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Han Jensen (1888-1957) left his property to the State of Washington. Today it is part of the Lake Sammamish Park in Issaquah.

How Farms Became State Park

This article first appeared in the Autumn 2003 Past Times.

By Eric Erickson and Erica Maniez

Anderson farm, 1895. Pictured from left are John Anderson, Addie Smart Anderson, Florence Smart and Lawrence Smart. The Anderson Farm later became part of the Lake Sammamish State Park.

Anderson farm, 1895. Pictured from left are John Anderson, Addie Smart Anderson, Florence Smart and Lawrence Smart. The Anderson Farm later became part of the Lake Sammamish State Park.

Before Lake Sammamish State Park existed, land on the banks of Lake Sammamish belonged to local farming families. The Anderson farm and the Jensen farm, along with land belonging to the Washington Iron Works, became the park in 1953.

The Anderson farm belonged to John Anderson, a Norwegian immigrant, and his wife Addie. The Andersons built what became known as “the big house” on the property in 1890. The big house had two stories and a total of ten rooms. Another house consisting of six rooms was built there sometime before 1895; the farm foreman and his family lived there. Other outbuildings included a horse barn, a small milk house, two garages, a fruit shed, and a log cabin with a plank floor.

Addie Anderson was first married to a man named John Smart, and her children from this marriage also lived on the farm. There were three girls named Florence, Nellie, and Carrie, and a boy named Lawrence.  In 1916, Lawrence and his wife Lulu returned to the farm with their children Nelliemae and Raymond, and lived there for several years.

In 1934, Addie’s three daughters inherited the farm, while her son Lawrence Smart inherited land in Fall City. A tenant farmer named Ole Englebritsen occupied the land after 1934, renting it for $10 a month. In April of 1951, the State of Washington Parks Commission purchased the land.

The Anderson Farm, circa 1895.

The Anderson Farm, circa 1895.

The other tract of former farmland that makes up Lake Sammamish State Park was known as the Jensen farm. Albert F. Giese originally owned this tract, which was bisected by the

Han Jensen (1888-1957) left his property to the State of Washington. Today it is part of the Lake Sammamish Park in Issaquah.

Han Jensen (1888-1957) left his property to the State of Washington. Today it is part of the Lake Sammamish Park in Issaquah.

Monohon or Redmond Road (today’s East Lake Sammamish Parkway). Giese built a house on the property in 1898. In 1905, he also constructed a barn complete with indoor plumbing for the cows. County assessors noted that the barn had 18 metal stanchions, and nine water outlets, indicating that Giese’s cows stood head to head with a shared water faucet for each pair.

Jensen acquired the property in 1942, complete with house and well-plumbed barn. According to his friend Bill Bergsma,Sr., Jensen always had a herd of 60 excellent Holstein cows.

Even though the land would not become a formal recreational area until 1953, it had always been popular with residents looking for a place to swim or fish. Photographs from 1913 show most of the residents of High Point standing on the banks of the lake at the High Point Sunday school picnic. Both Tibbetts and Issaquah Creek flow through the park and into the lake. Fishing at the mouth of either creek could net a fisherman trout, salmon, bass or perch. Hans Jensen continued the practice of opening his beachfront property to local residents. Before his death, Jensen also specified in his will that the land be donated to the state for the use of the area’s young people. His land became the property of the Washington State Parks Commission in May of 1958. Giese’s original house still stands; just behind it lies the Hans Jensen youth camp.

This year [2003] Lake Sammamish State Park celebrates its 50th birthday. The property once owned by the Jensen and Anderson families has a long tradition of providing recreation to the residents of Issaquah. The park not only continues this tradition, but also shares the area with visitors from all over the state.

 

Ginko Tree

Ginkgo Tree

90 Front St South

Ginko Tree

August 1999 photo by David Bangs.

This rare Ginkgo tree was planted by Dr. W.E. Gibson (a physician) at the start of the twentieth century. Dr. Gibson became Issaquah’s mayor in 1900 and served several additional terms as mayor and in the state legislature over the next 25 years. His family home was located on this site until it was torn down in 1970. Fortunately, through the efforts of Issaquah High School Students, a petition was drawn up and the tree was saved.

Ginkgo trees belong to one of the oldest tree species on earth (Ginkgo biloba), dating back 150 million years. They were once native to Washington but later became extinct in North America. Specimens cultivated in Chinese ornamental gardens were later reintroduced around the world.

