Name: Susan Cameron
Your history in Issaquah/How long lived here, etc.:
All my life
If you have lived here all or most of your life, why did you choose to stay?
Issaquah or area school(s) attended:
Clark 2 years, Issaquah Middle, Issaquah High School
Family History in Issaquah:
Great Grandfather James and Martha Bush came here in 1864.
Grandparents- William and Eva Bush
Parents- Floyd and Esther Bush
Education—Coming of Age
What are your memories of Issaquah High School? Which teachers were influential?
1962 was the last class to graduate from the old school “where the pool is now.”
What memories do you have of Minnie Schomber, or another favorite teacher?
My favorite teacher was Roy Peterson, 6th grade teacher at the Middle School.
Jo Garner, secretary
I can remember one day I was in 6th or 7th grade and they used to make announcements on the intercom in the mornings. The principal played Elvis Presley’s Heartbreak Hotel. Everyone was surprised. Shocked!
I can also remember the mascot was a ceramic panther and it got broken. They took it behind the Gym and had a burial for it. Then the school kids raised money and got a new mascot. It was a cougar – dyed black. Which I think they still have.
Were you affected by earthquake damage to the schools in 1949 or 1965?
1949: I was in kindergarten.
Where did you and your friends spend your free time as teenagers? What kind of mischief did you get into? How did your parents or teachers punish you when you got into trouble?
We went to Honeysuckle or the Shamrock.
Went roller-skating at Vasa Park.
We went bowling at the Hi Ten Bowling Alley.
What local businesses do you remember? What items did you purchase there? Who owned the business? Where was it located? What do you remember most about it?
I remember going to Brady’s Store. The fad in school was rock and roll jackets. They were black and white striped or pink, blue, etc., striped. I just had to have one. We bought a lot of clothes at Brady’s.
We also bought our shoes from Cussac’s shoe store. He was an old man that ran a shoe store next to Honeysuckle. He could always find me a pair of shoes that I always didn’t like. He was a nice man, though.
What barbershop or beauty shop did you frequent? What do you remember about these places? What were the popular hairdos when you frequented the beauty shop? Did you do a lot of socializing at the barber and beauty shops?
It was a fad to rat your hair. Backcomb it all over, then smooth it out, but it was really high & full.
Where did you go to buy your groceries? Did you go to Tony and Johnny’s, or RR Grocery on East Sunset? Do you remember your favorite clerk? Were there any items that these grocers specialized in?
We did our shopping at Tony & Johnny’s. They even delivered. I remember their friendliness. Ai Garner was their butcher.
My mom, Esther Bush, worked for Oscar’s grocery, so we bought a lot there, but it was a small store. It was where Gilman Village is now. There was a motel across the highway from it.
My favorite clerk was Harry Stevens. RR Grocery.
Did you purchase things at the Grange Mercantile Building? What type of things did you get there? Did your family rent a frozen food storage locker?
All the time! It was a larger store. They had a meat market. Yes, we had a frozen food storage locker.
We shopped there up to the ’70s.
Did you go to Boehm’s Candies? What candies were your favorites?
Yes. Victoria’s choc.
What saloons or local bars did you and your friends frequent?
When I turned 21 my mom took me to the Union Tavern. They would give you this very large mug on your birthday and everyone kept it filled. Need I say more?
Also the log tavern – I remember the spittoon on the floor.
What do you recall about Lawill’s drug store?
What important local political issues of Issaquah are memorable? Do any particular politicians stand out? Why are they memorable? What did they accomplish while in office?
Changing Sunset Highway to Gilman Blvd.
Issaquah Round-Up—Salmon Days—Labor Day Celebrations
What do you remember about Labor Day Celebrations or Salmon Days?
Every year we went to the Labor Day parade. Saturday was the kids’ parade. Labor Day the Big Parade.
It was a big parade with lots of floats. I was in the parade a few times on the Rainbow Girls float.
What special activities were there at Labor Day Celebrations, or at Salmon Days? How has Salmon Days changed over time?
The parade would go back to Memorial Field and be judged.
In that same area where library is now [Memorial Field], they would have a big carnival.
There was a bingo booth which the older people enjoyed.
Everyone loved the Carnival. One year they even had elephants. You could ride them.
They would have a beard growing contest. A fake jail would pick you up if you didn’t grow one.
Everyone just had fun.
What were some of the other memorable special events and occasions in Issaquah?
Did you spend a lot of your free time outside? What do you remember about fishing, hunting, or hiking in the area? What was your favorite hiking trail?
Yes. I liked to hike up Tiger Mt. Also Squak to the old house that burned down.
Also Yellow Lake – We liked to see all the frogs.
We used to walk up to Round and Tradition [lakes]. Then up to the Talus Caves. They were fun to explore.
We would walk along the Issaquah Creek to Lake Sammamish. It used to be pretty.
