Posts

The Werner Murder

By Polly Good, Historian

Murder, Investigation and Arrests

On the morning of March 2, 1914, Henry Werner was found brutally murdered in his barn. During the next few days, authorities questioned Henry’s wife, Magdalena, and his son, Wilheim, about the events of that fateful morning. Eight-year old Wilheim told Seattle deputies that he was standing on the porch and heard men arguing in the barn. He wanted to investigate, but his mother told him not to go to the barn since it was probably Henry yelling at a cow. She later told authorities that she thought Henry was discussing a land deal with the neighbors and was not overly concerned by the shouting. Wilheim heard more yelling and told his mother again about the disturbance in the barn.

At this point in the narrative, there is a discrepancy in the newspaper accounts. The Seattle Daily Times reports that Wilheim found his father’s body and ran to the house to tell his mother. The Seattle Star explained that Magdalena saw a man running out of the barn as she approached the building and when she entered the barn she found her husband’s body.

Magdalena’s comments immediately after she found her husband’s body are also inconsistent. She told neighbors at the scene that she was so distraught over her husband’s murder that she took poison in an attempt to commit suicide. When a doctor arrived, she told him that she had not taken poison but fainted from the shock. She remained fragile and shaky for weeks after the murder and was, in fact, too weak to attend her husband’s funeral.

Neighbors told investigators that Henry and Magdalena argued two weeks before the murder, each threatening to kill the other. Henry threatened Magdalena with a knife, and she declared that she would kill him if he ever did it again. Magdalena denied threatening her husband and said that they never had any serious problems despite evidence that she had left her husband twice to look for work in Seattle.

On March 6, Marshal Elmer Baxter arrested an Italian man, Henry Paulone (aka Henry Smith). Paulone was held in the Issaquah jail pending the results of the coroner’s inquest. The Seattle Daily Times suggested that Henry Paulone and Magdalena were having an affair while The Seattle Star reported that Henry Werner found lover letters between Magdalena and various suitors at his house and gave them to his brother, who made them public after the murder, for safe keeping.

The love letters raised questions about Magdalena’s character. It seems she was not popular with her neighbors, who suspected that she had killed a number of dogs. One neighbor told The Seattle Star that he had gone to the Werner farm to see Henry when he saw Magdalena running from the house with a rifle in her hand. Before he knew it, she fired the gun, killing a small dog, and shouting “I’ll teach them to chase my sheep!”

Shortly after her arrest, Magdalena told a Star reporter that she knew the man who killed her husband and that he had committed the murder to protect her. She hoped that he would escape punishment because he only killed Henry to end her torment and suffering at the hands of her husband. According to Magdalena, her life on the Werner farm was lonely and miserable. The farm was about nine miles outside Issaquah (near Beaver Lake), and Henry did not allow her to go anywhere. She claims to have asked him for a divorce, as long as she could keep their four children, but he refused to consider divorce. Adding to the isolation of farm life, Henry was 26 years older than Magdalena. The Seattle Star printed an article speculating that this age gap contributed to the turmoil in the Werner household.

After her arrest, Magdalena became increasingly despondent in jail. She wouldn’t eat or talk to anyone. Out of concern, the prison matron allowed her infant daughter, Agnes, to take up residence in her mother’s jail cell. Agnes, living with her mother in the jail, brightened Magdalena’s spirits. This living situation, however, was short lived as Agnes was sent to live in a juvenile detention center after a month.

On March 10, authorities announced a new suspect Frank Piconi (aka Roderigo Rocco) and offered a $500 reward for his capture. There were sightings of Frank near Centralia, and people all over Northwest Washington searched for Frank. He was finally captured and arrested in Cle Elum on March 13. Evidence against Frank was a blood-stained knife and handkerchief found in his cabin (although some reports said that these items were found on his person). One particularly damning piece of evidence was his conversation with Joe Frejelli, a Cle Elum shoemaker and former friend. According to Joe, Frank asked Joe for a place to lay-low because he wanted to hide from some trouble he had in King County. Joe refused to accommodate Frank and called the authorities. The primary evidence that led to Frank’s arrest was Magdalena’s confession that she paid Frank Piconi $100 to kill her husband.

While Frank denied any knowledge of the murder, the sheriff orchestrated a dramatic encounter between Frank and Magdalena for the purposes of positively identifying the man she hired to kill her husband. On March 14, the sheriff brought Magdalena to his office for questioning and positioned her chair so that her back was to the door. A deputy entered unnoticed with Frank. The sheriff was asking familiar questions but suddenly asked, “Do you know that man?” Magdalena turned toward the door and gasped at the sight of Frank. “That’s the man!” she cried. Frank went pale and leaned on the door for support. After this positive identification, the sheriff was confident of a conviction. On March 24, Frank and Magdalena were arraigned on charges of first-degree murder. They both entered pleas of not guilty a few days later on March 27.

Werner MurderMagdalena’s Trial and Postscript

On April 13, the county sheriff received a death threat against Magdalena. The note was pieced together from letters cut out of the newspapers and warned that Magdalena would be killed if she testified against Frank. The sheriff did not take the threat seriously and destroyed the letter.

During Magdalena’s trial, evidence included her written confession (read aloud in court), the bloody mattock (murder weapon), and photos of Henry Werner’s body (over the objection of the defense). There were six men and six women on the jury. When the prosecution presented the murder weapon as evidence, Magdalena closed her eyes and one of the women on the jury seemed faint but regained her composure. Several key witnesses failed to appear to the dismay of the prosecution.

The trial was a media sensation and the hottest ticket in town. The courtroom was filled to capacity and the bailiffs had difficulty maintaining control of the crowd, both in and out of the courtroom. On the last day of the trial, people lined up for admittance at 7 o’clock in the morning and fought for seats when the doors of the courtroom opened. One row of chairs collapsed under the weight of the spectators, injuring three young women. In the crush to obtain a seat, one man lost $25 to a pick-pocket.

On May 22, the jury acquitted Magdalena in two hours and 45 minutes. The verdict shocked the prosecution because they had obtained a confession and other evidence pointing toward Magdalena’s involvement in the murder. The papers report that jurors shook Magdalena’s hand after the verdict, suggesting maybe the defense was successful in portraying Magdalena as a lonely and abused woman and the sympathies of the jury trumped the confession and physical evidence. After her acquittal, Magdalena applied for custody of her children and began looking for a job in Seattle.

After her acquittal, Magdalena moved to Kitsap County to working in a logging camp. There she met Benjamin Miller. In mid-August, the couple applied for a marriage license, but Magdalena’s notoriety caused them some trouble. It seems she had difficulty finding someone to act as her witness and vouch for her. She asked one of the deputies, who had testified at her trial, but he refused, saying that she would have to find a witness outside of the sheriff’s office. The couple apparently found witnesses because their marriage was announced in The Seattle Daily Times on August 19, 1914. After her marriage, Magdalena disappears from the records.

Frank’s Trial and Postscript

Frank Piconi’s trial began on June 8, with Magdalena scheduled to testify. The star witness, however, was 8-year old Wilheim Werner, who testified for a little over an hour. In a dramatic fashion, he identified Frank as the man who was seen running from the barn the morning of his father’s murder. After the boy’s testimony, the judge questioned him and became increasingly concerned that someone had coached him on what to say in court. For his part, Wilheim stuck to his story.

In early April, Henry Paulone was cleared of any involvement in the murder but remained in custody as a witness. On the stand, he gave testimony implicating Frank Piconi as Magdalena’s suitor and had been given a letter by Magdalena to give to Frank. Through an interpreter, Frank claimed his innocence saying he had no reason to kill Henry Werner and that he left Issaquah to go to Cle Elum to get a better job. He said he was at the house of a friend, Nick Garrish, at the time of the murder. Nick could not be found to testify, but the prosecution had an affidavit from him denying Frank’s claims. Magdalena provided the most helpful testimony at Frank’s trial when she failed to identify him as the man running away from the barn.

At the conclusion of the trial, the jury asked the judge if they could present their verdict directly from the jury box, but the judge denied the request and required them to deliberate in the jury room. After about 20 minutes, the jury came back with a verdict of not guilty. The jury appears to have believed Magdalena’s testimony rather than her written confession, which implicated Frank Piconi. On June 13, The Seattle Star ran the following blurb: “Now the Henry Werner murder, after two trials, is just as much, if not more, of a mystery than ever.”

In October, Frank Piconi sued the Seattle Post-Intelligencer for libel, asking for damages of $25,000 (or $45,000, depending on the report). The newspaper tried unsuccessfully to have the case thrown out, and the case was set for trial. Unfortunately, the results of the suit are unknown. It may be that Frank settled out of court, and the settlement was not reported in the papers.

