- Gift Shop
105 Newport Way SW
2004 photos by Polly Sablan
Today's Gibson Hall began life in 1936 as a three-sided shelter constructed by the Works Progress Administration. In 1948, the building was enclosed by community volunteers. The newly dubbed "Town Park Hall" served as a meeting place for community groups such as scouting troops and the Kiwanis Club.
In 1952, the Kiwanis Club leased the building from the Town of Issaquah and got to work adding a north wing. The Kiwanians renamed the building after John H. Gibson, a club member who had served at different times as Issaquah's mayor and postmaster.
The Kiwanis Club of Issaquah currently meets at Gibson Hall each Wednesday at noon. The club maintains the building, provides free use to many community groups, and manages public rentals.
These contemporary interior photos of Gibson Hall illustrate the building's meeting space and kitchen facilities. The kitchen was extensively remodeled during 2007 in memory of long-time member Linda Ruehle.
2007 photos by David Bangs
1940 Photo Courtesy of Washington State Archives
Shown here in its original configuration, the building could best be described as an enclosable picnic shelter located in Issaquah's Town Park. Town Park also included a campground and the fish hatchery. In 1948, community volunteers added windows, doors, walls and a ceiling to create "Town Park Hall", which opened in early 1949 for use by scouting troops and community groups such as the Kiwanis Club.
In 1952, The Kiwanis Club leased the building from the Town of Issaquah for $1 per year and agreed to expand, maintain and manage the building for the benefit of the community. Members of the Kiwanis Club remodeled the building extensively and added the north wing (shown above), which includes a kitchen and restrooms. The club renamed the building in memory of John H. Gibson. On roof, from left to right: Frank Castagno Ed K. Erickson Clifford Johnson Joe Santa; On ground, from left to right: Ed Merrit Bert Dohl Mike Shain Hec. LaChance Clyde Mathews Tony Walen Jim Brooks unknown Rod Stonebridge Dick Erickson
After the remodel, the building looked much as it does today, sans the urban environment. The scenery changed dramatically when Newport Way was cut through.
Includes information from King County Historic Resources Inventory, 2003.
Gibson Hall, located on what was at one time the Town of Issaquah’s Free Camp Ground, was constructed as a Works Projects Administration (W.P.A.) project in 1936. The W.P.A. provided employment to many during the Great Depression. Other historic buildings in Issaquah constructed under the W.P.A. include the Issaquah Sportsman's Club and State Salmon Hatchery.
Gibson Hall is a log building with a rectangular plan and a bellcast roof form. The roof has wide eaves supported by brackets. The building has a large rock chimney located on the south elevation. The fenestration originally consisted of small square windows. Three larges openings were located on the east elevation. Two large windows flanked by doors have since replaced the openings. The building is clad in log stockade.
Since construction, a north wing has been added which now serves as a kitchen, and a lean-to section has been added to the back (west elevation) of the building to serve as storage.
1940 Photo Courtesy of Washington State Archives
This matching outbuilding provided restroom facilities until the building gained its own restrooms with the addition of the north wing.
“Gibson Hall 1920-1952: A Timeline”
August 6, 1920 - Town Council: Petitions are to be circulated in favor of expanding the town on the west, north and east. The Commercial Club delivered a deed from the Pacific Coast Coal Co. dedicating 6A of land west of Issaquah Creek for a public park (page 3)
June 24, 1921 - Issaquah: The first campers from out of state to occupy the new park were Mr. John Deden and family from Wadena, MN. (page 5)
October 29, 1948 - A benefit dance is to raise funds for Park Hall (later to become Gibson Hall). Presently with only three sides, there is a plan to add a fourth side plus windows, doors and ceiling so it can be a meeting place for boy and girl scouts, etc. (page 1)
December 16, 1948 - Town Park Hall is nearly ready for organizational use. A twenty-foot addition will be added later on to include two bathrooms, kitchen and a locker room. The main room will have an oil heater. They are hoping someone will donate a piano (page 1)
December 23, 1948 - Lists of volunteers who have worked on Town Park Hall (page 1)
January 27, 1949 - A permanent committee will be created to direct Town Park Hall activities (page 1)
February 2, 1949 - A Cub Scout Pack Meeting celebrates the opening of the Issaquah Town Park Hall and gives Scout awards (page 1)
December 8, 1949 - Town Council Agenda: Petition of Flintofts to enlarge funeral home. Town Park Community Hall needs upgrade. Fire departments need more equipment and a drying tower (page 1)
July 20, 1950 - The first class reunion in Town Park was held August 6th and supervised by Harold (Pod) Stonebridge. Need to repair wading pool (page 1)
March 20, 1952 - The Kiwanis Club has started remodel work on Park House. Funds are already available. The work will be done by volunteers. A $1/year rental agreement with Kiwanis arranges for the assumption of operating expenses. [Park House picture included in article] (page 1)
May 1, 1952 - Kiwanians are remodeling the leased Park House. They have completed installation of the heating plant and are practicing making cedar shakes. They need more cedar. The septic tank is now installed and the drain field completed. Plumbing is to start after the cement floors are laid later this week (page 1)
June 19, 1952 - Kiwanians wants to finish Park Hall by August 27th. They will substitute work parties for weekly dinner meetings during the summer. They are now working on shingles & the septic tank (page 1)
July 31, 1952
September 18, 1952 - A vandal destroyed windows with BB shots at the recently renovated park building. Local vandalism which started after W.W. II was never heard of or reported before then (page 1)
September 25, 1952 - Town Park Hall is to be rededicated this Saturday. Included in the ceremonies will be a picture of John H. Gibson and a short biography (page 1)