Brief History of Issaquah

The name Issaquah is thought to have come from the Indian description of the sounds of the many migratory birds that passed through the surrounding Sammamish Valley.

Fertile soil, plentiful timber and high-grade coal
fueled the town's boom years.

To the Indians, it was "Ishquoh." To the settlers, the Indian word was Issaquah.

Starting around 1860, loggers and farmers began settling the area. Some of the best hops in the world were grown here, so good they were exported to Germany. Issaquah's contribution to the beer drinkers of the world was relatively short lived, though, as a hop blight ended the crop's importance by the end of the century. By that time, coal had been discovered in the surrounding hills.

Getting from Seattle to Issaquah was no small thing in the days before highways.

All that stood in the way of exploiting the coal was transportation. In the late 1800's, Western Washington businessman Daniel Hunt Gilman helped persuade the Seattle, Lake Shore and Eastern Railroad to lay track to Squak Mountain, thus making possible Issaquah's major coal mining boom. At one point, Issaquah's population rivaled that of nearby Seattle.

Issaquah History cont. ->

Gilman Village • • Phone: 425-392-6802
317 N.W. Gilman Blvd, Issaquah, WA 98027

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