Frank Piconi died at age 63 in Seattle and was survived by his wife, Mary, and son, Angelo. An obituary for Frank Piconi appeared in the May 24, 1951 Seattle Times, matching the state death records for the same Frank Piconi of the Werner murder.

Who Was Sena Wold?

IHM 2007-22-61

IHM 2007-22-61

One of Issaquah’s newest recreation areas has been named Sena Park. Sena Park is located just off Gilman Boulevard, near the new Atlas Apartments. When completed, the small park will provide access to Issaquah Creek. The park was named after Sena Wold, who lived in Issaquah for the majority of her 77 years.

Sena Wold was the youngest surviving child of Lars Wold and Henrietta Walters, both immigrants from Scandinavia who made their way to what was then called the Squak Valley. Lars Wold, along with his brothers Ingebright and Peter, came to Issaquah in 1867 and established the first hops farm in the valley. Lars Wold owned 160 acres north and west of today’s Front and Sunset Way intersection. The Wolds’ 1908 home now stands in Gilman Village, the only building that didn’t need to be moved. Today it is home to the Farmhouse School.

Among the Issaquah History Museums collections is a photo album created by Sena Wold . It reveals that Sena was interested in animals from a very young age. Along with photos of dogs, cats, and domesticated birds, there are many pictures of Sena with one of her beloved horses.

The Wold children, boys and girls alike, were educated. Both Sena and her elder sister Mary completed their high school education, and went on to college. The Wold children all spent time in Seattle and were comfortable in both the city and on the farm. The photo albums they left behind show many group outings with friends to hike or picnic, and sorts of high-spirited fun.

IHM 2010-10-5

Sena Wold (IHM 2010-10-5)

One of Sena and Mary’s projects was the Odd Old Maids Club. Originally started by Mary Wold and her friend Bessie Marsh, the mission of the Odd Old Maids Club was a mystery to most Issaquahns. The Issaquah Independent (today the Press) printed several anecdotes about the club, but seemed convinced that the purpose of the club was to catch husbands. For one meeting, the girls reportedly got up early, dressed in trousers, and went fishing. Another Odd Old Maids get-together featured adopting the names and costumes of fairy tale characters and having tea. Far from catching husbands, I suspect that the club was for the opposite purpose: enjoying the fun of being an old maid, unencumbered by expectations of marriage. The photograph of several young women on the front porch of the Wold House, grinning and in pants, seems to support my theory.

Like her older sister Mary, Sena attended Central Washington University in Ellensburg. While her sister became a teacher and worked in a variety of places, Sena stayed close to home. She worked for the Standard Oil Company in Issaquah for a time, but had established her own business by 1930: the Wold Poultry Farm. Sena was quite serious about this enterprise, and her hens won at least one trophy for their admirable egg-laying. (This trophy is now on display at the Gilman Town Hall, should you wish to admire it). In 1930, Sena traveled to London, England to attend the World Poultry Congress. This is remarkable, considering it was an era when travel between Issaquah and Seattle by train was worth a mention in the Issaquah Press. In her later years, Sena took up the training of German Shepherds, which raised the eyebrows of a few of her other female relatives.

Sena Wold never married or had children, and she lived out most of her life here in Issaquah. Imagine the changes she must have seen between her birth in 1891 and when she passed away, on June 3, 1968. She probably would have been surprised to see such tall buildings crowding around what was once her family’s farm. I hope she would be pleased to have a small part of that property set aside for recreation, and named in her honor.

 

 

 

Holiday Memories of Issaquah

Contributed by Don Anderson. This article first appeared in the Winter 2004 issue of Past Times.

holida1Don Anderson, who currently resides in Wheeling, Illinois, kindly submitted these memories. Some of his text has been edited to fit the space.

In March 1931, my parents, younger sister and I were making our way across the northern states from southwestern Minnesota to Washington State in a Model-A Ford, towing a small four-wheeled trailer Dad had put together, loaded with a small supply of household goods. I was age three years and three months; my sister Betty Jane (BeeJay) was eighteen months younger. We were moving to Issaquah, a small town ten miles east of Seattle, where Dad was to take the pastorate of Community Church.

In the small parsonage next to the church in Issaquah, our first Christmas tree, placed near the front window in the living room, was illuminated by candles. For a special Christmas service, Dad had invited Dr. Jepson, a popular lay preacher in Seattle, to speak. Before the service, Dr. Jepson was our dinner guest and Mom, planning to seat me next to this large man, warned me, “If you spill on his suit, he’ll have a fit.” Apparently Mom’s waffles (her inexpensive dinner specialty), my table manners, and the honorarium (if there was one) pleased the guest just fine. A week or two later we received in the mail from him our first string of Christmas lights. BeeJay remembers him holding her in his lap and giving her a chocolate bar.

It was probably the next Christmas that my parents gave me the wherewithal to splurge on a gift for the family. On my own, having just turned five, I marched downtown to the five-and-dime store, put one thin dime on the counter and walked out with a small red bulb in a brown paper bag. I managed to drop it on the sidewalk on the way home. Turning over red shards to my parents was a disappointment to us all, but Mom and Dad were probably relieved that they did not have to explain to me that there was no practical way to use that odd-sized bulb in the house.

One Christmas, for the children’s Christmas program in church, it was BeeJay’s turn to walk to the center of the platform and recite a short poem for the entire congregation. Standing alone, and doing something she had never done before, she started well, but was seized with a panic-attack midway through her lines. She ran off the platform bawling like I had never heard before. Fortunately, she recovered her composure and developed skills to speak many, many times during 50 years as a pastor’s wife.

Ben Legg

Bad Ben Legg

By Erica Maniez, Museum Director / Winter 2004 (corrected, extended and edited in 2012)

Hunting Party

Hunting party featuring Ben Legg at the front right [IHM photo 2004-24-1]

On March 29, 1920, the headline of the Seattle Daily Times blared, “Issaquah Ducks for Cover as Shots Fly!” The subtitle read, “Bad Ben Legg Has Aim That Matches Heart.” In less than ten words, the newspaper implied that Legg was not only a bad person, but also a poor shot. It would not be the last time that the press condemned him. The moniker Bad Ben Legg was not wholly deserved. Family members say that Legg was actually a kind, soft-spoken man, a loner who knew hardship during his life in the rough mining town that was early 20th Century Issaquah.

Like many of Issaquah’ early residents, Ben Legg was the son of immigrants. His father, Robert Legg, came to the United States from England in 1869. He married Jane Anderson, and they settled in Ohio. The first Mrs. Legg died in 1888. Four months later, Robert Legg remarried, to a woman named Jenny Fynes. She was roughly half his age, the cousin of his first wife. On April 5, 1889, their son Benjamin was born in North Lawrence, Ohio.

In 1890 the family moved to the town of Gilman, Washington (today’s Issaquah). Robert Legg bought a lot in town where he built a house. Legg also filed a land claim on a quarter section of land high on Squak Mountain. He worked in the coal mines, along with his sons. When he wasn’t working or proving up his property, he could be found at Burke’s Store, reciting his poetry, or down at the bar.

Jenny Fynes Legg was in frail mental health by 1900. Several times she was admitted to the Washington State Hospital for the Insane. In this era, mental illness was seen as a personal failing rather than an illness. Between his wife’s illness and his own outside pursuits, Robert Legg found it difficult to provide sufficient care for the children. Over the course of several years, the five youngest children were removed from the home by order of the juvenile court. Jenny died in October 1908.

In 1910, Ben Legg was living with his father and his youngest brother George in the family home on Mill Street (today’s Sunset Way). Ben was working as a sawyer, and his father was doing odd jobs. In 1911 or so, Legg relocated to Stanwood, Washington. Stanwood was similar in size to Issaquah, and like Issaquah, it had an active lumber industry. It was probably a job that drew Legg to the Stanwood to begin with. In 1912, Ben Legg married Olive Conners, a Stanwood girl who’d been working at one of the town’s hotels. The young couple moved to Seattle, where their first child, a daughter, was born in 1914. Two years later, Olive was pregnant with the couple’s son when she developed a rare liver condition that killed both her and the child. Ben’s daughter went to Stanwood to live with her grandparents.

Ben Legg

Ben Legg (detail of hunting photo 2004-24-1)

During this era, Ben and his brothers were supporters of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), a labor organization active in the Pacific Northwest between 1905 and the 1920s. The IWW, or Wobblies, campaigned to unionize lumberjacks and mill workers of the northwest. In addition to the marks their logging boots left on the floor of the house on Mill Street, one or more of the Legg boys inscribed the initials of the IWW on the chimney in the attic.

It is not known exactly when Ben Legg got involved in the IWW, but he was certainly a member on November 5, 1916, when he and roughly 150 other Wobblies boarded the Verona, a boat headed to Everett. The Wobblies planned a peaceful protest. Everett’s Sheriff McRae and his deputies met the boat at the dock, and called out that the boat couldn’t land there. The Wobblies aboard replied, “The hell we can’t!”