Ginkgo trees (Ginkgo Biloba) are one of the oldest tree species on earth, dating back 150 million years. They were once native to Washington, and until the late 1700s were thought to be extinct. Specimens found in China have since been introduced around the world.

Gibson House

This photograph shows the home of Dr. W.E. Gibson at Front Street South and southeast corner of Andrews Street. The picture was taken before the popular Gingko tree was planted on the site. The Ginkgo tree has since become a city treasure at its visible location at the Downtown Issaquah Plaza. (Issaquah History Museums photo)

In August 1999, a marker table was placed under the tree along with a plaque explaining its history, courtesy of Main Street Issaquah, The City of Issaquah, the Gibson Family, Swanson Arch. Grp, Baima & Holmberg and Morris Piha Mgt. Grp. Based on our records, the historical society believes that several facts listed on this plaque are incorrect. Most notably, Gibson was not the first mayor of Issaquah. He did become mayor briefly to fill an unexpired term in 1900 – less than one year after the name of the town had been changed to “Issaquah” and he went on to serve additional terms as mayor in later years. However, the town’s first mayor was Frank Harrell,who was elected in 1892.

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Hillside Cemetery

Hillside Cemetery

Between Mt. Park Boulevard and Sunset Way

Hillside Cemetery

Hillside Cemetery (Photo by David Bangs, 2002).


Issaquah’s cemetery, located above downtown to the west, is composed of rolling hills with large, mature cedars and heritage trees. The site is visibly tied to the landscape of the forested foothills of the Cascade Mountains. Granite and stone grave markers date from the late 19th Century.

Thirty acres were donated for this cemetery to the City of Issaquah by the Gilman Lodge of the IOOF in 1900. From about 1909-1913, the Women’s Relief Corps took on responsibility for maintaining the cemetery. According to the Seattle Times, “on October 4, 1915, 7 3/4 acres were designated as grave or cemetery area. Graves were sold at not less than $5 and not more than $10 for a lot.”

Citizens important to the history of Issaquah and the surrounding area are buried here, including: Tolle Anderson, Thilda Becker, the Bush family, Frank Joseph Castagno, James Croston, William J. Cubbon, Ivan Darst, Frank Day, Hazel & Walter Ek, Floyd Erickson, Dr. William Gibson, Thomas Gibson, Charles Kinnune, and the Neukirchen family (including Edward, Anna & John).

Veteran's Section at Hillside Cemetery

The upper part of the cemetery is exclusively dedicated to military veterans. The Veterans of Foreign Wars adds crosses and flags each Memorial Day to honor veterans. (Photo by David Bangs, 2002).

There are three sections in the cemetery. The oldest graves are in the front, the new in the middle, and the veterans in the back. The upper part of the cemetery is exclusively dedicated to military veterans. The Veterans of Foreign Wars adds crosses and flags each Memorial Day to honor veterans.

Additional Information

Find-a-Grave listings
Flinftoft’s Funeral Home
Bibliographic References

1998 “Issaquah Historic Property Inventory”
Jeff Childs, Seattle Times, May 30, 1977.
City of Issaquah, Cemetery Deeds Listing 2/21/96.

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Pilot House of Issaquah Ferry

Issaquah Ferry Pilot Houses (Sausalito, CA)

300 Napa Street, Sausalito, California

Pilot House of Issaquah Ferry

Pilot House of the Issaquah Ferry, Sausalito, CA. (Photo courtesy of David Bangs, 1999)

The ferry ISSAQUAH has gone through a long life’s journey since its maiden journey on Lake Washington on May 2, 1914. Most of the ferry is history, but the two pilot houses are preserved and on display in the Galilee Harbor parking lot in Sausalito, California. As of September 1999, the harbor is undergoing a $1.7M expansion, after which the ISSAQUAH pilot houses will be positioned on either side of the walkway to the boats, and serve as a museum to both the ferry ISSAQUAH and the history of the Galilee Harbor community.

The 114 foot two decker steam ferry boat was revolutionary when it was launched by the Anderson Steamboat Co. in 1914. It served as a private ferry and tour boat on Lake Washington until 1918, when public ferry competition made its continued operation here unprofitable. At that time, it was sold to the newly formed Rodeo/Vallejo line in California and brought down the coast to the San Francisco Bay where it served on various runs until it was retired in the 1948.

