Issaquah History Museums

Imogene Woodside

Imogene Woodside (1922) moved to Issaquah in 1946 with her husband, Stuart, and one- and three-year-old sons. They lived on a dairy farm. Imogene is fondly remembered for her 14 years of work at the Grange Mercantile. Imogene and Stuart left Issaquah in 1968 and currently live in La Center, Washington

Name: Imogene Woodside (Stuart- husband almost 50 years)

Birth Date or Year (optional):



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

I arrived in Issaquah February 23, 1946 with one and 3 year old sons.  We lived on the dairy farm 22 years adjoining the Lake Sammamish State Park on the eastside.


If you moved to Issaquah, why did you choose it?

I have always said I was an imported war bride from Arizona to Washington- I could not spell or pronounce Issaquah- I was a city girl and I came to a 150 acre dairy farm.


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

We left in May of 1968 as Issaquah was becoming overrun with people and our mode of making a living no longer existed- not as bad as today.  People want to live in the country, but do not like the smell, tractors and the other things that country life brings!


Issaquah or area school(s) attended:

Both Jim and Roy attended 1-2-3 grades in the old (old) high school building.  I believe Jim was in 3rd grade in the building that later became the lunch room and much later the library.  Then to Clark which was a new building.  From there back to Junior High building and the old high school. They both graduated from the new high school.  Jim in 1961 and Ray in 1963.


Education—Coming of Age

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

I (Imogene Woodside) did not attend but my husband Stuart graduated in 1939. He was in the Redmond schools before. He enjoyed being in the school play.


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

We came to Issaquah for Bill and Esther Bergsma’s 50th anniversary party. Minnie Schomber attended also. The next day we went to see Mrs. Diamond who had just celebrated her 100th birthday. We could hear her on the phone before coming to the door. After greeting us she remarked that she had heard we were in town. She had been on the phone with Minnie Schomber! What wonderful people they were!


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

The Hi School was closed in ’65. Both times in ’49 and ’65 we lost our chimney but the old house was still standing. It was finally torn down after we left in 1968.


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?

Andy Wold’s Hardware.

Ben Sutter’s Feed Store. Some feed for the animals.

Red & White Grocer (Kramer’s) across the street from the Hotel and Fasano’s Restaurant, where we ate some.


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?

Evans’ Beauty Shop.

Dave Lewis Barber Shop. He was the only person that ever cut my boys’ hair until after they graduated from Hi School.


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

The oiled floors and all the little drawers!

Tom, Reita and Ed were always so helpful. It was a wonderful place, besides it was a long drive to Renton to purchase any items.

We did go to Kirkland as Bellevue only had one street and blueberry fields!


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?

I bought from all of the grocery stores until I went to work for Grange Mercantile Grocery in 1953 or 1954 where I worked for 14 years.


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?

The Grange Mercantile. sold all kinds of garden tools, feed, hardware and most anything you needed. Of course “Pick” Elsworth Pickering was manager. When I went to work at the Grange, John Kramer was manager. Groceries were about the only thing we sold. I worked with Joan Karvia and Jim Padkranic. John worked mainly in the butcher shop. Joan and I did all the ordering, except produce, and took care of the cash registers. I was to work 3 days a week. I worked only 2 weeks – 3 days and for 14 years 5 & 6 days a week. With 2 boys in Clark Elementary we knew most every one in town. I still have a smock that has my name printed on it that we wore to try to stay clean. I believe the Grange closed in the early 70s. I really enjoyed my time in Issaquah.


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?

Rena’s Café had wonderful pies! We took our kids to XXX Barrel. Ken and Olg’s kids were about the same age as ours.


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

I still go when I return to Issaquah. My favorite is pecan milk chocolate nut sheets. (Rae Pickering and I always called them cow pies.) Julius taught Jim and Ray to ski on Snoqualmie Pass through the YWCA. When I called the YWCA in Seattle to enroll them I was told the classes were only for adults. I said Julius told me to call and the lady said that was fine and enrolled them.


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

We were in Fasano’s bar a few times, but never a saloon.


What do you remember about Grange Supply?

The Grange Supply fixed equipment. They also sold gas and diesel and had delivery service to the farm. Frank Stickney was the manager for many years. Dick Boni was the deliveryman and Walt Rasnia (?) worked in the shop. Anna Guine (?) and another lady whose name I cannot remember worked in the office. My husband even worked there one winter when farming was slow. Grange supply was always our gas station also.


What do you recall about Lawill’s drug store?

Mr. and Mrs. Lawill were always very nice and friendly. The drug story had most everything we needed. For many years we went to Seattle for the dentist and doctors, but Lu filled the prescriptions.


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 can’t remember much about the political activities. I believe Mr. Hepler was involved and a lone lady worked in the Issaquah City office.


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?

It was terrible! That is why at the present time I do not know any of the street names at this time. Of course I have been gone for 33 years, but I do return to visit but not often now. I lost 2 close friends the last 3 months.


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?

I was not there at the time.


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 was not here at the time. My husband joined the service Dec. 1940. We did know many of his friends who returned after the war, as we did. My husband was in the Air Force and we spent most of the war in Kansas where he worked on B-27 & B-29s prior to their going overseas to Europe.


Issaquah Round-Up—Salmon Days—Labor Day Celebrations

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

We had a great time in all the Labor Day Parades. A tent was placed on Memorial Field for all the concessions. We were involved in the Grange Lodge.


Was there any year that these celebrations were especially memorable to you?

I remember one year I ended up in Nelem’s Hospital after the celebration. I had work to do in the Grange Booth so waited to the day after all was cleaned up. This was probably ’52 or ’53.


