If you’ve ever wondered why the west side of Front Street has wider sidewalks than the east side, the answer lies in this 1910 photograph of the Bank of Issaquah. Located at 111 Front St. N., where the Bicycle Center now resides, the community’s second bank was full of modern inventions. On the left side of the building is the concrete mixer that poured the city’s first concrete sidewalk. Bank owner W.W. Sylvester felt that 11 feet was the optimum width for his sidewalk, so he had his bank set back from Front Street three feet farther than other existing buildings. He eventually talked other business owners into moving their buildings back three feet as well. As a side-note, Sylvester also owned a gravel pit northeast of town. Another modern touch on the bank building was the wireless telegraph (note antennae on rooftop).
Published in the Issaquah Press on August 12, 1998