Pilot Houses of the Issaquah Ferry

Pilot Houses of the Issaquah Ferry, Sausalito, CA. (Photo courtesy of David Bangs, 1999).

In the 1950’s, the ferry was moved to Sausalito and divided up into individually rented units. The tenants tended to be artists and were described at the time as “beatniks.” Though the boat was superficially maintained, all the time it was sinking deeper into the mudflats and suffering rot from the bottom up. In 1970, Issaquah area historian Harriet Fish visited the boat and wrote a series of articles for The Issaquah Press on the ferry’s history and predicament. One of those articles was entitled “Ferry Issaquah is Seeing Her Last Days.” Later, the wheelhouses and walls of the ferry were saved when the mudflats on which the ferry rested were developed into today’s Waldo Point houseboat development.

 

Steefenie Wicks of the Galilee Harbor Community Association has been instrumental in preserving what’s left of the ISSAQUAH. Wicks was the director of the now-defunct Art Zone organization from 1984-1988. Under her direction, the organization rescused the Issaquah’s remaining walls from the rotting hulk on Sausalito’s mudflats. Art Zone represented the interests of artists and others who were living in boats and other structures along the city’s waterfront before they were displaced by new developments in the 1970’s and 1980’s. Galilee Harbor, which is a resident-owned live-a-board marina, is a direct result of that movement.

A nearby houseboat dock is surprisingly named “Issaquah Dock.” It is part of the Waldo Point Harbor houseboat community, on Gate 6 road off Bridgeway, in Sausalito. The ferry ISSAQUAH languished for many years on the mud flats that later became part of the Waldo Point development.

The Issaquah Ferry, by Phil Frank

The Issaquah Ferry in a 1977 cartoon by Phil Frank. This cartoon was drawn in 1977 by Phil Frank, a San Francisco Chronicle cartoonist and creator the ‘Farley’ comic strip. It’s caption reads “I dreamt that The ISSAQUAH was fired up for one more day. Everyone got on it. We went all over the bay and had a great party.” The flag atop reads “Waldo Point.” Cartoon copied from the collection of Galilee Harbor Community Association.

Ferry History

The following is an excerpt from the book This Was Issaquah, by Harriet Fish, page 12. Pages 12-21 contain a series of newspaper articles written by Harriet about the ferry Issaquah. The full book is available at the Issaquah Depot gift shop. This article was written in 1970:

. . . [By] 1914, Captain [John] Anderson [of the Anderson Steamboat Co.] had gathered about him other visionary boat designers who drew up, built, and launched the first, and last, privately owned inland waterway, double-ended, steam ferry boat. From that day in 1913 when here keel was laid, until March of 1914 when she was launched, this revolutionary version of water travel attracted much attention among the boat building industry.

For her name, John selected the fast growing town east of the lake, where mines and farms were producing the output to be transported to Seattle, and the many needs for this community were also moved from Seattle eastward. So, this new 114 foot two-decker ferry boat, with a maple dance floor, was named The ISSAQUAH. She was launched with appropriate banners and festivities involving the mayors of both Seattle and Issaquah, but, to the chagrin of the launchers, her 9 foot draft proved too deep for the lake show bottom, and she had to be freed from her “stuck-in-the-mud” position the day after launching.

Launch party of the Issaquah Ferry.

A scene from the 1914 launch festivities onboard the ISSAQUAH at Houghton, WA on March 7, 1914. The two men identified by arrows are Issaquah mayor P.J. Smith (left) and Seattle mayor Hiram Gill (right), who is speaking to the crowd. Photo loaned by Mrs. Irvin (Helen) Johnson and reproduced in This Was Issaquah, p15.

By May 1914, she was outfitted and dependably serving the public, crossing Lake Washington between Leschi, the Parental School on Mercer Island, and Newport. She served this run for 3½ years. In between her scheduled runs, she too was used as a floating and cruising dance hall and party center by celebrating groups of people.

Quoted from a newspaper clipping of May 1914, “The Ferry Issaquah started on May 2, 1914, to ply between Newport and Leschi. People driving to Seattle can now save extra mileage by using this route and gain considerable time besides. Kellogg’s Stage and Griffith’s freight trucks immediately changed to this route, the former now making perfect connections with the evening train.”

