Name: Nancy Horrocks
Your history in Issaquah/How long lived here, etc.:
If you moved to Issaquah, why did you choose it?
After the Second World War, my folks decided to move to a rural area. First of all they checked on school districts. Not having been able to go beyond the eighth grade themselves, a good education for me was their top priority.
If you have lived here all or most of your life, why did you choose to stay?
I had come to love the area, meet my future husband here, loved the farm he would inherit, helped build our home, helped raise four daughters, who, fortunately for me all live within a 25 mile radius and have been able to stay on a small piece of the Horrock’s farm. It is home! (Plus I’m not great on change!)
Issaquah or area school(s) attended:
The grade school where the present Issaquah Middle School now is. The Issaquah High School that is now home to the Boehm’s swimming pool.
Family History in Issaquah:
Moved here right after World War II, 1945. (Did not realize the nudist colony had just purchased the land above our home and acreage. This made for many interesting stories in later years!)
Education—Coming of Age
What are your memories of Issaquah High School? Which teachers were influential?
I loved high school. I was an active student. Mr. Richard Treat and Miss Frances Crelly were both great positive influences on my life. She, for helping to develop my writing ability and he, for helping to implant a strong feeling for our method of government and the encouragement he gave to read and learn about history in general.
What memories do you have of Minnie Schomber, or another favorite teacher?
I didn’t actually know Mrs. Schomber, but she was a great favorite of my husband, David. On tape she told the story of David’s first day at school. He was very shy and cried and cried. Now, there’s nothing so unusual about that. But, what amazed me was her memory concerning David about 60 years later!
Were you affected by earthquake damage to the schools in 1949 or 1965?
Not really, although I recall standing outside the school looking at the remains of a large brick chimney laying in ruin on the ground in 1949. Our home is build on “hard pan” so we were very fortunate when the 1965 quake hit. It was kind of funny watching the cows “run in place.”
What kind of extracurricular activities were you involved in? Did you play football or chess, or did you act in the school plays? What were memorable games or plays?
Music: Nonette, soloist. I High Times (school paper) Editor. School plays.
In my junior year I had a “character” part in the school play. (I loved character parts. Marjorie Main was my favorite actress!) I played a real “darky” nurse in a production titled “Take Your Medicine.” I remember the two town doctors sat right down front and roared with laughter when I was on stage. It made my day!
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?
I was very involved with my church youth group. (It was where Dave and I really became acquainted.) We hiked, picnicked, went to the movies, etc. There were slumber parties for the girls. I guess I was one of the “good kids” most of the time. I do remember a day when two or three girls, including myself dumped perfume in several of the jock’s lockers. They actually turned us in to the principal. It was the only time I was ever “sent” to the office. If memory serves me correctly we had to clean the boys’ lockers. Punishment from my parents usually meant “banishment” to my room. (Big deal – I loved to read!) Also, lost “radio” privileges. Might, horror of horror– have to do extra ironing.
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 one day a bunch of us were sitting in a booth reading the newspaper where Marilyn Monroe was quoted as to the fact she wore no bra. We were scandalized! There was also a café called the Busy Bee (where the new library is). They had great scoops of ice cream for 5¢.
Shamrock Cafe (Front St.) – owned by the Shains – the family of a classmate. (before that it was Jay’s.) This was a real teenage hang out. It was where one could order cherry cokes, chocolate cokes and “graveyards” fountain fresh. Rena Shain made the best chocolate cake in captivity! Right across the street was Drylie’s Soda Fountain. To many of the kids he was a real grouch, but those of us who really understood him knew his “bark was worse than his bite.” His floats were to die for. There was a little “mom & pop” store on Front St., called Mosker’s (owner’s name). He was the bubble gum king! At the end of the war you actually had to go on a list to qualify for Double Bubble. He always kept some on hand for me under the counter.
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?
First of all, no girl would be caught dead in a barber shop and visa versa. Many of us wanted special hair dos for the big dances, and of course graduation. I wore page boys, and had really long hair. In those days a perm could take four hours. I can’t remember the name of my favorite beautician. I do remember she was Mae Darst’s mom. Her shop was in the garage. Her husband remodeled it into a “beauty parlor.”
What is memorable about Lewis Hardware? What items did you purchase there?