Who fired the first shot is still debatable, but at the end of the barrage, four IWW members were dead, a dozen more were injured, and an untold number had fallen overboard. (For more information about the Everett Massacre, check out Historylink.org). Jack Leonard Miller, another Wobbly who was on the Verona that day, recorded Legg’s role in the Massacre in a handwritten account held at the UW. Two of the Sheriff’s deputies were also dead, although it was later determined that one of them was killed by friendly fire. When the Verona arrived back at the dock, the Wobblies aboard — including Ben Legg — were shocked to find themselves under arrest for first degree murder. The men who stood trial were in jail for more than 6 months. Although the charges were eventually dropped, Legg would have lost his rental home and his job. Upon release, he returned to Issaquah.

In the 1920 census, Ben Legg was listed as a widower, and was living in Issaquah with his father and younger brother, Arthur. All three worked as miners. After his wife’s death, Legg became something of a loner, although he was constantly accompanied by his adoring dog. Legg worked alternately in the woods and the mines, and was known to make moonshine with his brothers.

On March 28 of 1920, Legg had reportedly been drinking moonshine when he set out after his neighbor, Tom Hall. There is no explanation for Legg’s grudge with Hall, although the two apparently had a long-running feud. Legg supposedly emerged from his home at about 11 AM with his Winchester rifle in the crook of his arm. He fired two shots at Hall as the man fled his home, both of which missed their mark. Legg then followed Hall through town, shooting randomly. A bullet entered William Evans’ home and missed Mrs. Evans by 18 inches.

Another bullet struck the power station building (next door to the Grand Central Hotel). Legg reportedly stopped to threaten a Native American child who was walking along Mill Street with a companion. Both boys took off at a run and Legg fired into the distance, missing them. Legg also took a shot at Bert Hoye, missing him as well. Then, according to the Daily Times, Legg stopped in his tracks at the sight of a dog; the paper claimed that Ben Legg’s rage drained away then, due to his affection for canine companions. Bert Hoye disarmed Legg and led him home to be put to bed.

At 2 PM, King County Sheriff Matt Starwich and two deputies arrived to investigate. Legg fled his home at their arrival. They gave chase and spotted Ben crossing the creek, about to disappear into the trees beyond. They shot Legg twice, in his arm and just above his right hip. Their quarry was then easily apprehended.

On their way to the county hospital at Georgetown, Legg told Starwich, “Well, Matt, you would have been within your rights if you had killed me and I don’t see why you didn’t.” Presumably Ben’s injury healed he didn’t suffer any dire consequences from his arrest.

In 1930, Ben Legg was still living in Issaquah, alone. We can assume he had canine companionship although the federal census did not take pets into account. He lived on Mill Street, probably in the family home where he spent most of his life, and was out of work. In 1942, Legg bought a small property with a cabin on it, on the shoulder of Grand Ridge. He lived there until his death in 1960.

It is clear from the historical records and family tales that Ben Legg’s first forty years were filled with hardship and loss. The press branded him “bad” in 1920 and the name stuck. But was he really bad? In the newspaper account, there is no mention of the town marshal (who was at that time either Burn Mullarkey or Jack Chalfa, both longtime residents of Issaquah) attempting to apprehend Legg. Consider also that Bert Hoye was hiding from Legg at one moment, and leading the man home to put him to bed the next. In 1920, Issaquah was a community of just under 800 people. In a town that small, people were acquainted with each other, and with each other’s quirks, tendencies and shortcomings. Although the reader may draw his or her own conclusions, evidence suggests that most of the townspeople in Issaquah did not consider Ben Legg to be malicious, just one of their own, having a bad day.

Sources include: Seattle Daily Times, March 29, 1910; U.S. Federal Census records for 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930; the Washington State Birth Record, 1907-1919; the Leggs of Issaquah, a family tree; and correspondence with Patricia Gilbert, Legg descendent. The Issaquah Press for the week following the one man shoot-out is difficult to find. If you have a copy of the April 2, 1920 Issaquah Press, or more information about Ben Legg, please let us know!

Dinner for the Servicemen

Women of Issaquah in WWI

Dinner for the Servicemen

Dinner for the Servicemen, circa 1943-45. From left to right are: Mildred Paulson, Lulu Smart, Bonnie Castagno, Barbara Sellers, Avis Yourglich, Joanne Boni Karvia, Mabel Miles, and Ethel Inger. (IHM 2000.18.7)

By Erica Maniez, Museum Director / Summer 2003

After the United States entered World War II on December 7, 1941, many of Issaquah’s young men left town to serve in the military. Women stayed behind to tend victory gardens, run family businesses, volunteer as airplane spotters at the Issaquah Volunteer Fire Department Hall – and to serve in roles traditionally reserved for men. Women’s roles during World War II were significant and diverse.

Many women played an important role in the war effort by taking the jobs vacated by men who went overseas. More than six million women worked in defense plants and offices. Many from Issaquah and the surrounding area found wartime employment at the Boeing Company. Among them were Jo Garner, Helen Hailstone and Betty Brault. Betty worked as a riveter on airplane wings. Viola White Petersen remembers, “After graduation from high school, I got a job as a mechanic at Boeing Aircraft. There were lots of women working in war plants but, considering my mechanical skills and for the good of the country, that fall I left to go to school at the University of Washington.”

Daughters as well as sons joined the military and died in service to their country. During World War II, more than 350,000 women served in women’s divisions of the military, among them several of Issaquah’s young women.

Juanita Risdon joined the WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service), the women’s division of the Navy. WAVES worked stateside so that Navy men were free to fight overseas. In addition to traditionally female secretarial and clerical jobs, WAVES were also assigned to other duties including aviation, intelligence, and communications.

Agda Peltola, daughter of Herman Peltola, joined the SPARS. This women’s reserve of the Coast Guard took its name from the Coast Guard’s motto, Semper Paratus (“always ready”). Lynnette McDonald joined the Women’s Army Corps, and her progress through basic training was recorded in several issues of the 1944 Issaquah Press.

Elizabeth Erickson joined the Woman Air Force Service Pilots (WASP). These women received extensive flight training and relieved men of their non-combat duties. Among other things, they ferried new fighter planes to Europe so that fighting men would not have to leave the front lines to do so. This proved to be an appealing vocation for young women whose early years were filled with news coverage of Amelia Earhart’s daring flights – and eventual disappearance.

Erickson, a graduate of Issaquah High School and the University of Washington, reported for duty at Sweetwater, Texas in January of 1944. Tragically, four months later she was killed in a mid-air collision over Texas. Thirty-seven other women died in service to their country, but never received military recognition. Because they are still considered civilians, the U.S. Army did not even provide military burial. Erickson’s name is inscribed on the monument to Issaquah’s war dead that stands in Memorial Field.

World War II brought around changes in the typical roles of women. Issaquah’s women, like their sisters across the nation, took the opportunity to serve their country in new ways.

This information came from research done in preparation for the newest IHS exhibit, Issaquah in Wartime. The exhibit opeed at the Gilman Town Hall on July 4 and closed November 11, 2003. The article was published in the the Summer 2003 edition of Past Times

Hockey Game, circa 1930

Les Adair

Hockey Game, circa 1930

Circa 1930. From left to right are: Ruth Campbell (standing behind Archie Adair),
Archie Adair V, Lester Adair, James Bonner, Jr., William Bonner, Joseph Anthony Donlan. (IHM 2008-4-1)