In 1917, the competition from the growing King County Ferry System put an end to the practical operation of a private system, and, in 1918, this neat, compact ferry boat, with its twin smokestacks and pilot houses, was sold to a San Francisco Bay transportation company. Leaving Houghton on May 30, 1918, all boarded up above the waterline, and loaded with cord wood, she proceeded under her own power to Neah Bay, where she loaded more wood and was met by a tug which would assist her in the sea trip southward.

Her quality construction proved sea worthy, and she gave thirty additional good years of continued service in the Vallejo-Martinez area, always proudly carrying the name ISSAQUAH. In 1918, the ferry was operated between Vallejo and Rodeo by the Rodeo-Vallejo Ferry Company. In 1927, after the completion of the Carquinez Bridge, the ferry was sold to the Martinez-Benicia ferry company, which operated it between Martinez and Benicia until 1941, after which the ferry was put to work on Mare Island-Vallejo service, and was laid up after the war at Vallejo.After the Second World War she was retired, and still today she is sinking deeply into the mud flats of Sausalito, where her “grounded” years have served many levels of life as studio, home and shelter.

The simple comment of one of her California captains tells it all: “She was a good ship.”

Modern Issaquah Class Ferries

Issaquah Class FerriesEncouraged by Issaquah historian Harriet Fish, the Washington State Ferry System christened a new ferry as The ISSAQUAH in 1979. The Motor Vessel Issaquah was built in 1979, becoming the first Issaquah Class ferry. The 328 foot ferry can carry 100 automobiles and 1200 passengers. The passenger compartment is entirely decorated with photos of historic Issaquah. The ferry runs the route between Seattle and Bremerton.

The Issaquah became the first of a series of ferries called “Issaquah 130 Class Ferries” that currently operate on Puget Sound. Modern Issaquah Class ferries include the ISSAQUAH, KITSAP, KITTITAS, and CATHLAMET. Slightly longer and newer “Issaquah Class” ferries include the CHELAN and SEALTH.

More Ferry Trivia

The ferry ISSAQUAH was used in the 1965 movie Dear Brigitte starring Jimmy Stewart, which was filmed on the Sausalito waterfront. It’s all about a little boy who is in love with Brigitte Bardot. You may want to rent it and see if you can see the ISSAQUAH in the background shots.

Bibliography

Harriet U. Fish; This Was Issaquah; 1987; Issaquah, WA
Annie Sutter; The Old Ferryboats of Sausalito; 1982, 1987; Scope Publishing Company; Sausalito, CA

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Salmon at the Issaquah Hatchery

Issaquah Salmon Hatchery

125 West Sunset Way

The Issaquah Salmon Hatchery

The Issaquah Salmon Hatchery. (Photo courtesy of David Bangs, 2002)

With more than 300,000 visitors each year, the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery is easily the most-visited hatchery in the state.  The best time to visit is September and October, when the salmon return to the hatchery up Issaquah Creek and when the Friends of the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery (F.I.S.H.) offers public tours.

The facility is open to visitors year around and has very good interpretive signs and displays to help guests learn about salmon and their life cycles, and about the hatchery itself.  Inside the front door, there is an aquarium of fish which are the same age and size as the fish in the hatchery’s holding tanks.

The Salmon: Star of the Show

Adult salmon begin returning to the hatchery via Issaquah Creek in late August and early September. As many as 10,000 to 20,000 salmon may return before the runs are over in December.

Upon reaching the hatchery, salmon are strongly encouraged to jump up the fish ladder at the hatchery.  Once up the fish ladder, the fish wait in holding tanks. Large windows allow for public viewing.

History

This site was once part of “City Park”, which was connected to downtown Issaquah with a wooden bridge over Issaquah Creek.  During the 1920’s, the park was well used with a bandstand and speaking platform for large holiday celebrations; and there was much picnicking along the creek.

The hatchery was constructed as a Works Project Administration project during 1936-1937. Plans included: Hatchery Building (increased in size during late design phase from 90 feet long to 176 feet!), hatching troughs, deep tray troughs, hatchery baskets, egg trays, overseer’s residence, feed house, garage, rearing ponds, water system, and racks and traps.

