Gilman Town Hall Museum

Gilman Town Hall

Issaquah’s origianl Town Hall dates back to the period when the town was called Gilman (1892-1899).

165 SE Andrews Street

The Gilman Town Hall was constructed in 1888 as a community hall. The Town of Gilman purchased the building in 1898 for use as the Town Hall. In addition to providing a place for governance, the building served, at varying times, as a polling place, library, school, police station, and fire department. In its early years, it is said, young men of the town held wrestling matches here.

Issaquah’s Town Hall was retired in 1930, when a new Town Hall was constructed. The building was a home to several families between 1930 and 1972, when the City designated its use to the Issaquah Historical Society. Volunteers worked to restore the building’s historic false front facade.

Today, the Gilman Town Hall is one of the Issaquah History Museums, and the location of the organization’s main offices.

Gilman Town Hall during restoration.

False front restoration at the Gilman Town Hall, 1983. (IHM FIC-2012-3-1a)

In This Valley: The Story of Our Town

This exhibit tells the story of Issaquah’s past through hundreds of photographs and artifacts and a variety of interactive elements. Come see one of Issaquah’s original water pipes, a rare Native American fur trade knife, and graffiti hidden for 75 years inside the walls of the fish hatchery. Set off an imaginary charge with an authentic dynamite blaster, ring a logging camp bell, listen to the music of the Squak Valley Hot Shots — and much more!

Also at the Gilman Town Hall…

The kitchen contains a wealth of small objects that remind us of the dawn-to-dusk work of the pioneer homemaker. These include an old wash tub and scrub board, kitchen stove, and water pump. A children’s touch table gives visitors the opportunity to pick up an old sad iron, handle a butter bowl and paddle, try on hob-nailed boots, or examine an old-fashioned curling iron.

Still not sure you can make time to visit the Gilman Town Hall? Then ask yourself this: “Where else can I see a jar of green beans canned in 1922?”

From the museum’s back door you can go directly to jail – the old two-cell town jail, which was constructed in 1914 of solid eight inch concrete walls and still has the original iron bars in the windows. The forged iron lock bar weighs at least 80 pounds, and effectively cut the escape count to zero.

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