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Issaquah’s Historic Attractions

Discover the history and heritage of Issaquah through exhibits, museums, tours and landmarks. We’ve listed resources to help get you started in your exploration.

David J. Horrocks Research Center

Issaquah Historical Museum
165 SE Andrews Street
Issaquah, WA 98027
425/392-3500

In addition to our exhibits, the Museum provides a place for historical research in the David J. Horrocks Research Center. Visitors may look through the Historical Society’s extensive photo collection which includes images of early Issaquah families at work and play, downtown scenes of dusty streets and tall wooden storefronts, and the milling, mining, farming and railroad activities of old Gilman. They also have access to our web site, research files, and a number of other references from the Research Center.

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Gilman Town Hall Museum & Jail

165 SE Andrews Street
(425) 392-3500

The original town hall of Issaquah was in use from 1898 until 1930. Now a museum, this fascinating exhibit tells the story of Issaquah’s past through hundreds of photographs and artifacts (many never before on display) and a variety of interactive elements. Come see one of Issaquah’s original water pipes, a rare Native American fur trade knife, and graffiti hidden for 75 years inside the walls of the fish hatchery. Set off an imaginary charge with an authentic dynamite blaster, ring a logging camp bell, listen to the music of the Squak Valley Hot Shots — and much more!

From the museum’s back door you can go directly to jail – the old two-cell town jail, which was constructed in 1914 of solid eight inch concrete walls and still has the original iron bars in the windows. The forged iron lock bar weighs at least 80 pounds, and effectively cut the escape count to zero. Call for visiting hours.

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Gingko Tree

90 Front Street South
Issaquah, WA 98027

Planted by Dr. W.E. Gibson (a physician) at the start of the twentieth century. Dr. Gibson became Issaquah’s mayor in 1900 and served several additional terms as mayor and in the state legislature over the next 25 years. His family home was located on this site until it was torn down in 1970. Fortunately, through the efforts of Issaquah High School Students, a petition was drawn up and the tree was saved.

Ginkgo trees belong to one of the oldest tree species on earth (Ginkgo biloba), dating back 150 million years. They were once native to Washington but later became extinct in North America. Specimens cultivated in Chinese ornamental gardens were later reintroduced around the world. This rare and unusual tree is visible at the corner of Andrews Street and Front Street South.

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Hailstone Feed Store and Shell Gasoline Station – Museum and Meeting Space Rental

232 Front Street North
Issaquah, WA 98027
(425) 391-1112

There is speculation that the building may have been constructed as a residence in the late 1890’s and over the years records show that it was also used as a warehouse, grocery store, feed store and gasoline station. In 2003, the Downtown Issaquah Association with assistance from the City of Issaquah, private party donations and volunteers began the process of restoring the building to its 1944 appearance as the Hailstone Feed Store and Shell Gasoline Station. In the restoration process, one of the most exciting discoveries the group has made is an Owl Cigar sign painted on the back of the building. The advertisement would have been easily visible to passengers taking the train in or out of Issaquah, the chief mode of transportation at that time. The space is available to lease on an hourly basis and will accommodate up to 49 people. Inquire at – reservations@downtownissaquah.com This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Historic Railroad Depot and Museum

50 Rainier Boulevard N
Issaquah, WA 98027
425/392-3500

Originally incorporated as the town of Gilman in 1892, Issaquah was a center of coal mining activity in the late 19th century. The Seattle, Lake Shore and Eastern Railway constructed a modest Queen Anne-style depot building in 1889. Now operated by the Issaquah Historical Society, the depot has been restored to its original grandeur. A steam engine in front of the depot showcases the history of logging in the area. Open Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm.

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Historical Issaquah Walking Tour

Issaquah Visitors Center
155 NW Gilman Blvd
Issaquah, WA 98027
(425) 392-7024

In addition to the Issaquah Visitor’s Center, walking tour brochures are available at the Issaquah Historic Railroad Depot and Museum, and the Gilman Town Hall Museum.

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Issaquah Visitors Center

155 NW Gilman Blvd.
Issaquah, WA 98027
(425) 392-7024

Once a familiar landmark on the east shore of Lake Sammamish, this house was built by Thomas and Caroline Alexander in 1902 on land which was known for most of the century as Alexander’s Resort. Thomas Alexander had earlier been the “walking boss” (traveling construction supervisor) for the Seattle, Lakeshore and Eastern Railway.

The Visitors Center features maps, brochures and information about activities, recreation, entertainment and shopping in Issaquah and around the region. The center also provides information about lodging, restaurants, and services such as schools and daycares.

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Pickering Barn

1730 – 10th Avenue NW Issaquah, WA 98027 (425) 837-3321

The Pickering barn is the only surviving dairy barn in Issaquah, a community once dominated by dairy farming. The historic site dates from the 1800’s when it was the home of Territorial Governor, William Pickering. The restored barn has been equipped with modern day conveniences to make it a state of the art facility while preserving its historic character. Today, the Pickering Barn is divided into two separate barns connected with a centralized entrance hall. The Barn is especially suited for receptions, auctions, company parties, and formal weddings. For appointments to tour the Barn, additional information and/or availability, contact the City of Issaquah Parks & Recreation Dept. at (425) 837-3321, Monday through Friday.

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Pickering Place Amphitheater

Formerly the historic Pickering farm, this area is now the upscale Pickering Place shopping center where you’ll find a hidden pond, with a fountain, bridge and amphitheater. Huge stone tablets near the amphitheater provide details of the farm’s history.

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