In the early 1990’s, the State Department of Fish and Wildlife announced plans to close the hatchery due to budget constrains. But the City of Issaquah, Friends of the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery (F.I.S.H.), the Muckleshoot Tribe, and King County all urged the state to keep the hatchery open.  With a new focus on education, watershed stewardship, and bolstering native and threatened salmon such as the Lake Washington steelhead, the hatchery was significantly renovated and expanded in 1997 and 1998 with a new viewing pond, viewing shelter, four raceways, plumbing, stormwater systems, and a fish ladder. As of 1999, more significant improvements are still in the works!

The lands on which the hatchery sit are owned by the City of Issaquah which is leasing them to the State of Washington on a 99 year lease.

Building Description

From the 1998 “Issaquah Historic Property Inventory”:

The Hatchery, located just adjacent to lssaquah’s downtown district, is a site that includes a large intact W.P.A. built building, 19 rearing ponds in front and 3 holding ponds in back.

The site is located close to Issaquah Creek, its flow of water and attachment to Lake Sammamish, the slough and Puget Sound is the reason for the location of the Hatchery.

The main Hatchery building is a long narrow rectangular single story wood frame structure; its long (north) elevation is fully banked with windows horizontally divided into 3 panes. A hipped roof covers the enclosed entry which is centered on the front elevation. The building is clad in horizontal bevel wood siding.

Fish ponds on the grounds are surrounded by low chain link fences.

Bibliographic References

Issaquah Historical Society files. Issaquah Press newspaper articles from 1971; November 28,1935; and December 19,1935. King County Assessor’s Records.

Related Web Sites

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Issaquah Sportsmen's Club

Issaquah Sportsmen’s Club*

23600 Evans Street

Issaquah Sportsmen's Club

Issaquah Sportsmen’s Club. (Photo courtesy of Eric Erickson, 1999)

The Issaquah Sportsmen’s Club clubhouse was built during the great depression (1937), using funding from the Works Progress Administration (WPA). The clubhouse has been continuously used by the Issaquah Sportsman’s Club, with many activities open to the public. The Issaquah Alps Trails Club was founded at the clubhouse in 1979, and the Boy Scouts utilize the facility for troop meetings and trainings.

In 1997, the clubhouse became a King County Landmark, and in 1998, it was listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

The present-day photograph, shown above, was taken over the fence which surrounds the facility.  Locked gates prevent approach of the building by non-members when it is not open for an event.

History

Issaquah Sportsmen's Club

Issaquah Sportsmen’s Club, 1940. Photo courtesy of the Washington State Archives.

The club we know today as “The Issaquah Sportsmen’s Club” was originally formed in 1921.  Some of its early names were the Issaquah Rod & Gun Club, the Issaquah Sportsman’s Association, and the Issaquah Gun Club.  The club leased 1000 acres of prime bottom land along Issaquah Creek near the present location of Newport Way, to set aside for bird hunting.  This parcel also included a small shotgun range. The Club’s membership lists read as a “Who’s Who” of Issaquah, including mayors, business leaders, members of pioneer families, and other prominent citizens, as well as mill workers and farmers.

In the late 1920’s and early 1930’s, members became increasingly involved in fisheries conservation projects. In 1927, the Issaquah Club joined with sportsmen’s clubs in Bothell and Redmond to “lobby” county officials to open Lake Sammamish to year-around recreational fishing, to remove detrimental fish traps from tributary creeks, including Issaquah and Bear Creeks, and to restrict fishing on tributary creeks between November and April each year, to allow fish to spawn successfully.

All three of these goals were achieved, and in 1933 the Issaquah Rod and Gun Club reorganized as the Issaquah Sportsman’s Club, to serve as a local volunteer group to assist with state-sponsored projects such as the planting of silver trout (the famed “ancient” kokane) in local streams. Following the establishment of the State Game Commission in 1935, local sportsmen’s associations also acted as advisory groups to the state in the regulation of local seasons, catch limits, and other conservation measures.

As dairy farms surrounded the club’s shooting range and hunting land along the Issaquah Creek in the late 1920’s, the club purchased its own parcel of 10.7 acres at the foot of Tiger Mountain.

In 1937, the Issaquah Sportsmen’s Club officially incorporated as a non-profit corporation, with the goals of promoting good sportsmanship and observance of state game laws, to work for protection and propagation of game and game fish, to promote recreational opportunities for members, and to construct a social clubhouse and other facilities for the enjoyment of members.