What special activities were there at Labor Day Celebrations, or at Salmon Days?  How has Salmon Days changed over time?

There was always a big dance at the Fireman’s hall by Memorial Field where we all had a wonderful time.


Special Occasions

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

The schools were always busy with lots of activities. Great High School wrestling matches with Mr. Wilson as coach. Also great football with the town team, Little League as well as High School.


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 hiked on the farm bringing in the cows out of the pastures. Every summer afternoon when my husband brought the cows in from across the road (east side of E. Lake Sammamish Rd.) they would walk down the road to the corner of SE 56th and go into the field across the railroad tracks. Most every day a man going to work swing shift at Boeings would drive behind them from one side of the road to the other. This must have been 4 blocks. At the corner he would wave and be on his way to work. The field is the Fed X Building now. Times were different in those days.


What type of fish did you catch?   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?

The Issaquah Creek was by our driveway. I remember the boys, probably 4 & 6, fishing with their dad. Jim came running up to the house with his first fish to show me. As they got older they fished there all the time with lots of fish. In the fall my husband had fun trying to bring the cows into the barn which sat on the east bank of the creek. He would walk through the creek with knee boots and he could hardly step without stepping on a salmon, there were so many. This would have been behind the veterinary hospital today.


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

Lots of people. Swim or attend the dance. My husband grew up on the west side near the end of Lake Sammamish.


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

We spent more time at Alexander’s Beach as our kids were friends of the Harros (?). They swam and went water skiing. George Eck was always Grandpa to the kids. I went water skiing my first time about 35 years old. Stayed up my first try. Did dump on another boat wave in the middle of the lake but was able to get up right away. Ray and Bill Harro (?) are still friends and see one another after almost 50 years.


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 remember seeing the empty space for many years where the mill burned. I also remember the Preston Mill as well as the Red Hall Mill. Madeline was a friend!


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

My husband who lived in Redmond at the time always told about watching the mill burn from the Redmond road on a hill by the Pillie’s.


Salmon hatchery

How has the salmon hatchery affected Issaquah?

It brought great people to Issaquah.

I remember Elmer and Louise Quistorf when Elmer managed the hatchery and Louise taught school. They continued to live in Issaquah until both passed away.

We had no fish problem in those days. Too many people now!


Farming and Dairy

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

In 1946 I went with my husband and 2 boys to the C. W. Peters farm. The big 2 story house sat by the wooden bridge (at that time) on SE 56th. We bought the cows and rented the farm in 1952. We raised grass and hay for the cows’ feed. We did grow corn for silage at one time. We always had a big garden and raised a lot of our food. Our milk was sent in cans to Darigold as Alpine Dairy had been sold. Ray was a member of the Darigold Board before we sold the cows here in La Center.


Do you have any memories of Pickering Farm?

In the ’49 earthquake my husband and Rob Pickering were at the Pickering farm doing some work with each on their tractors. They were close to the old silos and moved out in the field to get away from them if they should fall. The boys grew up playing with Rob and Rae’s kids. After the barn was rebuilt Ray was able to go into it and told us all the things that were not the same. I learned at that time there had been a long rope swing in the barn (now) and was used by the Woodside and Pickering kids. What memories!


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

Our milk was finally shipped to Darigold just before we left Issaquah in 1968. I was in the creamery several times but worked next door.



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

It was wonderful not to have to go through Renton. It was wonderful when the Floating Bridge opened. I remember I had to go to the Train Depot to pick up Dad Peters. I had been shopping in Issaquah and on my way I remembered I did not have enough money for the toll. I stopped at the Skyport restaurant and cashed a check to be able to pay the toll. Both of us were just new!


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

It was not I-90 but I-10! In fact about half the time I still call it I-10. I crossed I-10 at the Issaquah intersection 4 times a day for the time I worked at Grange Mercantile 14 years. I went home for lunch. Of course there was not a lot of traffic and sometimes I would go 2 lanes, wait, and go the other 2 lanes. The Barlows (who were our friends) got an underpass for their cows to go down to the lake. The one underpass we had used for years was closed.


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

I guess we bought our first car in Seattle.


Fraternal Organizations—Local Halls

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

In 1998 I received my 50 year pin from the Issaquah Valley Grange. Many years ago we held several offices.

We had many great times in the Grange Hall.


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?

No. Just there once!


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

Only dances and parties.


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

All of the above. I helped prepare many a meeting of all kinds in the Grange Hall. I remember a New Years Eve party. Many of us were cleaning up the Hall. There was a bottle of booze left and we nominated Bill Bergsma to take it home. We weren’t big drinkers in those days. Bill went downstairs and at the bottom the door was closed. With his hands full and trying to open the door the wind blew the door against the bottle and smashed it! So much for that bottle!



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



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

I remember the mineshafts on the Renton road.



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?

We were not movie fans but I remember taking the boys to the Saturday show when all the children went.


Front Street

I don’t even know which is Front Street!



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?

We attended the Community Church by the creek for many years. There were only 2 churches at that time. Many came later.


Additional Memories

I really enjoyed my 22 years in early Issaquah. It was a great time and place to raise 2 boys. My husband lived with the C.W. Peters after both his parents died. My father-in-law was a veterinarian in Redmond when Dad Peters was the herdsman for Hollywood Farms – Now the winery Ste. Michelle.

Helen Peters Stackable (daughter) and granddaughter Barbara live just 1 ½ miles from me at this time. So our Issaquah roots go back over 50 years.

Thanks to all the people who are working on this program.

Imogene Woodside

This has been done in a hurry. Hope you can read it!

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