Name: Lester J. Adair

Birth Date or Year (optional): 3/1/1914

Your history in Issaquah/How long lived here, etc.:
My granddad settled the property in 1903. The family has lived on this property ever since.
If you have lived here all or most of your life, why did you choose to stay?
It was home.
Issaquah or area school(s) attended:
Issaquah Elementary beginning in 1920 when I was 6 years old and graduated in 1933 from Issaquah High School.
Family History in Issaquah:
Our family history is discussed in the Family Book.
Education—Coming of Age
What are your memories of Issaquah High School?  Which teachers were influential?
Ernest Edgerton, taught the sciences; chemistry, physics and physical geography.
Lawrence Jenson, taught manual training.  Mr. Jenson was trained in Sweden and had a wonderful knowledge of woodworking and how to impart that knowledge.
Miss Eades, biology teacher.  Along with lab and classroom work, she took the class on field trips, pointing out that which others would have missed.
Harold Byrd, typing teacher, saw to it that you learned how to type, get your class work done, and do the exercises that made your fingers more accurate.
Miss Wager taught foreign languages such as Spanish and French.
Jim Stevens taught oral English.  His classes were really interesting because he was able to teach some of the girls who were really shy how to overcome their shyness, and speak in front of the class.  One girl in particular was so shy she could hardly speak in class.  With his training and methods, she soon was able to carry on her class work just about like everybody else in class.
The training that we got from these fine teachers had a direct bearing on how we communicate with other people as we grew up.
What memories do you have of Minnie Schomber, or another favorite teacher?
Minnie was originally the first grade teacher of my brother.  I ran into her years later when  I was working on a WPA project and she had to sign the various forms as representative of the City.
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?
I lettered in football and track.  I was too busy elsewhere for anything else.
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?
Hiking, hunting, fishing. rockhounding.
We didn’t get into mischief that would get us into trouble.  Dad made it very plain that how we were to deal with other people and other people’s property.  He was a good Dad, but a strict Dad.
Local Businesses
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?
Grange Mercantile, Fishers Meats, Grange Supply
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?
Dave Lewis’ Barbershop.  (one of my best friends that I did a lot of hunting and fishing with.)
What is memorable about Lewis Hardware?  What items did you purchase there?
We purchased fishing tackle, ammunition for hunting trips, Hunting and fishing Regulation books.
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?
Tony and Johnny’s for a long time, Red and White (Leonard Miles store) and Grange Mercantile. (Also, there was a Money Savers)
Did you purchase things at the Grange Mercantile Building?  What type of things did you get there?  Did your family rent a frozen food storage locker?
All of our groceries were purchased there.  We rented the storage locker and kept it full, both of meat and fruit.  Pick Pickering, the manager, was shot during hold-up there, about 1930.
What restaurants or soda shops did you enjoy going to? 
We stopped in the Honeysuckle of Tom Drylie’s once in a while.
Did you go to Rena’s Café, (Rena made the best pie’s in town) or XXX Root beer?  
Not very often
What was your favorite food?
Clam chowder
Did you go to Boehm’s Candies?  What candies were your favorites?
No
What saloons or local bars did you and your friends frequent?
I had no tolerance for hard liquor and don’t like beer, so I didn’t go in those places.
What do you remember about Grange Supply?
The Grange handled many things for the people.  In 1956 when our neighborhood had to renew our well, Mr. Stickney, the manager of the Grange, was very helpful in telling us all the various things we’d need.
Anything in the way of nuts and bolts, you got it at the Grange Supply.
What do you recall about Lawill’s drug store?
I knew both Lou and Gertie because they were friendly people.  They always helped you to find things on the shelf.  Years later, Marcia and I were down at Westport having dinner.  To our surprise, up walked Lou who was the pharmacist at the Westport local drug store to say hello.
Local Politics
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? 
The presence of the WPA in Issaquah made a difference in the lives of many Issaquah people who were out of work because of the Depression.  Most of that time, I spent in the WPA office as a typist.   Jerry Marquis was the accountant.  We handled all the paperwork for the sidewalks, cemetery improvement, watershed, and city sewers.
Issaquah was also known as having the highest number of moonshine stills in the county, in the hills around the town… some no more than a mile from City Hall.
What do you recall about Mayor Stella Alexander, the first female mayor of Issaquah (elected in 1933)?  Were there any other local politicians or political activities that drew scandalous attention?
My only memory of Stella Alexander was when I was advised by a farmer in the area to take my sick hunting dog to her since she was raised on a farm and knew how to take care of animals.  With her help, I managed to get my dog through a very severe case of distemper.  He was an ugly beast but the best hunting dog I ever owned.
The Great Depression
What are your memories of the Great Depression?  Did you have a job at this time?
The Great Depression was a tragedy for the average working man who became unemployed because of lack of work.  I saw kids wearing the same dress all week long at school because they didn’t have anything else.  The boys were no better off.
I managed to pay for most of my school expenses and clothes with money that I earned trapping; mink, muskrat, skunk, weasel.  One skunk hide earned $7.50.  What I earned increased dramatically when I learned to prepare the hides.
What ways did you try to save money?
We went to the movies when it was dime night.  My mother and Dad spent the summers canning everything they could find, for the winter.
What did you eat?
We ate fairly well because we always raised a cow, hogs and chickens.  I raised ducks.  We always had a big garden.  I did a lot of hunting.  Ba-Ba was our milk cow, though she was considered a pet.  My Mom and Dad just about died when they had to take her to Fishers.
World War II
How did World War II affect the town of Issaquah?  Did you know men or women who went to fight in the war?  Did you leave Issaquah to join the war efforts?
It had a dramatic effect on the town people because suddenly, they had to commute so far to work.
Did you know men or women who went to fight in the war?  
Kenneth Kobukata, a Japanese-American, lived and worked on a farm on the Plateau owned by Mr. Best.
How did the Japanese Internment affect Issaquah?  Did you know men and women who were taken to Internment Camps?
The Kobukata family was sent to an Internment Center in Idaho, I believe.
Issaquah Round-Up—Salmon Days—Labor Day Celebrations
What do you remember about Labor Day Celebrations or Salmon Days?
This was usually when the rodeo was put on.  Races, bucking horses, chariot races, bulldogging, carnivals along the west-side of Memorial Field (where the Library is now).
Was there any year that these celebrations were especially memorable to you?
No
What are your memories of the Rodeo? 
See above
Special Occasions
What were some of the other memorable special events and occasions in Issaquah?
In about 1920, there was a KKK rally down by Goode’s Corner.  At a given signal, the men were to remove their headdresses.  They did.  I was surprised to see some of the men who had hidden behind the mask.
Outdoor Recreation
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? 
The trail along the power long to Round Lake and Lake Tradition.
What type of fish did you catch? 
Trout, Kokanee, catfish, perch, bass, steelhead.  Those were the legal catches.
In order to make home canned eggs to fish with, other fish were “snagged” out of the Issaquah Creek and it’s tributaries.
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?
You might say so.
What are your memories of Vasa Park?  What did you do while there? 
We had a lot of fun swimming there.
Did you go swimming in the local lakes in the summer?
Yes
Or ice-skating at the Horrock’s Farm in the winter? 
Yes and had some wonderful times.  There was always a fire out by the lake and we were always made to feel welcome.
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?
Kept a lot of guys working.  I didn’t work for one.  My Dad told me to get a job in the mill where I could make pretty good money.  He thought the woods were too dangerous.
Do you remember the Monohon Mill, the Red Hall sawmill by the fish hatchery, the High Point Mill, the Preston Mill, or the Issaquah Lumber Company Mill on Front Street South?
I remember every one of them.  I worked for Carl Pearson at the Monohon Mill.
Do you remember when there was a fire at the mill?  Did you help fight it?  Did you see the fire?
I saw the first one, in about 1926.  The heat was so intense, the railroad tracks were distorted and had to be replaced.
Farming and Dairy
Were you involved with farming in Issaquah?  What farm did you work on?  What was grown or raised there? 
We always had a garden.  I planted corn, potatoes, tomatoes, cabbage, cauliflower, carrots.  My Mother and I used to can everything we could.
Did you work at the Issaquah Creamery, or what is now Darigold? 
After I retired from the Seattle Fire Department, I went to work for Darigold driving truck on the night shift in 1968.  I worked there 8 years before retiring 1968 – 1976.
Railroad—Transportation
Did you travel frequently into Seattle?  How did you get there?  What did you do while in Seattle?
Yes, every day that I drove Engine 25 in the Fire Department.
How did the construction of I-90 change life in Issaquah?
It made it possible for people to get to Seattle quicker without having to go through Renton first.
What was your first car?  Did you buy it from Hepler Ford Motors, Stonebridge Chevrolet, or the Kaiser-Frazier dealership?
1937 Chev Davies Chevrolet on Pike Street.
Fraternal Organizations—Local Halls
What are your memories of the fraternal organizations?  Did you belong to the Elks Lodge, or Lions Club, etc?
I belonged to the Knights of Pythias for a short time but I couldn’t make the meetings having to work some night shifts.
Did you attend the Sportsmen’s Club?  Do you remember when it was built in 1937?  What did you do at the Sportsmen’s Club?
Yes.
The original location, down near Pickering curve, was in a poor location for trap shooting so the “Gun Club” bought the property up by the old garbage dump.  We never called it a Sportsmen’s Club.
A friend and I helped level ground move rocks, etc. at the new location when someone came out and asked if anyone could type.
What types of events did you attend at the Volunteer Fire Department (VFD) Hall?  Did you use the shooting range located in the basement?
Bill Doherty asked me if I knew how to run an Emerson resuscitator.  I told him yes, that we had one on the SFD rig.  IVFD had one but no one in the fire department here knew how to use it.  I showed them how.
Did you attend dinners, dances, banquets, or other events in the upstairs Grange Meeting Hall?
Yes.  Our family used to have Christmas there when our family got too big to be in one house.
Mining
Do you have any memories of Issaquah’s mining days?  Were you involved in mining?
Caroline mine caught on fire as a result of a forest fire so the mine was closed for a time.  My Uncle, Pete Favini had to go in to check to make sure that the fire was out.  We were in the tunnel 2-300 yards (a guess) when Pete asked me how long the flame was on his miner’s hat.
My response was, “Too long”.  (Flame reaches out for oxygen when there is little available).  We hurried out.
The mine stayed closed.
What were the working conditions like in the mine? Which mine did you work for, and what was your job?
I didn’t work in the Issaquah mines.
Entertainment
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? 
Birth of a Nation.  For me, it was scary because I was very young.  One night it was a dime.  Other nights it was 15 cents.  George Brunsberg held drawings once a week.  The winner received a sack full of groceries.
Churches
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?
Bethel Mission.  Mr. Case was the father of Cliff Case and Reid Case (who was married to Roberta Thompson) and a minister.  Mr. Case was the one who organized the boys club that was held in the church across the street from Darigold.  The boys club met in the basement.
I had great respect and admiration for Rev. Lois Hines who ministered at the Bethel Mission.
Additional Memories
In the early 1950s, around 10 or 11 o’clock at night, we heard a plane engine roaring and a very loud boom.   Flames were easily seen to the South from my house.  Since I was a fireman, I went to help.  A passenger airplane had hit Squak Mountain across the Issaquah Hobart Road from where the hang gliders land.  There weren’t any survivors.
AUTHOR of THIS MEMORY BOOK (signature and date)
Lester J. Adair