The club immediately achieved its goal of having a “social clubhouse.”  At the time, the federal government was funding projects through the Works Project Administration to boost the economy and put people to work.  Since all WPA projects had to be public, the club donated some land to the City of Issaquah, which in-turn constructed the clubhouse with WPA funds and leased the building back to the club ‘in perpetuity.’  Other WPA projects in Issaquah included the State Salmon Hatchery and Gibson Hall.

Building Description

The Issaquah Sportsmen’s Club is located on a level graded site  which drops off in a dense, young fir forest to the west. The façade faces south. The building was constructed on a site approximately 200 yards south of the current location, and was moved to the current site in 1993 to facilitate redevelopment of the original site for playfields.

The one-story clubhouse building is built in a vernacular rustic style. The use of inexpensive and locally-available lumber for the clubhouse construction is reflected in the vertical half-log cladding and the peeled logs that support the eaves and porch roof and compose the window and door trim. The building was constructed in two phases–an original rectangular hall with a side gable roof and a rear shed-roof addition which extends the full width of the building. The addition was built in the late 1940’s, to provide restrooms and utility rooms. When the building was relocated, the addition was rebuilt, reusing the original log siding.

The overall building dimensions are 40′ x 32’4″. The original section of the building has a side gable roof. The building is constructed of vertical half-logs averaging about 8″ in width. The logs are staggered, with the flat face turned into the wall. This wall system is structural. A standing-seam metal roof covers the entire building. The main section was originally covered in hand-split shakes, which remain under the metal roof.

A 21′ wide front porch with a prominent projecting gable roof dominates the façade. The original 4′ wide door remains centered under the porch. The door was built in three layers, with approximately 6″ vertical boards on the exterior and interior, and the same boards placed at an angle to form the hidden middle layer. Flanking the door are two pairs of casement windows, which are protected by solid wooden exterior shutters.

A substantial masonry chimney rises through the gable on the east side of the building. The chimney measures 8′ at the base. The present chimney was reconstructed following the relocation of the building. Stones from the site were used to build the chimney. A second, smaller chimney on the west end (which was originally used to vent a wood stove) was removed in the course of the move.

Building Interior

The interior of the building consists of a large one-room meeting hall which occupies the entire original portion of the building, and a hallway, restrooms and utility rooms in the shed addition.

The interior is finished in peeled logs, which are part of the wall system. The logs retain their original appearance; they have not been painted or otherwise treated. The stone fireplace dominates the east end of the meeting room. The fireplace has its original mantle, which is edged in peeled logs. The room has a wooden ceiling. The roof framing and rafters, which are not visible, are formed by peeled wooden poles.

Bibliographic References

King County Landmarks Registration Form

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Lake Sammamish State Park

Lake Sammamish State Park

20606 SE 56th Street

Lake Sammamish State Park

Lake Sammamish State Park, circa 2001 (IHM 2002-27-1).

Lake Sammamish State Park is a 512-acre day-use park with 6,858 feet of waterfront on Lake Sammamish. The area around the lake was an important culture zone for local Indian tribes for centuries. The park provides deciduous forest and wetland vegetation for the enjoyment of visitors. A salmon-bearing creek and a great-blue-heron rookery are additional features.

Before Lake Sammamish State Park existed, land on the banks of Lake Sammamish belonged to local farming families. The Anderson farm and the Jensen farm, along with land belonging to the Washington Iron Works, became the park in 1953.

The Anderson farm belonged to John Anderson, a Norwegian immigrant, and his wife Addie. Addie Anderson was first married to a man named John Smart, and her children from this marriage also lived on the farm. There were three girls named Florence, Nellie, and Carrie, and a boy named Lawrence.

The Anderson Farm, circa 1920s

The Anderson Farm, circa 1920s. In the center is the small house used by the farm foreman. At the far right is the big house where the family lived. (IHM 2003-23-1)

The Andersons built what became known as “the big house” on the property in 1890. The big house had two stories and a total of ten rooms. Another house consisting of six rooms was built there sometime before 1895; the farm foreman and his family lived there. Other outbuildings included a horse barn, a small milk house, two garages, a fruit shed, and a log cabin with a plank floor.  In 1916, Lawrence and his wife, Lulu, returned to the farm with their children Nelliemae and Raymond, and lived there for several years.

