, is named as a suspected spy after the United States became involved in World War I. Albensleben and his family were interned for years beyond the end of World War I. #Issaquah125

Circa 1916 photo of Nikko family. [IHM 2001.022.001]


In 1916, this photograph of the Nikko family is taken. The Nikkos are one of a number of Finnish immigrants who found their way to the Issaquah area to settle. #Issaquah125



In 1915, George W. Tibbetts drafts the bill for a Snoqualmie Pass highway and pushes it through state legislature. #Issaquah125

April 141914 Seattle Times


In1914, in an effort to convince county officials that the north end of Issaquah is in need of a drainage system, Issaquahns bring a great number of frogs to a meeting at the Town Hall to prove their point. #Issaquah125

Alvo von Alvensleben


In 1913, Issaquah & Superior Coal Company begins operations under the management of the colorful German Alvo von Albensleben. #Issaquah125

Issaquah High School graduates, 1911. Left to right: Mary Gibson, Olive Gibson, and Mabel Ek.


In1911, the first three graduates of Issaquah High School receive their diplomas; Issaquah’s newest high school is named after these three young women. #Issaquah125

Letter from John Neukirchen to Superintendent, Northern Pacific Railway Company. January 4, 1910.


In1910, John Neukirchen seeks to have a rail spur built just south of town for use by the Neukirchen Brothers Mill. A collection of railroad documents chronicles the challenges both the Neukirchens and the Northern Pacific encounter in this seemingly simple request. #Issaquah125



In 1909, the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition opens. This pass allows George Day to see the Exposition for up to seven days #Issaquah125

Paul Koss


In 1907, Paul Koss is born to Austro-Hungarian immigrants. He lived in Issaquah for more than 99 years, and participated in a Memory Book project in 2000. #Issaquah125

The Drylie Family


In 1906, John Drylie serves as Town Marshal. Issaquah’s marshalls didn’t receive much in the way of formal training, and were responsible for things like herding cattle out of the street and replacing light bulbs in the street lights. #Issaquah125



In 1905, someone creates this wallet, which eventually finds its way into the collections of the Issaquah History Museums. Who was Ricardo? What do the B and C stand for? There are still many mysteries within our collections…. #Issaquah125

S[arah] A McPherson Wilson, November 4th 1822


On this day in 1904, the wedding of Wilhilmena Stevens and John J. Eastlick is celebrated in Issaquah. Friends and relatives of the bride collaborate on this bridal quilt. #Issaquah125

Grand Central


In 1903, James Croston finishes construction of his new hotel, the Grand Central. The Grand Central is the only one of Issaquah’s many early 20th Century hotel buildings to survive into the 21st Century. #Issaquah125

Alexander House in 1999


In 1902, the Alexander House is constructed. The (relocated and expanded) building now serves as headquarters for the Chamber of Commerce. #Issaquah125

Dr. Hiram R. Corson came to Issaquah to work for the Issaquah Coal Company in the role of company doctor. He served as mayor for two terms from 1901 to 1905. [Image ; Issaquah History Museums]


In 1901, Hiram R. Corson is sworn in as Mayor of Issaquah. Dr. Corson served as the official mine physician for many years. #Issaquah125

Detail of The Issaquah Independent's eighth anniversary edition.


In 1900, The Issaquah Independent newspaper begins publication. The Issaquah Independent later became the Issaquah Press, which closed its doors in February of 2017. #Issaquah125



In 1899, the Snoqualmie Power Station is constructed on Mill Street to provide power to the town – which also changes its name from Gilman to Issaquah in this year. #Issaquah125



In 1898, the town of Gilman purchases the Gilman Town Hall building from Ingebright Wold for use as the town’s seat of government. #Issaquah125

1897 letter from Walter Lorin Lane to Bertha Wold.


In 1897 William Lane, of California, sends one in a series of letters to Bertha Wold. Lane courted Bertha by mail for years, but did not win her heart. #Issaquah125



In 1896, a team of oxen would skid a load of logs on the east side of Lake Sammamish. After unhooking the team from log, the men would use peavies to roll the log down the skids and into the lake for rafting to the mill. #Issaquah125

William Wold


In 1894, William Wold of Eastern Washington senda one in a long series of correspondence to his sister Bertha, in what was then Gilman, WA. #Issaquah125



In 1893, the earliest known image of the Pickering Barn is taken, featuring members of the Reard and Geise families, who worked on the Pickering Farm for a time. #Issaquah125

Gilman's Depot, circa 1892


The residents of the rapidly-growing Squak Valley settlement vote to incorporate their settlement as the town of Gilman, named after railroad founder Daniel Hunt Gilman. #Issaquah125