Back to the Memory Books

Martin Monohon circa 1900

Biography of Martin Monohon

This is the background of Martin Monohon from Clarence Bagley’s History of King County Volume II pages 866, 869 and 870. Monohon is the namesake of the lumber milling community that thrived on the eastern shore of Lake Sammamish for many years.

Martin Monohon circa 1900

Martin Monohon (1820-1914), ca. 1900 [Public domain photo courtesy Seattle Post-Intelligencer]

Martin and Isabella ( Speer ) Monohon, the former a native of Crawford County, Indiana, while the latter was born in that part of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, in which the City of Pittsburgh is now situated.

Martin Monohon went to Iowa in 1847 and was married in Des Moines, that state. For about five years he was the proprietor of a livery stable in that city, then called Fort Des Moines. In 1852 he sold most of his horses, keeping four of the best, and also retaining some of the strongest wagons. Thus well outfitted he started on the long and arduous journey to the Oregon country. Mr. Monohon went over the old Barlow route and endured many hardships and privations while crossing the plains but arrived safely at his destination. Locating near Roseburg, in Douglas County, he filed a donation claim of six hundred and forty acres, consisting of timber and prairie land, and he cleared and developed the place, which was devoted to general farming and stock raising. During the ’50s he volunteered for service in the Rouge River Indian war in southern Oregon, in which his brothers-in-law, James and William Speer, also fought as volunteers.

During the ’50s Mr. Monohon carried the United States mail from Roseburg, Oregon to Eureka, California, and had to ward off many Indian attacks while engaged in that hazardous occupation. In 1863 he sold the ranch in Douglas County, Oregon and went to Idaho, where he engaged in mining and also conducted a livery stable in Silver City. In 1866 he located his family in Oregon City so the children could attend schools there.

In 1871 he brought them to Seattle, making the trip on the steamer Gussie Telfair. For a few years he cultivated leased land in the vicinity of Georgetown, King County and from there removed to the McGilvra place at the end of Madison Street on Lake Washington.

In 1877 he took up a homestead of one hundred and sixty acres near Issaquah in this county, and built thereon a log house. He then applied himself to the strenuous task of removing the heavy timber from his place, clearing most of the ranch, and he devoted his attention chiefly to the raising of stock, spending the remainder of his life on the farm.

He represented Douglas County in the first state legislature of Oregon; was a member of the school board for several years and served as road supervisor, ably discharging the duties of those offices. His upright, useful life was terminated in 1914, and Mrs. Monohon passed away in 1911. They were the parents of six children: Mrs. Asenath Baunton, who is survived by four children, Charlotte. Robert, and Ernest and Harold, twins living in Seattle; Augustus, also deceased; Mrs. Emma Brown, a resident of Renton; Lee; Cassius, who has passed away; and Frank Lincoln, of Renton.

From History Of King County, Washington by Clarence B. Bagley, publised by The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, Chicago–Seattle, 1929.Now in Public Domain. This material was typed and submitted to the web site by Eric Erickson
Added June 10, 2000

Kerry Anderson

Kerry Anderson (left) with Mayor Keith Hansen

Kerry Anderson (left) with Mayor Keith Hansen

Name: Kerry and Barbara Anderson

Education—Coming of Age
Were you affected by earthquake damage to the schools in 1949 or 1965?
Park Dept built swimming pool on site of old High School 1971.
Local businesses
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?
In early 1970 Park Department purchased items from businesses on Gilman Blvd.:
Hi Lo
Grange
Seven Firs
Rental Business.
Had lunch at Don’s Drive-In.
In 1971 we planted the first trees on Gilman and Rainier Avenue.
What is memorable about Lewis Hardware?  What items did you purchase there?
Park Department had account from 1971.
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?
1.      Don’s Drive-In
2.      Foothills
3.      Fasano’s
4.      Water hole Tavern
5.      H.H. Tavern
Local Politics
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?
I worked for following Mayors:
Keith Hansen
Herb Herrington
A.J. Culver
Rowan Hinds
Ava Frisinger.
All five mayors very hard working / put lots of hours in each week.
Outdoor Recreation
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?
Park Department partner chipped with state and county purchased 30,000 acres for Park Open Space—Tiger Mountain / Squak Mountain / Cougar Mountain.
Additional Memories
I was City Park Director from 1971 to 2000.
Accomplishments:
A.     Tibbett Valley Park
B.     Gilman Blvd. Landscaping
C.     Rainier Landscaping
D.     Tibbett Creek manor
E.      Issaquah Community Center
F.      Swimming Pool Revamping
G.     Open Space Acquisition
H.     Issaquah Creek Acquisition
I.        Comprehensive Recreation Programs.
Issaquah was a wonderful community to work in for 28 years:
A.     Wonderful history of park recreation activities prior to 1970
B.     Hard working mayors and council
C.     Great park boards
D.     Great staff
E.      Supportive residents
F.      Great collaboration with schools, state and King county.
AUTHOR of THIS MEMORY BOOK (signature and date)
Kerry Anderson, Issaquah Park and Recreation Director 1971 – 2000

Donna Pedegana Arndt

Name:Donna Pedegana Arndt

Your history in Issaquah/How long lived here, etc.:

I was born here.  In a house on Andrews St. At the time Andrews St. only went ½ block east from 3rd.  Then it was a field, and blackberry briers.

If you have lived here all or most of your life, why did you choose to stay?

I married a fellow living here in 1948.  He worked in the woods as a logger.  It was also close to fishing and hunting.  That helped to feed us for many years.

Issaquah or area school(s) attended:

Issaquah Grade School.  There was only one for all 8 grades.  Then Issaquah High School.

Family History in Issaquah:

My father was born in Issaquah.  My mother was born in Sumas, Washington.  My dad was a coal miner most of his life.  Born 6-4-1889, died 1963.  My mother came in 1930, died 1943, only 44 years old.

Education—Coming of Age

What are your memories of Issaquah High School?  Which teachers were influential?

It was located where the pool is now. We had small classes, less than 60 in our graduating class. The girls were not allowed to wear jeans or slacks to classes until 1948, then only slacks on Friday. The football games were on a field behind the grade school (now Issaquah Middle School) and were afternoon games. Around 1947 they were at Memorial Field.

Our school dances, even Junior Prom and Senior Ball, were in the old green gym. We would decorate it and bring soft drinks.

What memories do you have of Minnie Schomber, or another favorite teacher?

Minnie Schomber lived on the same street that I did. She was a “Modern Woman,” worked outside the home, active in the community and her mother lived with her and her husband Jake. He was the janitor at the grade school.

Miss Crelly is the teacher I remember. Her first year at Issaquah was when I was a freshman. My children had her when they were in high school.

Were you affected by earthquake damage to the schools in 1949 or 1965?

No, but my kids were. They were on the 2nd floor of the junior high (the old high school). It was about 10:30 in the morning. When they got everyone out the kids came home early. For the next year they double shifted at the high school.

 

Local Businesses

What is memorable about Lewis Hardware?  What items did you purchase there?

In the years Wold Hardware was on the corner of Front and Sunset Way we shopped there. When that closed we bought everything there (Lewis). When my husband, Bill Arndt, was growing up, they got their hunting and fishing supplies there.

Our largest purchase at Wold hardware was a cookstove, and Andy Wold game my mother a pressure cooker for canning. I think it was $35.00 paid in 7 monthly payments.

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?

We bought groceries at the Red & White. First it was Miles Grocery, then John Kramer owned it. I’m sure we used credit for groceries since my father was unemployed often in the 30s. During the war Mrs. King, who worked there, would help me figure out the blue and red ration tokens. I was only 13 and had to do the grocery shopping. She would help me to pick things for dinner.