In 1934, Addie’s three daughters inherited the farm, while her son Lawrence Smart inherited land in Fall City. A tenant farmer named Ole Englebritsen occupied the land after 1934, renting it for $10 a month. In April of 1951, the State of Washington Parks Commission purchased the land.

The other track of former farmland that makes up Lake Sammamish State Park was known as the Jensen farm. Albert F. Giese originally owned this tract, which was bisected by the Monohon or Redmond Road (today’s East Lake Sammamish Parkway). Giese built a house on the property in 1898. In 1905, he also constructed a barn complete with indoor plumbing for the cows. County assessors noted that the barn had 18 metal stanchions, and nine water outlets, indicating that Giese’s cows stood head to head with a shared water faucet for each pair.

Jensen acquired the property in 1942, complete with house and well-plumbed barn. According to his friend Bill Bergsma, Sr., Jensen always had a herd of 60 excellent Holstein cows.

Anderson Farm, circa 1885

HS photo 2001.23.3
Anderson farm, 1895. Pictured from left are John Anderson, Addie Smart Anderson, Florence Smart and Lawrence Smart. (IHM 2001-33-2)

Even though the land would not become a formal recreational area until 1953, it had always been popular with residents looking for a place to swim or fish. Photographs from 1913 show most of the residents off High Point standing on the banks of the lake at the High Point Sunday school picnic. Both Tibbits and Issaquah Creek flow through the park and into the lake. Fishing at the mouth of either creek could net a fisherman trout, salmon, bass or perch. Hans Jensen continued the practice of opening his beachfront property to local residents. Before his death, Jensen also specified in his will that the land be donated to the state for the use of the area’s young people. His land became the property of the Washington State Parks Commission in May of 1958.Giese’s original house still stands; just behind it lies the Hans Jensen youth camp.

The property once owned by the Jensen and Anderson families has a long tradition of providing recreation to the residents of Issaquah. The park not only continues this tradition, but also shares the area with visitors from all over the state.


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Steam Donkey Display

Logging History Display

100 Block First Avenue

Steam Donkey Display

Steam donkey display. (Photo courtesy of Barb Justice, 1999)

The logging display at the City of Issaquah’s “Preservation Park” was created over the course of the 1990’s by many volunteers, and is maintained by the Issaquah Historical Society.

At the center of the display is a “road engine”, which were used throughout the area in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s to skid logs long distances (up to a mile!) toward a pole at which they would be loaded on trucks or rail cars.  The engines were commonly called “donkey engines”  because they did work that had previously been done by animals, such as mules and oxen.

The road engine displayed was discovered in 1987 by former Issaquah Historical Society chairman Greg Spranger and then-councilman Rowan Hinds on Weyerhaeuser land southeast of Enumclaw. Extracting it from the surrounding forest and bringing it to Issaquah was a major effort – which took four years.  The engine was built somewhere between 1895 and 1910 by Puget Sound Iron and Steel Works in Tacoma.

Related: Historical society helps lug donkey engine to Issaquah (1993 Issaquah Press Article)

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Larry Kangas, at work on the logging mural

Mill Street Logging Mural

Corner of Sunset Way and First Avenue NE

Logging Mural on Sunset Way

Larry Kangas painted this logging mural based on several photos from the Issaquah History Museums’ collection.

This 1998 mural depicts Issaquah’s logging industry circa 1900-1940. At this time, old growth cedar and fir logs were being cut from the hills surrounding Issaquah and milled in the town’s many lumber mills. There were a number of railroad spurs that made transport of lumber into town easier. The trees growing on the hills today are second and third growth.

Prior to 1960, Sunset Way was known as Mill Street, referring to mills that were located on either end of the street when the town was first incorporated in 1892.

Logging Crew with Steam Donkey

Larry Kangas drew inspiration from this photograph of a logging crew with steam donkey. (IHM 91-7-56)

Sponsoring organizations for the mural include: City of Issaquah Arts Commission, Greater Issaquah Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Issaquah Plaza, Issaquah Historical Society, Main Street Issaquah, Front Street Market, and Ben Franklin.

