Issaquah

History

Coal miners’ homes in Issaquah, 1913.

“Issaquah” is an anglicized word for a local Native American name, meaning either “the sound of birds,” “snake,” or “little stream.” “Squak Valley,” an older name for the area, also derives from this same Native-American name.[6][7] Another version of the name is said to have come from the pioneers, who, being impressed with the multitude of wetland birds, called the area Squawk Valley. When the next wave of settlers came and asked for the name of area the Natives told them, “[It] is Squawk.”[citation needed]

The city was officially incorporated on April 29, 1892. Initially a small mining town, this town has changed noticeably both in its appearance and economic focus. Issaquah was originally developed to service the mining industry on nearby Squak and Cougar mountain, and began as the town of Gilman, Washington. As the mining deposits neared depletion in the late 1890s, other companies started to realize Issaquah’s potential to support a lucrative lumber business. These companies exported timber from Issaquah and other small, local towns to Seattle and larger, rapidly growing communities throughout western Washington. These early boom industries, however, faded into a period of relative quiet by the time of the Great Depression. The town remained fairly placid through the succeeding decades, with The Boeing Company providing the majority of employment in the area. Microsoft and other technological industries moved into Redmond, Washington and other cities in the area, and later established operations in Issaquah itself. Both Boeing and Microsoft have significantly affected Issaquah’s history, cultural development, and diverse population through their active community participation and attraction of outside residents. In June 1996, Costco moved its global headquarters to Issaquah from nearby Kirkland, Washington.

Other Issaquah employers include Siemens Medical Solutions’ Ultrasound Group, GoldSim Technology Group, Overtime Technologies, Boehm’s Candies, and Darigold.

Demographics

There were 4,840 households out of which 29.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.3% were married couples living together, 9.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 39.9% were non-families. 31.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.27 and the average family size was 2.87.As of the 2000 census,[2] there were 11,212 people, 4,840 households, and 2,908 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,330.9 people per square mile (514.1/km²). There were 5,195 housing units at an average density of 616.7 per square mile (238.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 87.95% White, 0.88%African American, 0.63% Native American, 6.04% Asian, 0.11% Pacific Islander, 1.46% from other races, and 2.93% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race made up 4.95% of the population.

In the city the population was spread out with 22.2% under the age of 18, 7.3% from 18 to 24, 36.5% from 25 to 44, 24.0% from 45 to 64, and 10.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 91.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.1 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $57,892, and the median income for a family was $77,274 (these figures had risen to $75,280 and $87,001 respectively as of a 2007 estimate[12]). Males had a median income of $55,049 versus $36,670 for females. The per capita income for the city was $34,222. About 3.4% of families and 4.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 5.5% of those under age 18 and 4.7% of those age 65 or over.

Local Attractions

The neighboring highlands are called the Issaquah Alps and feature hiking trails and outdoor activity throughout the three mountains surrounding Issaquah: Tiger Mountain, Cougar Mountain, and Squak Mountain. There are also many cultural and historical activities to be found in the town of Issaquah itself.

Salmon Days Festival

Salmon Days is a two-day International Award-winning festival held in Issaquah on the first full weekend of October each year. It is initiated by a parade, celebrating the return of the salmon to their birth-waters, and praises Issaquah’s history, culture, and ethnic diversity. This free festival encompasses several arts and crafts conventions, attracting many Northwest artists; these artisans feature wood, glass, jewelry, paintings, pottery and metal artworks for sale in booths spread all across the downtown area. There are four stages of entertainment. Sporting events include 5 km/10 km runs (and a 3 km run for kids), a fencing invitational, bike rides, and a golf tournament. A “Field of Fun,” providing free entertainment for children of all ages, is available thanks to the many festival sponsors. Visitors are encouraged to visit the newly restored Salmon Hatchery to view the returning salmon in close detail. The 2005 register revealed over 400,000 people attended the event.

Cougar Mountain Zoo

The Cougar Mountain Zoo is located on the north slope of Cougar Mountain, just to the west of Issaquah. This 8-acre (32,000 m2) zoo offers a glimpse at many endangered species from around the world, including many endangered birds from around the world and small lemurs from Madagascar. The highlight of the zoo for many observers is the cougar, named Nashi. Nashi is provided enrichment on a near-daily basis, which consists of a stimulant to keep him active mentally and physically. The zoo currently specializes in eight “worlds” of animals: cougars, lemurs, cranes, reindeer, macaws, wallabies, ratites, camelids. On June 16, 2007, another world was added to the list, when the zoo welcomed its newest members, two male tiger cubs. Named Taj and Almos, they are the only Bengal tigers in Washington state. The Zoo is open for general admission Wednesday through Sunday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (excluding the month of December). Each December the Zoo also offers a special Reindeer Festival, during which people may come view, and feed Santa’s Reindeer, and visit the “big guy” in person.

Issaquah Salmon Hatchery

The Issaquah Salmon Hatchery was built in 1936 under the federal Works Project Administration. It is located on the Issaquah Creek within the city limits of Issaquah. The hatchery is owned and operated by the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife. It annually raises about 4 million Chinook (King) and Coho (Silver) salmon which then migrate from the Issaquah Creek to Puget sound and on to the North Pacific. Friends of the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery (FISH) is a non-profit organization that trains volunteer guides who lead free educational tours of the hatchery and advocates retaining and improving the historic hatchery. Local elementary schools often raise small numbers of salmon eggs that are spawned in the hatchery and release them into the creeks as part of their science curriculum on the salmon life cycle. The Issaquah Salmon Hatchery is located in the cultural and geographical heart of Issaquah and is the Department of Fish and Wildlife’s most visited hatchery, with an estimated 350,000 visitors a year. [1]

Gilman Village

Issaquah, Washington XXX Root Beer restaurant, one of two remaining

Gilman Village was created in 1972, when Marvin and Ruth Mohl started saving old, unwanted farming and mining buildings, as well as pioneer homes, from around Issaquah. They moved, renovated and combined them into an attractive retail area in a park-like setting. Their goal was to create a haven for independent shops and restaurants. Now, the 40-plus shops and restaurants that make up Gilman Village constitute one of Puget Sound’s best known and most distinctive shopping destinations.

In saving the buildings, the intent was to honor the character and ambiance of the old community rather than to create a museum. Still, the buildings that house the shops and restaurants of Gilman Village represent a significant portion of Issaquah’s history.

Designers of Gilman Village have included the Baylis Architects, Richard Haag Associates and landscape architect Stephen G. Ray. Their combined efforts have won official recognition by the King County Board of Realtors in 1976 and the Issaquah Design Commission in 1977 for quality of design and landscaping. In 1985, The Bellevue Chamber of Commerce presented the Eastside Quality of Life Award to Gilman Village for “the pleasures it gives through its rich discoveries of space and forms.”

Flight

Issaquah is home to a premiere site where people fly paragliders and hang gliders from the heights of Tiger Mountain.[13] Many people fly year-round (weatherpermitting) and have flown epic cross-country flights exceeding 75 miles (121 km). [2][3][4] Also, there used to be a parachuting center and airplane landing strip in Issaquah on the site where the Costco, cinema, and other businesses are today. A helicopter in the Boeing Air Museum used to be where the T-Mobile store is now located.

Triple XXX

Issaquah is now home to one of the remaining two Triple XXX restaurants that still exist.[14] Triple XXX serves root beer, burgers, chicken, and seafood.

 

Source: Wikipedia

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