Did you purchase things at the Grange Mercantile Building?  What type of things did you get there?  Did your family rent a frozen food storage locker?

Yes, we had a locker. That was when you bought a half a beef. This was in the 60s. By then there were a lot of stores in Issaquah. The Hi Lo, Thriftway.

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?

As teenagers we went to the Barrel. The Shamrock was popular later. The Barrel was on Sunset Way next to Stonebridge Chevrolet, now Busch Auto Rebuild.

The Honeysuckle was also popular, but it wasn’t a hangout type.

Did you go to Boehm’s Candies?  What candies were your favorites?

Not often. Dark chocolate caramels.

What saloons or local bars did you and your friends frequent?

In my father’s younger days the bars were the social connection. No one had a phone. The men would meet to talk about work, looking for work, the garden, etc. Sometimes on weekends the women would go to see other people. Talking baseball was always number 1.

Later in the 50s we would go to the Union once in a while. Cocktail bars – Nick’s, later Fasano’s – was the first. They had to be in a restaurant and women couldn’t sit at the bar.

What do you remember about Grange Supply?

Didn’t use it.

What do you recall about Lawill’s drug store?

Going in as a teenager admiring the make up and gift selections. I remember Mr. Lawill walked home for lunch and back to the store.

He was very helpful. When the kids were sick he would suggest things to do for them.

Local Politics

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?

Don’t remember any political ruckus. The mayor and council were businessmen in Issaquah. They would try to work things out quickly and help where they could.

What do you recall about Mayor Stella Alexander, the first female mayor of Issaquah (elected in 1933)?  Were there any other local politicians or political activities that drew scandalous attention?

No.

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?

Yes, we thought it was exciting. Some of the old-time families that didn’t get their name used felt slighted.

 

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?

My father worked in the coal mines, which meant he didn’t work very much. In the summer some of the men found wood they could cut, and tried to get enough to last the winter. We got 1 ton of coal and the wood would keep the stove going for hot water, heat and cooking.

We ate what we could grow in the garden. My mother would can everything she could pick or grow. She would take clothes apart to make school clothes for me. I got new shoes for school, when the sole got a hole it was covered with cardboard. Coats were second hand.

Our landlady couldn’t read or write English so my mother helped her with paper work. If we didn’t have the rent money she would let it go for the month.

We didn’t have a car so I remember we did a lot of walking. Going to Seattle on the bus was a big occasion, got all dressed up.

Issaquah had wooden sidewalks, quite high off the road. They were uneven, it was easy to trip and fall.

You knew everyone you saw downtown. The women had a break from very hard labor when they had a chance to visit.

I remember we had a lot of soup. The butcher would give a soup bone with lots of meat left on.

 

World War II

How did World War II affect the town of Issaquah?  Did you know men or women who went to fight in the war?  Did you leave Issaquah to join the war efforts?

I knew many that went to war. Down by the Press office there was a huge fixture built with every person’s name that went in the service. If they were killed, a gold star would be put in front of the name. Since we were a small town we knew almost every one of them. On my small block five boys went into the service. That is out of 11 houses. Many out-of-state people moved in, schools were bulging. For the first time people, men and women, had steady jobs. We dumped aluminum in an empty lot downtown (for bombs), took grease to the butcher shop to make explosives. I don’t know if it was used, but we felt like we were winning the war.

How did the Japanese Internment affect Issaquah?  Did you know men and women who were taken to Internment Camps?

Yes, several Japanese students had to leave. In one case, before they had to leave, one boy in the school band was going with the school band to play in Seattle at the toll plaza on the floating bridge. An inspector came on the bus. When he saw a Japanese student, they were not allowed to cross the bridge, and had to go around through Renton.

What kinds of jobs did the War bring to the area?  Where did you work at this time?

War effort work, Boeing worked three sifts, ship yards also. The coal mines and logging and mill work were in demand.

I was too young. Did lots of babysitting because people had money to go out.

 

Issaquah Round-Up—Salmon Days—Labor Day Celebrations

What do you remember about Labor Day Celebrations or Salmon Days?

Labor Day was wilder. More small town celebration. Memorial Field had a carnival, dances at the Fire Hall. The bars would overflow and patrons would bring their drinks outside.

What are your memories of the Rodeo?

Before my time. My dad said they were great, lots of fun. Lots of baseball games with other small towns, Black Diamond, Fall City, etc.

 

Outdoor Recreation

What are your memories of Vasa Park?  What did you do while there?

Skating. Swimming. One year my friend and her family rented a cabin for a week. One-room wood shack with small wood stove to cook on. We swam all day and went skating at night. If we needed groceries we would walk to the Little Store. Half of the Little Store was a bar. Going skating on Friday was a must.

Did you go swimming in the local lakes in the summer?  Or ice-skating at the Horrock’s Farm in the winter?

Yes, mostly Alexander’s Resort. If we couldn’t get a ride, we would walk down the railroad tracks. The kids would go by themselves and an adult would pick us up later – dinnertime. All the organized picnics were there. They had cook stoves under cover to warm up food and also the kids when they got out of the cold water.

 

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?

It employed a lot of men, cleared the land for homes and roads, made lumber affordable. My husband started in the woods at 15. All handsaws, this was before the War. Falling, then cutting up the trees and getting them ready for the mills. Both two-man saws and one-man. After the war he worked on Snoqualmie Pass area, clearing for the highway addition. The first power saw he used was in 1949. It was huge, weighed about 75 pounds. These were only used for falling the trees. They were still cutting up by hand saws.

They were transported by truck to the mill. The largest he can recall was 17 ft. in diameter on the butt, and around here many firs were 5 ft. in diameter. These are all old growth.

Some of the steep areas would send the logs down a chute to the loading area.

Do you remember the Monohon Mill, the Red Hall sawmill by the fish hatchery, the High Point Mill, the Preston Mill, or the Issaquah Lumber Company Mill on Front Street South?

Yes, the Monohon Mill, Red Hall’s Preston, not the High Point or Issaquah Lumber Co.

Do you remember when there was a fire at the mill?  Did you help fight it?  Did you see the fire?

I don’t; my husband does.

Salmon hatchery

How has the salmon hatchery affected Issaquah?

It brought in a lot of tourists. At one time there was a sign that said Largest Salmon Hatchery in the World.

In the summer we would walk to the park behind the hatchery and have picnics. It was shady and the ponds had water wheels. There was a wading pond next to Gibson Hall.

When it was officially opened the Governor spoke and they had a queen contest.

Farming and Dairy

Were you involved with farming in Issaquah?  What farm did you work on?  What was grown or raised there?

No.

Do you have any memories of Pickering Farm?

Yes – but no connection with the working end.

Did you work at the Issaquah Creamery, or what is now Darigold?

No. But I knew many that did.

Railroad—Transportation

Did you travel frequently into Seattle?  How did you get there?  What did you do while in Seattle?

We took the bus to Seattle, around through Renton, by way of the Issaquah-Renton Road. That was Highway 10 then. We would look at store windows, get a new pair of shoes for school. It was a special day; got all dressed up and feel like we were in the Greatest City.

How did the construction of I-90 change life in Issaquah?

The cars didn’t go through downtown and we missed watching the latest car models.

What was your first car?  Did you buy it from Hepler Ford Motors, Stonebridge Chevrolet, or the Kaiser-Frazier dealership?

My family didn’t have a car. After I was married our first car was a ’55 Chev.

Fraternal Organizations—Local Halls

What are your memories of the fraternal organizations?  Did you belong to the Elks Lodge, or Lions Club, etc?

When I was in my first few years of grade school my neighbor took me to Veterans of Foreign Wars Christmas Party. Most of the children said a piece or poem, or sang a song. [We] played games; many groups of local people sang Christmas songs and Santa came and handed out a gift. Every child brought one and got one.

Did you attend the Sportsmen’s Club?  Do you remember when it was built in 1937?  What did you do at the Sportsmen’s Club?

I was quite small when it was built but during the years there were a lot of people shooting to win a turkey. There were a lot of private parties held there. Lots of fun.

What types of events did you attend at the Volunteer Fire Department (VFD) Hall?  Did you use the shooting range located in the basement?

I remember when it had some skating and once the Harlem Globetrotters played there. Later (?) dances. Lots of dances. During the War people would take turns watching for enemy aircraft.

Did you attend dinners, dances, banquets, or other events in the upstairs Grange Meeting Hall?

That is where the Veterans’ parties were held. Some private parties.

Mining

Do you have any memories of Issaquah’s mining days?  Were you involved in mining?

My father worked in every coal mine in Issaquah. He started as a teenager and retired around 1950. In the early days they used mules to pull the cars. He worked at the Grand Ridge Mine, the mine on Mine Hill when it was owned by the Germans. Later Harris and Bianco (?) mines.