One of the original source photos used in the design of the mural.  According to Eric Erickson:  “The photo is of the Issaquah Mill Company’s yarding engine and logging crew taken in 1903 in the vicinity of what is now Overdale Park. People in photo are William Robert (Tap) Bush with beard in background at base of large tree, Ralph Darst holding two horses, Charlie Baxter in white shirt seated on donkey, Dave Hailstone holding white horse. The steam donkey was built by Washington Iron Works in Seattle and is a two drum yarder with 9 by 10 1/4 inch cylinders, manufactured on February 10, 1903, builders #632”.

 

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Nike Missile Sign

“Radar Park” at Anti-Aircraft Peak

Cougar Mountain Regional Park

Nike Missile Sign

Nike Missile sign. Photo courtesy of David Bangs, 2001.

Now an open field, “Radar Park” was once a military installation used to protect our area from air attack.  All that is left of the installation now is sidewalks (which seem to serve no purpose), cement pads, landscaping features and an interpretive sign.

The site is part of the Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park, at the very top of Cougar Mountain.  Amenities include restrooms, picnic tables, a playfield, wildlife interpretive signs, and access to a great trail system.
To reach Anti-Aircraft Peak: From I-90, take exit 13 and drive up Lakemont Boulevard. Turn left onto Cougar Mountain Way, then right onto Cougar Mountain Drive, which will become the park’s gravel driveway at the very top of the mountain.

Radar Park History

Here is the story as told on the park’s interpretive sign, shown above:

You are standing on the sidewalk of a former military base put here to defend Puget Sound from air attack. In 1953, this site was occupied by anti-aircraft guns. Then, from 1957 to 1967, it served as the “radar” portion of a Nike Missile Defense System. (Hence the names, “radar park”, and “anti-aircraft peak”). When more advanced missiles and jets made the Nike System obsolete, King County acquired the grounds for a park. This 17 acre site was the first “cornerstone” of what is now a 3,000+ acre regional park.

The large meadow in front of you was originally created for a ring of 90mm “Skymaster” anti-aircraft guns, and rubber-skinned “Butler Buildings” for the troops. Puget Sound was a center of commerce and population, and also home to important shipyards and aircraft industries, making it a strategic target. With the development of long range bombers there was a real need to protect this area, and the guns were the best thing available. The two photographs at left were provided by Peter Watrey, who was sent here as a raw recruit. (Perhaps as a security measure, most of the enlisted men came from east coast cities like New York, and had never seen the northwest before. Peter says that apart from the secrecy and the boring guard duty, it was “like being stationed in heaven”).

The “Cold War”, which followed Word War II, was dominated by fears of a surprise attack by high speed bombers, and this led the army to seek a new king of air defense system. The problem was that planes were becoming so maneuverable, and flying so high and fast, that the ground based guns could not keep up. The solution called for a supersonic missile which could be controlled from take-off to target by radar. In 1945, the Bell Telephone Laboratories were recruited for the design/development job because of their extensive prior work with radar and computers. Douglas Aircraft, Western Electric and hundreds of subcontractors labored for the next eight years to produce the missiles and construct the total system.

Each Nike installation consisted of two separate areas: A radar control site, (where you are now standing – “radar park”): and a launch site where the missiles were actually kept. (Cougar Mountain’s launch site is nearly a mile downhill to the southeast on 166th Way S.E. It is known as the “Nike Missile Site” on the park maps, and will eventually have its own parking lots and interpretive signs).

The Nike system required three separate radars all interlinked by a central computer. First was the Acquisition Radar which located enemy aircraft at long distance. Next was the Target Tracking Radar which locked-on to the attacker, despite any evasive maneuvers. Last was the Missile Tracking Radar, used to alter the course of the missile in flight and direct it to the attacker. (Our present day personal computers are said to have evolved directly from the interlink and control computers first made for missile systems like this). The adjacent map will help you locate the radar pads and other “Nike” remnants.

The large hill to your left is actually a man-made structure atop which an antenna tower was mounted. (Look for mysterious cement pads and a picnic table there today). Other concrete pads to the west of the antenna-mound are where Quonset Huts were located for living and working quarters. (It took 125 men to staff the radar and launch sites on a day and night year-round schedule). “Safe” housing for military families was located down the mountain to the north near 164th Ave. S.E. and S.E. 46th Street. The new radio tower near the cement radar pads at the top of the park is still run by the Army Corps of Engineers, but it is shared with the State Department of Transportation and services primarily peaceful purposes now.

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