I still love the oiled wood floors.
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?
Let’s see there was the Grange. (We had freezer space there because home freezers were not yet available.) Steven’s Mkt. on Front St. was the typical old fashioned store, pot bellied stove and all. The Red and White Mkt. on Sunset was very popular. (They delivered.) It was not unusual to charge groceries. I remember Mosier’s Mkt. .because of the wheel of cheese on the counter. Fischer’s Meats always offered kids a free wiener and bones for the dogs. Tony and Johnnie’s old store was really cool. Tony had the most fantastic sense of humor.
What restaurants or soda shops did you enjoy going to? Did you go to Rena’s Café, or XXX Root beer? What was your favorite food? Were there memorable waiters or waitresses?
I’ve also mentioned the Shamrock (Rena & Bill Shain’s). We haunted the XXX. If you drive to the Maple Valley Highway via the Cedar Grove Rd. you can still see the remnants of the actual XXX bldg. It’s in really bad shape and totally unrecognizable from the one in our memories. Banana splits with all chocolate ice cream were great! I’ll never forget the night the town constable (who was Walt Seil’s dad) stopped Dave and me just after we’d left the XXX and accused us of throwing a beer bottle out the window! Of course we didn’t!
Did you go to Boehm’s Candies? What candies were your favorites?
Absolutely. In the “early” days the “broken chocolates” were such a deal! $ .98 a lb!
What saloons or local bars did you and your friends frequent?
None! In my crowd saloons and bars were taboo. One year during the Labor Day celebration my parents walked out of the Rolling Log Tavern just ahead of me. I ignored them and crossed to the other side of the street!
What do you remember about Grange Supply?
All the farmers were members. I remember the baby chicks and ducks. We still have old Grange certificates from the 1920s. (David’s dad’s certificates.)
What do you recall about Lawill’s drug store?
Off the record – where I stole a comic book! Seriously, they were neat folks. Friendly, courteous.
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?
Not for print! You can just imagine the trend of jokes when the local mortician became the mayor. Talk about graveyard humor.
Do you recall Ordinance No. 752 that changed most of the street names in town? What were your feelings about this change at the time?
I think I’ve already mentioned I’m not keen on change.
The Great Depression
What are your memories of the Great Depression? Did you have a job at this time? What ways did you try to save money? What did you eat?
I was raised on my family’s depression stories. Because my folks worked on farms during those years they were never hungry. There just was very little money. Often they worked for board and room.
Issaquah Round-Up—Salmon Days—Labor Day Celebrations
What do you remember about Labor Day Celebrations or Salmon Days?
Fun! Fun! Fun!
I remember one year the men were told to grow beards. If you didn’t have one you could be thrown in a “mock” jail on Front St. My dad, Charles Trostle, was one of the jailers.
Was there any year that these celebrations were especially memorable to you?
The years as part of the young people’s group from my church (Roadside Chapel) when we entered floats. One year, a local flower grower donated hundreds and hundreds of dahlias. Another year we spent hundreds of hours making flowers out of Kleenex. We won both years!
What special activities were there at Labor Day Celebrations, or at Salmon Days? How has Salmon Days changed over time?
Salmon Days is too large, too crowded, too much!
What were some of the other memorable special events and occasions in Issaquah?
Memorial Day. In the two days preceding Memorial Day we would spend hours cutting back the weeds, arranging flowers, etc. (There was no perpetual care during those days.) It was an important social event. A great time to chat with relatives, friends and neighbors. Picnic lunches were even in order. Where did all this happen? The cemetery.
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?
My favorite hiking trails? The Horrock’s farm. I loved swimming and hiking. I often biked to Alexander’s Beach to swim. (About a five mile bike ride.) I loved the out of doors. Swimming was my favorite sport. (Self-taught, although eventually I took lessons.)
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?
Trout – I was a stream fisherperson. I got too bored with lake fishing. Since I lived right across the street from the Issaquah Creek, I fished a lot – particularly with my dad (Charles Trostle). He taught me fly fishing. I still have his collection of hand tied flies.
What are your memories of Vasa Park? What did you do while there?
Danced for more hours than I can possibly approximate. The only public beach where I ever went skinny dipping – with girl friends on a dare during a slumber party.