What were the working conditions like in the mine? Which mine did you work for, and what was your job?

Very bad. Sometimes the tunnels were small and they could [not] fully stand erect. He was in more than one cave-in. One time he was buried to his chest. As a young man he had a compound fracture of his leg. The bone never healed straight.

Entertainment

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?

They cost 10¢, then they went to 11¢ so we didn’t have a penny for candy at the Honeysuckle. I went every Friday when my dad had a job. Even then I’m sure it wasn’t easy to give me 10¢. Often I would take back neighbors’ beer bottles for some money.

The movie was a great meeting place. Many trips back to the bathroom to meet kids. Both Male and Female toilets were out of the same waiting area, 1 water fountain.

Front Street

My dad went to this bar [the Klondike Bar]. Issaquah had lots of taverns. Even kids could go in. (This entry refers to the photo on the page and probably belongs under the question about bars.)

Churches

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?

Issaquah Community Church. I started about 3. It was the old church then, it burned, rebuilt by the creek on Rainier Blvd. Later built on Mt. Park [Blvd]. The kids only went to Sunday School for the hour of church. We didn’t go to adult church until about 10.

Additional Memories

When I was very young, about 3, I was at my grandparents’, it faced Sunset Way. This was the main road to Seattle or North Bend through Snoqualmie. A group of gypsies, 20 or more were walking through town toward Snoqualmie Valley. The women in their long dresses, scarves. My aunt and I got on our knees to look out the window so they wouldn’t see us. My grandparents were from Europe and they told my aunt the gypsies used to steal the children.

When my dad was a young boy he lived there. He said if you were out after dark it was pitch black – no streetlights of any kind. This was probably before 1900. He said he was running home and fell over something on the path, and sidewalks. It was a cow. This was 2 blocks from downtown Issaquah.

His neighbor was an old doctor that had worked for the train companies during the cross county rails being laid. He would pull teeth when he was practicing in Issaquah or anything that needed done. His practice was in his house.

When my dad was a young boy around 1900 and before he lived on what is Sunset Way, there were a lot of Indians living in the area still and when my grandfather was working in a coal mine away from Issaquah the Indians would come around and look in the windows. Some were drunk and making lots of noise. My grandmother was alone with several small children. The kids would hide. They never broke into the house though.

Back to the Memory Books

Marilyn Dodge Batura

Name:Marilyn (Dodge) Batura

Your history in Issaquah/How long lived here, etc.:

My family moved to the Issaquah Valley in the 1930’s and I am a lifetime resident.

If you have lived here all or most of your life, why did you choose to stay?

It is still, with all the recent growth, a wonderful town. We have a close family who have remained in the area and still enjoy the beauty of the village nestled between the mountains.

Issaquah or area school(s) attended:

Clark Elementary, Issaquah Jr. High and Issaquah High School

Family History in Issaquah:

My parents moved to the valley in the mid 1930’s and raised five children on our farm just south of town.  We all attended the local schools and I cannot imagine a better childhood.

 

Education—Coming of Age

What are your memories of Issaquah High School?  Which teachers were influential?

My class (1962) was the last class to graduate from the high school referenced in our fight song “on the hilltop” which is now the site of the Julius Boehm swimming pool.  I have fond memories of school and the teachers.  Everyone knew everyone – the whole school district, Preston, May Valley, Pine Lake attended the same schools.  Our principal was Charles Fallstrom, who coincidently was my half-brother George Larsen’s school teacher in the early 40’s at Issaquah High.  George left school and joined the Army and died shortly before the war ended in 1945.

What memories do you have of Minnie Schomber, or another favorite teacher?

I remember Minnie as a speaker at our homecoming assemblies and also as a classmate of my step-father Schaller Bennett (class of 1919).

Were you affected by earthquake damage to the schools in 1949 or 1965?

No, but my sister Nancy was in the school cafeteria during the 1949 earthquake and said it was quite frightening.  She told about the damage and cracked pavement.

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?

I played the flute in the band under the direction of Bill Klein, which gave me the opportunity to go to all the sporting events with a guaranteed good seat.  We also participated in the parades such as Seafair and Torchlight in Seattle.  I later marched in the Drill Team at the school games.

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?

Growing up in the 50’s, there wasn’t much for teens to do in Issaquah.  For a short time there was a teen center in the old Fireman’s Hall at the Memorial Field.  They had a pool table and some games but it wasn’t long before the building was torn down.  On Friday nights we would go to the Issaquah Theatre – never to watch the movie but to gather, talk and socialize.  The ushers and other patrons did not appreciate us very much and sometimes asked that we leave before the end of the movie.  We went roller-skating at Vasa Park and to the Factoria Drive-In Theatre when we had a car.  Occasionally we went to the Spanish Castle on Hwy 99 to dance and see the popular Rock and Roll or County-Western artists of that time.

If we got in trouble our punishment was usually grounding and extra chores.

Local Businesses

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?

Saturday we went with Dad to the Western WA Co-Op (site of Darigold now) where they sold hay, grain and farm supplies.  We had a great time riding on the hand dolly, playing hide and seek in the maze of stacked sacks of grain and hay and probably being a real nuisance to the employees.  I think Walt Karvia and Floyd Bush were both working there at that time.

I also remember Brady’s when it was located on E. Sunset across the street from the Log Tavern.  The store was long and narrow with oiled wood floors and bolts and bolts of yard goods.  Mom would send us down with a scrap of material (probably flour sack cloth for a dress) and Mrs. Brady would patiently help us pick out the tread and buttons to match the sewing project.  Every purchase was neatly folded in brown paper and tied with a string that magically came down from a spool hung over the yard goods table.

I recall riding my bike to the Red & White grocery (which was next to Brady’s) to buy vinegar for pickles my Mom was making.  As I was getting back on my bike, the bottle dropped to the sidewalk and shattered.  I was devastated because I didn’t have another quarter to replace the purchase, but the store clerk had witnessed the accident and promptly replaced the vinegar at no charge.

Mr. Cussac had a shoe store about where Fischer’s Meats is located today.  It was another long, narrow store with the oiled floors.  He was an elderly gentleman who shook terribly, probably with Parkinson’s disease.  The shoeboxes were neatly stored on shelves, floor to ceiling.  He would slowly climb a ladder to retrieve the shoes you wanted to try and then painstakingly lace each eye for the trial fit.  Due to his shaking, this was a tedious task for him and you were inclined to take the first pair even if they weren’t to your liking.

Another delight was the Dime Store (where Las Margarita’s is today).  It was a variety store with lots of trinkets and where we did all our Christmas shopping as children.  Mrs. Yourglich and Mrs. Trigg were the store clerks and the store was owned by the Dalbottens.

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?

We usually did not frequent the beauty or barbershop as my Dad had barbered so we all learned the craft at a very young age.  He taught us by having us cut his hair then each other’s.  There were some strange dos in our household and one was so bad I remember my brother wearing a Mohawk for a while.  Later Bill Evans opened Evan’s Salon of Beauty on Sunset where the Brewhouse is now located.  At one time I thought I might like a career in cosmetology so I interviewed Mr. Evans for my Career Notebook, which was a required high school project.

What is memorable about Lewis Hardware?  What items did you purchase there?

Lewis Hardware was another interesting store, with lots of gadgets, which is much the same today as it was fifty years ago.

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?

Our groceries were mostly purchased at the Grange Mercantile but I remember Tony Wallen very well.  He was always jovial and especially on Labor Day when he would pair up with Schaller Bennett and visit the local bars.  Sometimes they would come by our house and try to coerce me to sing for them as they remembered an Eagles talent show in which Susan Vidonis (Ruby) and I sang a duet “I don’t want to play in your yard.”

Did you purchase things at the Grange Mercantile Building?  What type of things did you get there?  Did your family rent a frozen food storage locker?

We did most of our shopping at the Grange Mercantile where we also went to retrieve meat from our rented locker.  It was so very cold that you literally ran to your locker, unlocked a padlock and got the meat as fast as you could.  Our grocery list was primarily flour, sugar and the basics since we raised our beef; had a cow for milk, butter, and cottage cheese and had a garden with fruits and vegetables.  John Kramer owned the store and his brother Dan was the butcher.  There were wood shavings on the floor in the butcher shop and Joan Karvia and Imogene Woodside were clerks at the time.

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?

The Shamrock (Shane’s or Rena’s ) was the teen hangout.  The Honeysuckle, with grouchy, Mr. Drylie was the place to get green rivers, sundaes and ice cream floats.

Did you go to Boehm’s Candies?  What candies were your favorites?

Boehm’s candy was way over our budget, but Julius did visit our grade schools and bring samples.  He would tell the class about his escape from Hitler’s regime by skiing over the Alps!  He was very interesting and quite an athlete. He later taught me to swim as a Red Cross instructor at the Lake Sammamish State Park.  He also scaled Mt. Rainier several times.

