Issaquah History Museums

Alice and George Swanson in 1943

Alice Swanson

Alice Bogdan Swanson (1925-2013) is a lifetime Issaquah resident. Her father, Martin Bogdan, had an 80-acre homestead about 5 miles south of Issaquah on the Cedar Grove/ Hobart Road. Alice and her sisters were born on this property. She attended Issaquah schools, graduating from the High School in 1943. Until her death, Alice and her oldest sister, Mary, still lived on property that is part of the original homestead.

Name: Alice Swanson Bogdan

Birth Date or Year (optional): June 27, 1925

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

My father, Martin Bogdan, had an 80-acre homestead about 5 miles south of Issaquah on the Cedar Grove/Hobart Road. My five sisters and I were all born at home. My oldest sister, Mary, and I still live on property that is part of the original homestead.

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

My late husband, George, grew up in old Newcastle and when we married in 1946 neither of us had any interest or desire to move from the area and our families. Issaquah is, was, and always will be home to me.

Issaquah or area school(s) attended:

I attended first grade through 8th grade at the Issaquah Grade School which was located where Issaquah Middle School now stands. Ninth grade through graduation I attended Issaquah High School which was an imposing building located where the Julius Boehm pool is now located.

Family History in Issaquah:

The earliest paperwork we can find shows my father immigrated to the United States from Russia or Poland (we have paperwork showing both!) in 1880. He became a citizen in 1882. He sent for my mother who arrived from Poland and they got married in 1910, living on the homestead south of town.

Education — Coming of Age:

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

All of my memories of Issaquah High School are wonderful ones. I graduated in 1943 with good friends and my future husband, George Swanson.

Some of the teachers I remember well are Mr. Seaman, who was the English teacher, and Miss Norma Nelson, my home economics teacher. Mr. Seaman played the piano and we all enjoyed his playing during school assemblies.

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

I was out of school at the time of both earthquakes, but remember them well. I had just been home a few days from the hospital after giving birth to my daughter, Lorraine, on April 4, 1949, when the quake hit.

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?

School plays – I was in the all-school play, The Green Vine, when I was a freshman and in the senior play, The Old Ordway House, as a senior. I was active in the I-HI Times, our school paper, and editor of our annual, Sammamish, in 1943.

Local Businesses:

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 shopped for groceries at Tony and Johnny’s and The Grange Mercantile. Our first frozen food locker was at the Red and White on Sunset and then, later, at The Grange Mercantile.

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 several men who were in the service, many of my classmates enlisted upon graduation or even before. My future husband, George, enlisted in the Army Air Corps and left for training on July 5, 1943, soon after we graduated from Issaquah High.

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

Yes, the Kabukata family lived on what is now the Pine Lake Plateau. There was a son in my class, Kenny, and he had two sisters, Uri and Ume. They lived in Issaquah for several years before the war began. The entire family was sent to an internment camp in California.

Issaquah Round-Up– Salmon Days– Labor Day Celebrations:

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

Labor Day was a BIG event in Issaquah. The years that are memorable to me are the years when my daughter and her cousin, Tom Carey, were about 5 and 6 years old and were in the kids’ parade. One year they were selected Junior King and Queen for Labor Day. That was great fun, and it was the same year the Florence Bergsma Harper, still a dear friend, was crowned Labor Day Queen.

In later years Issaquah built a float for Seafair and took it to the Torchlight Parade. For a couple of years when she was in high school, my daughter participated and rode on the float.

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?

These mills aren’t familiar to me, but the Neukirchen Bros. had a shingle mill on our farm south of Issaquah on the Cedar Grove Road. I have a shingle and the template that was used to stamp the bolts. I also have a picture of some of the men who worked there. The mill burned in 1918 and my home now is just about where the mill was located.