Did you go swimming in the local lakes in the summer? Or ice-skating at the Horrock’s Farm in the winter?
Yes, to both. Pine Lake Resort, Alexander’s Beach on Sammamish, and Lake Wilderness. Having become a member of the Horrock’s family in 1954, I guess I should add the Horrock’s lake and dam for swimming. This is where our daughters learned to swim and skate.
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?
Dave’s dad (David Horrocks, Sr.) worked many years in the sawmills. He was an engineer in the High Point Mill. His mom, Myrtle Bush Horrocks, worked in mill kitchens as a very young woman. We still have some of her “cook house” recipes.
How has the salmon hatchery affected Issaquah?
In the early days it put Issaquah on the map.
Farming and Dairy
Were you involved with farming in Issaquah? What farm did you work on? What was grown or raised there?
In 1888 Dave’s grandfather, James Horrocks, purchased 200 acres on what would become the Cedar Grove Road. He built a cabin, started an orchard, brought livestock on the place, planted crops, etc. Dave’s father, Dave, Sr., saw to the barn building and started a dairy. I remember driving a tractor during haying, “mucking out” the stalls, “cooling” the milk and driving the cows. (The only times I heard Dave’s dad cuss, was when we was driving cows into the barn!
Do you have any memories of Pickering Farm?
The hay fields along both sides of Highway 10 I found very tranquilizing and romantic. (Except when fertilizer had just been spread!)
Did you travel frequently into Seattle? How did you get there? What did you do while in Seattle?
I loved to take the bus to Seattle for a day of shopping. This was usually with girl friends. The Pike Place market was a real draw. There were at least eight major movie theatres. As a dating teenager we loved to go to the all night theatres.
How did the construction of I-90 change life in Issaquah?
Lots more people!
What was your first car? Did you buy it from Hepler Ford Motors, Stonebridge Chevrolet, or the Kaiser-Frazier dealership?
Dave, my husband, bought his first new car from Hepler Ford. He was still in his late teens. His dad actually bought the car and [he] paid his dad $50.00 a month until it was paid. (He actually saved the receipt book. But, then, what didn’t he save!
My first car was an old – really old – Ford. It was painted a bright kelly green. When I took my mom (Christine Trostle) shopping she made me let her out and pick her up at the edge of town!
Fraternal Organizations—Local Halls
What are your memories of the fraternal organizations? Did you belong to the Elks Lodge, or Lions Club, etc?
Eagle’s Lodge. My dad, Charles Trostle, was the first chapter 4054 president. Dave joined the lodge in order to be able to see more of me as my parents were pretty strict. No single dating before the age of 16!
I myself was a Rainbow Girl.
What types of events did you attend at the Volunteer Fire Department (VFD) Hall? Did you use the shooting range located in the basement?
As I said about the Vasa Park Hall can also be said concerning the fire hall. I danced many, many hours away in that hall. One of the distinguishing elements was the fact that entire families would take part. I often watched my folks in waltz and Charleston contests. They always won! It was my dad who taught me to dance.
Did you attend dinners, dances, banquets, or other events in the upstairs Grange Meeting Hall?
Yes, but no outstanding memories.
Do you have any memories of Issaquah’s mining days? Were you involved in mining?
Dave’s grandfather, James Horrocks, was a miner. He would leave the farm on the Cedar Grove Road – walk 6 miles, carrying his mining tools, to the mine, work a 10-hour day, and return to the farm to complete farm chores.
What were the working conditions like in the mine? Which mine did you work for, and what was your job?
James Horrocks worked the Newcastle Mines and the Issaquah mines. He worked in the tunnels. Lung disease eventually caused his death.
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?
Do you have room to list a hundred or more? My first social security job was ushering and working behind the “goodies” counter. My wage was $ .75 per hour including a reasonable amount of popcorn, candy and pop. As a kid I spent a lot of Saturdays at the theatre. First came the previews, next several cartoons, then finally the serial movie. (Oh yes, almost forgot the news …“Here are the eyes and ears of the world.”)
Anyhow, here are a few of my favorites: Bambi, Snow White, Cinderella, all Tex Ritter movies, most every musical ever made, “Singing in the Rain,” Camelot, etc. Of course, Gone with the Wind, Random Harvest, any Marjorie Main comedy. I could go on and on, but I won’t.