What saloons or local bars did you and your friends frequent?

The Rolling Log (with the running water spittoon), Union Tavern, Eagles Club and Fasano’s cocktail lounge (which was then next door to the Log Tavern) were all busy bars with interesting clientele.

What do you remember about Grange Supply?

The Grange Supply was a fuel and farm supply store, and we purchased garden and hay seed at the store.  Also, it was the ONLY reliable source of gasoline for grange members during the gas shortages in the early 70’s.

What do you recall about Lawill’s drug store?

The drug store on the corner of Front and Alder was the place to go if you needed a prescription, bandages or medications.

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?

Although I am too young to recall this era, I remember stories and it was then that my family moved to Issaquah.  Dad had been involved in real estate sales in the Everett area and moved to Issaquah when the Depression hit.  He purchased 72 acres on the Issaquah Creek at the Y of the Hobart/May Valley road and started a herd of milk goats.  He, with the help of a hired man, milked 100 goats twice a day and shipped the milk to the Alpine Dairy (now Darigold).  I think he was paid $ .10 a pound for the milk.  My sister Nancy and stepbrother George (Buddy) had to herd the goats up the mountain every morning after milking and then retrieve them for the evening milking.  They had a garden and raised most of our food.  There were salmon in the creek and occasionally Dad shot a bear for meat if it was threatening the herd of goats.  The bear did not eat the goat meat, but would kill the goat for the milk bag.

Dad also worked for wages on the local WPA projects such as the Fish Hatchery and Gibson Hall.

World War II

How did World War II affect the town of Issaquah?  Did you know men or women who went to fight in the war?  Did you leave Issaquah to join the war efforts?

Many young high school students signed up for the war and my stepbrother (George Larsen) was one who died in that effort.  His name is one of those listed on the memorial, which is located by the current Library building.   Communication was so poor in those days that we were not notified of his death and became worried when an Aunt saw his name included on a list of “missing in action” in a Seattle newspaper.  Most of Mom’s letters to him were returned after his death unopened.  My Mom always walked with the VFW in the Labor Day parade in his memory.

Issaquah Round-Up—Salmon Days—Labor Day Celebrations

What do you remember about Labor Day Celebrations or Salmon Days?

Labor Days were pretty wild celebrations.  I don’t remember the rodeos but in later years there was a parade and the Seattle Seafair Pirates came to town.  There was a big carnival with a game arcade and rides.  We would furiously pick blackberries to sell so that we had spending money for the carnival.  Mr. Phillips, who had a gas station where the new library parking building is being built (across W Sunset from the Fish Hatchery) would carefully weigh them and pay us about ten cents a pound for the berries.  No cheating by including some stones for weight, because he poured them from your container to a flat and demanded “clean” berries.  I usually made enough money to buy some sweets, ride the Ferris wheel and come home with a bellyache.

What are your memories of the Rodeo?

My stepfather Schaller Bennett (Bennett Logging Company and IHS graduate 1919) participated in the rodeos.  He cherished a saddle with silver trim that had been awarded to him as the grand prize in an Issaquah Labor Day Rodeo.

Special Occasions

What were some of the other memorable special events and occasions in Issaquah?

The Christmas programs at church were always special and Bill Bergsma was the best Santa Claus ever!  He had a beautiful costume and really looked the part when he gave everyone a candy cane.

I also remember a New Year’s Eve in the early 50’s when my family went visiting friends by Pine Lake.  We were driving home in the early evening and the car broke down on East Lake Sammamish by the boat launch site.  We walked to Hans Jensen’s to see if he could give us a ride home.  Mr. Jensen was a bachelor and very happy to have company for the evening!  He insisted we stay to see in the New Year and then he would drive us home.  He served some snacks and even sang some Danish folk songs.  It was a very late night for our family but a New Years Eve I’ll never forget.  When he passed away he willed his lakefront acreage to the State for youth activities and parks.

Outdoor Recreation

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?

We always had horses so rode the trails on tiger mountain instead of hiking.  We could even ride down the Hobart Road without automobile interference since the traffic was so light in those days.

What are your memories of Vasa Park?  What did you do while there?

I only remember roller-skating at Vasa Park as we usually swam at the Lake Sammamish State Park.

Did you go swimming in the local lakes in the summer?  Or ice-skating at the Horrock’s Farm in the winter?

We took swimming lessons and had picnics at the State Park.  I did go ice-skating once with Tom and Sue Bush at the Horrock’s pond.  Mrs. Horrock’s was a lovely hostess and found some skates that would fit me.

Logging and Sawmills

Do you remember the Monohon Mill, the Red Hall sawmill by the fish hatchery, the High Point Mill, the Preston Mill, or the Issaquah Lumber Company Mill on Front Street South?

I’m too young to remember the mills, but my home is located on the former site of the Issaquah Lumber Company on Front Street South.  When my family lived on the Goat Ranch about four miles south of town, my Mom would ride Smokey the Burro to town, as she did not drive.  Smokey would balk at the noise and not pass the mill so she would tie him to a tree where Sycamore is today and walk the rest of the way to town.  After the mill burned, he would pass so she would ride to Dr. Hillary’s office (now Dr. Fasano’s) and tether him there.

When Dad bought the mill property on Front Street he had house-movers transport our home to its current location.  We all rode inside the house and Mom played records on a wind-up record player to pass the time and keep us entertained.

Farming and Dairy

Were you involved with farming in Issaquah?  What farm did you work on?  What was grown or raised there?

We had a small farm at home with a dairy cow, chickens, an occasional pig and a few horses.  We also raised beef cattle and hay on forty acres we had about five miles south of town.  We had a large vegetable garden, which was preserved and utilized through the winter.

Do you have any memories of Pickering Farm?

After the Pickering Farm would mechanically hay their fields with balers, they would let us pick up the “loose hay” left in the field.  Dad and my brother would toss the hay into the truck with pitchforks but it was our task to stomp it down to accommodate a bigger load.  It was a hot, sticky, scratchy job and then when we finally got home we had to unload it!  Not one of my favorite memories.

Did you work at the Issaquah Creamery, or what is now Darigold?

In the late 30’s and early 40’s, my family shipped goat’s milk when it was Hans Forster’s Alpine Dairy.  The milk was mostly used for cheese.  Ironically, my husband Rich recently retired after 32 years with Darigold.

Railroad—Transportation

Did you travel frequently into Seattle?  How did you get there?  What did you do while in Seattle?

When we went to Seattle it was usually by bus.  In the early 50’s for a special treat Mom took us on a field trip.  We went by bus to Boeing Field; from there we flew to Port Angeles on a propjet, and then took a Greyhound bus home, which included a ferry ride.  Quite an exciting day for some youngsters from Issaquah!

What was your first car?  Did you buy it from Hepler Ford Motors, Stonebridge Chevrolet, or the Kaiser-Frazier dealership?

My first car was a ’55 Chev purchased from a neighbor boy who was going into the Navy.  I think I paid him $350.  P.S.  I think the Kaiser-Frazier dealer was Pabst-Vidonis.

Churches

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?

Since there wasn’t much in the way of entertainment, our social life evolved around the church.  We regularly attended the Baptist Church but would go with our neighbors to the Seventh Day Adventist Church on Saturday and maybe the a weekday service with another friend at her church.

In the summer, Martin Hansen had Vacation Bible School at his church up in High Point.  He would drive around town picking up all the kids in an old school bus with a most unusual horn.  He would pull up in front of the house and sound the horn, OOOOGA- OOOOGA.  We all called it the oooga-oooga bus.

My Dad would take us to church and return after the service to pick us up.  Our older sister was the Sunday school superintendent so we had to behave.  One nice summer day after she had married and moved to another town, my younger sister and I told Dad that we would walk home.  Then, instead of going to Sunday school, we walked down the sidewalk beside the church and went directly to the Honeysuckle Soda Fountain.  There we deposited our “collection plate” money for a pineapple sundae!  We then took our time walking home and Mom couldn’t understand why we weren’t very hungry for her big Sunday dinner.  I think the lack of hunger was partly due to ice cream and a lot due to guilt!

 

Additional Memories

We had some interesting visitors in the early 1950’s such as the McNess Lady.  She was an elderly lady and drove a shiny maroon Buick.  She always wore a long wool coat with a fur collar that looked like a weasel.  We were in awe of her and she sometimes gave us samples of her wares.  There were quite a few traveling sales people and they all had wonderful sales pitches, but never made a sale with my Mom.

The Njos’ had an ice house in what is now the Arbor Building on W Sunset and delivered ice for our ice box.  The driver would often break off some chips for us on hot summer days.

 

AUTHOR of THIS MEMORY BOOK (signature and date)

Marilyn Batura