What type of fish did you catch? How many trout did you catch in the Issaquah Creek and what was the biggest? Did you fish in the kids fishing derby held in Issaquah? Were your methods for fishing and hunting any different than they are today?
I was in the fishing derby every year. Never won though.
As a child I loved to fish. Next to my house on the Jordan Creek was one of the best fishing holes around. One day while fishing there a large tanker truck pulled up and dumped 20,000 trout fingerlings in front of our house by mistake!
For quite a few years after that the Jordan Creek had some of the best fishing in Issaquah. No matter where you went along that stream, you were almost guaranteed to catch a nice trout. This great fishing lasted for several years until the gravel pits started washing their gravel and dumping the waste water into the Jordan Creek. Repeated abuse to the Jordan Creek killed all the fish and the stream still suffers significantly to this very day.
What are your memories of Vasa Park? What did you do while there?
I used to go roller skating there. At least 3 times a week. I started about 3 years old – went with older sisters Marilyn & Nan.
I went there until Ida & Howard Monty opened up Lake Hills skating rink.
I loved it. Met my friends there. I still keep in touch with some of them.
Did you go swimming in the local lakes in the summer? Or ice-skating at the Horrock’s Farm in the winter?
We went swimming in our old swimming hole in Issaquah Creek. Each year it would change because creek changes from flooding.
We would fix it up and make fire pit sandy beach. Clean out creek. We could dive off banks in the deep places.
After a day of working in the hay fields, a nice swim sure felt good.
Sometimes we would get our innertubes and float to Lake Sammamish.
I remember as a kid going up to Uncle Dave’s and Aunt Myrtle’s lakes to ice skate. They would always have a large fire going to warm up by. Of course, I had no ice skates – just run and slide and slipped around. My parents would visit all their friends. Afterwards we always went into the house for hot chocolate and homemade cookies. I liked to go into their living room and lay on their Bear rug by the fireplace while others sat around kitchen table talking.
Each year someone would always check the ice to make sure it was safe. I remember one year Tony Walen did and it wasn’t. He was safe – got out real fast.
Logging and Sawmills
How did the logging industry affect Issaquah? How did it change? Did you work in logging? For what logging camp or sawmill? What do you remember of your logging days? What type of machines did you use for logging? How did you transport logs? How large were these logs?
I remember my dad told me a story about the time he and Walter Trandum Jr. were at his father’s mill. Issaquah Mill Co. located behind today’s Milk Barn by Albertsons.
He was eight years old. They had been playing around the mill and were playing in this very large hollow stump. They got bored and went somewhere else to play and a few minutes later a large log came down the log flume or skid and jumped off somehow and hit the stump they had been playing in. It just exploded the stump. Boy, they were lucky.
Do you remember when there was a fire at the mill? Did you help fight it? Did you see the fire?
Have movies of the last one.
Farming and Dairy
Do you have any memories of Pickering Farm?
The airfield across from barn. I enjoyed watching them parachute.
Some would land in our yard.
Did you travel frequently into Seattle? How did you get there? What did you do while in Seattle?
Car. Usually went to the Public Market.
What was your first car? Did you buy it from Hepler Ford Motors, Stonebridge Chevrolet, or the Kaiser-Frazier dealership?
I can very clearly remember my first car. Like many young people it was one of the great moments of my youth. A car represented freedom and fun and my freedom and fun came in the form of a black 1949 Mercury with white pin striping and a V-8.
What a great car! I had purchased it from a gentleman named Bill who worked as a policeman for Issaquah. He had taken very good care of the car. It was lowered and had frenched headlights with tunnel taillights. The door handles were shaved and outside were electric push buttons to open the doors. The coolness factor of electric push buttons for your doors was high but if your battery ever went dead you were locked out!
After owning the car for several years I sold it to Tom Robertson for $75.00. He then sold it to Gordon Trehorne. Thereafter, I am not sure what became of my first car but boy did I have a lot of fun in it!
Fraternal Organizations—Local Halls
What are your memories of the fraternal organizations? Did you belong to the Elks Lodge, or Lions Club, etc?
I remember going with my mother, Esther Bush, to Pythian Sisters upstairs above Odd Fellows Hall. Where they had their meetings.
I was in Rainbow Girls.
Did you attend the Sportsmen’s Club? Do you remember when it was built in 1937? What did you do at the Sportsmen’s Club?
When in 3rd & 4th grade we could put money in a bank account through the school Each week I took 100 pennies that my Uncle Art Willet gave me. I forgot about it for years. They when I was 16 I took the money out and bought my first car.
What types of events did you attend at the Volunteer Fire Department (VFD) Hall? Did you use the shooting range located in the basement?
2. I remember the Issaquah Millwinders Hot Rod club. Put on a dance, The Drag Dance, there. It was sponsored by the Volunteer Fire Dept.
The Frantics were the entertainment and admission was $ (?).
It was about 1959-60.
Everyone had a blast!