That was known as the kissing corner. Yes, I spent a fair share of time back there! On one occasion it was filled so I and my boyfriend had moved up front. Did this slow us down? Absolutely not! Until someone tapped me on the shoulder. When I turned around it was to discover my parents sitting directly behind me!
The I.O.O.F. Hall was often rented out for parties, weddings, etc. One year our church, The Roadside Chapel (south of Issaquah), rented it for a Halloween party. Our young people’s group had pressed cider for a money raising project and we were selling it by the gallon. What we didn’t realize was it didn’t take the cider all that long to start to ferment. No one complained about the “hard” cider!
I attended “cake walks” there and basket socials.
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?
From the age of ten I regularly attended the Roadside Chapel, four miles south of Issaquah. It was a country church and I was very involved. I was baptized and married from this church. Our four daughters were raised in this church. We built a larger church just up the road. All labor was volunteered. Dave helped with all the electrical. The young minister Stan Kuhn was very instrumental in our spiritual life. Years later, another minister was a very important part of our life. He was Robert Mathers. We are still in touch.
I will, all my life, be grateful for the basic fundamental security and faith I learned in this little country church.
“The student and lover of nature has only to stay at home and see the procession pass.” John Burroughs
With these words in my heart and a cup of coffee in hand, I am often content on an early morning to dream the hours away on the back porch of my home, contemplating the passing of the seasons of my life since my marriage.
I can gaze across the man made body of water to where the Horrocks’ house and barn once stood. Where once a water wheel turned so that the family might realize its capability to produce electricity. Although long gone, I can capture in my mind’s eye the small, rudimentary cabin which once sheltered the family. A few of the fruit trees planted those many years ago still blossom and then carpet the grass with their spring color.
As I traverse the Cedar Grove Road, then the Hobart Road into Issaquah it is difficult to realize the accounts of the Cedar Grove Road as being so densely timbered that in mid day it was a darkened pathway.
As I gaze towards where the barn once stood I can almost hear the laughter of the children as they swing to and fro from the rope swing anchored high in the barn rafters.
Warm, sunny days can make one remember the scent of lush, wild blackberries growing at the base of the rock supporting wall just outside the milk house. The hum of the bees amongst the berries was almost musical. Inside the milk house was the cement tank which held the milk cans, cooled by the constant stream of almost icy water fed by the underground natural spring. What an oasis on a hot summer day!
While Dave’s father served in the First World War the farm was leased. It was still leased out when the country began to feel the birth pangs of prohibition. Years later when a remodeling project took place in the farmhouse the avocation of the renter was discovered. Inside many walls, shelves had been built. The shelves held bottle after bottle of “moonshine.” During my husband’s childhood, he and a cousin discovered the still. It was still in its entirety. Boiler, coils and all the apparatus just as it had been in its most productive hours. Dave showed me the site many years later. The underground room was still intact, although emptied.
The farm eventually due to spiraling taxes was sold. We kept five acres. It will never be as it was, but still remnants remain. The lakes, although rimmed with homes, still carry across the waters the laughter of children at play. During hard winter freezes one can hear the whistle of the blades of skates across the frozen surfaces. Old, gnarled, fruit trees still dot the landscape, and a rose that crossed the plains in a covered wagon winds its way around a fence in my backyard. I rescued it from an old, blackened hollow stump just ahead of the developer’s bulldozed blade. In our attics are stored the hand-made tools Dave’s grandfather and father fashioned to help carve out their place in history. All of these treasures help me remember how privileged I have been to share with them the heritage they have left. Having known them and known about them, I also believe has helped me in being able to share with them a part of their great mental courage. I have always sensed their spiritual love for this land.
So as I watch the bare branches of my friend the cottonwood tree, I feel a kinship between us as we both look forward to spring. To the beginning of watching yet a new procession.
P.S. One more notation for the downtown businesses. On Front St., near the Miles market was the Lewis Barbershop. The driver’s ed teacher would invariably use the loading zone in front of the barbershop to teach us how to parallel park. As we were struggling with this task, Mr. Lewis and his customers would wander out onto the sidewalk and watch us, laughing and teasing at our ineptness at parking!