The club earned money to build their 1934 Ford Roadster coupe.
Their meetings were held in Floyd Bush’s barn. Tom was president. Duane Johnson, Terri Fraker, Larry Pedegana, Obert Bogne, Tom Robertson, Cliff Isaacs, etc. members.
Did you attend dinners, dances, banquets, or other events in the upstairs Grange Meeting Hall?
My parents did.
What movies did you go to see at the Issaquah Theatre (the Old Movie House) to see? How much did movies cost? Did you ever go to the back upper corner of the theatre to kiss?
Psycho – Joanie Gunderson and I sat in back row and hid behind the seat.
A few times. Saw lots of kissing going on there.
Saw lots of cowboy movies on Saturdays.
On Friday nights I remember there was lots of gum throwing. Had to cut some out of my hair a few times.
The Berrys owned it. But I don’t remember prices.
What church did you attend? What memories do you have of this church? Were there any pastors, reverends, or church leaders that stand out in your memory?
Every summer Mr. Hansen, a devoted member of the High Point Church, would come around to all the neighborhoods in town and convince us kids into attending summer Bible camp. He would get kids that normally would not have gone to church to attend.
In the early days of the Bible camp us kids were picked up in an old bus that Mr. Hansen and volunteers would drive. We nicknamed this old bus the Chicken Coupe. Because of its old looks and loud, rugged sound.
Mr. Martin Hansen’s wife, Florence, taught class there and also sang and played the church organ. At the end of summer Bible camp every year the Hansens would help us kids put on a play. We would sing and act and all the kids’ parents would come to watch. The plays were held at the church which is still standing today.
The Hansens made a positive impact on my life and the lives of many Issaquah youths. Their dedication and devotion to the High Point Church and the area’s many children is deserving of recognition and hopefully imitation.
The lady who lived in a cave –
Back in the 1950s when I was a young girl, there was a lady who lived in a cave on the hillside where Cadman Sand and Gravel now resides. She was an odd lady who was very well known around town for her eccentric lifestyle.
The cave where she lived was fairly large and made up two sections. One was where she lived and the other section is where she stored things. Outside of the cave she kept her many animals staked to the ground and to trees so that they could not wander away. There were a variety of animals that she kept including pigs, chickens, cows and an old brown horse.
Due to the lack of grazing area by her cave, she would take her many animals and stake them up on the sides of the area’s roads and even next to people’s homes where her animals were famously known for getting into flowerbeds and gardens. Most people in town didn’t like her staking her animals up like this because often they would get loose and run through people’s yards. Once when she had staked her horse in front of my sister’s house, it bit me on the shoulder. I can remember running back into the house to show my mother my wound. After cleaning me up, off she went to give her a good tongue lashing for keeping her horse tied up in front of my sister’s house.
There was also a man who lived with her in the cave named Friday. He was a Hindu and had a big fuzzy beard with long hair and was always very scary looking to us kids. He could always be seen driving her old horse and buckboard wagon around town loading up grass and hay that they would cut from along side the roads. One time I remember my father giving Friday a trunk of his old clothes out of generosity. The next time we saw Friday, he was wearing all the clothes at once! He never changed those clothes. When one pair was no longer wearable, he would remove that pair and be ready to go with a new set underneath.
Every Sunday you could always find the lady that lived in the cave dressed in clean clothes, waiting in front of Oscars groceries for the bus that would take her into Seattle for church. I have been told by the few people she spoke to that she was a very intelligent person and that she had a hard childhood. This combination of smarts and hardship is probably what created her many eccentricities.
Sometime in the 1960s she and Friday were forced out of the cave they called home for many years. The expanding gravel pit engulfed the cave. I’m not sure where Friday went after this but she moved into a tent down by the old Standard Oil which was in the area where Gilman Village now stands. After living there in a tent for awhile she disappeared and never returned to Issaquah. No one is sure whatever happened to her but I will always remember her as the lady who lived in the cave.
Often times I think of my grandmother, Eva Bush. The changes she saw. She came to Washington in 1970s from California. Came by ship then covered wagons to Fort Borst to her uncle, Joe Borst. Then on to Seattle to Dianna and Luther M. Collins for a time. Then to Fall City to Joseph and Kate Kanin Borst. She was just a little girl. Had 4 brothers & sisters. Her mother brought them. Her husband staying in California divorced.
Joseph Borst built them a house on the Snoqualmie river in Fall City. Her mom later married John Berry.
They moved to Issaquah, had a farm where they grew up. Her and her sister liked to ride their horse around the valley. In their teens. There were no cars hardly any other white people. The Snoqualmie Indians were her best friends as well as cousins. She lived with Alice Rascher, Eva Borst. Married William Tap Bush (1885) had 13 children – 2 died.
I remember her when I was in my teens sitting in her rocking chair. Telling me stories. She would make homemade bread with real churned butter. Boy it was good. She died in 1957.