Issaquah History Museums

Josephine Garner

Jo Garner (1915-2011) moved to Issaquah in 1934. In 1940, Jo married Ai Garner, who is fondly remembered for his work as a butcher at Tony and Johnnie’s and Fischer Meats. Jo worked at the Issaquah Junior High for 25 years.

 Name: Josephine Garner


Birth Date or Year (optional):



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

I came to Issaquah in 1934.  I’ve lived here about 67 years.


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

I came down here to live with a school teacher (Blanche Otin)


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

I married Ai in 1941 and have lived here ever since.


Issaquah or area school(s) attended:

None here.


Family History in Issaquah:

My husband Ai M. Garner was born and raised in Issaquah.  My two daughters (Karen and Judy) were born in Issaquah.  Karen lives in Ballard now.  Judy lives in East Wenatchee.  I have one grandson (Troy) and two great granddaughters (Mikayla and Jessica).


Education—Coming of Age

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

Did not go to High School here. I graduated from Darrington High School in 1933. Lived with a school teacher (Blanche Otin). I also came to Issaquah with her.


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

Minnie was a good friend of mine.


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

(1965) I was a secretary at Issaquah Jr. High School at the time.

It was frightening – but no particular [damage] as I remember.


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?

Brady’s Dry Goods Store. I bought a pair of dark blue slacks. I still have them. They are as good as new.


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

It seemed like they had everything you needed.


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?

Tony’s & Johnny’s. Ai was a meat cutter there for awhile.

He worked a long time at Fischer’s Meat Market and also at Tony & Johnny’s Food Center.


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?

I did shop at the Grange Mercantile. Yes, we rented a frozen food locker.


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?

Yes, I was at both of these places. Rena’s cafe had wonderful pies.


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

Yes, I went to B. Candies. My favorites were all the candy.


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

My husband went to the H & H tavern.

[Referring to the photo on page 8] – Ai went to this tavern (Johnnie’s) also.


What do you remember about Grange Supply?

I shopped here too, quite a bit.


What do you recall about Lawill’s drug store?

I remember shopping at Lawill’s drug store.


Local Politics

What do you recall about Mayor Stella Alexander, the first female mayor of Issaquah (elected in 1933)?  Were there any other local politicians or political activities that drew scandalous attention?

Didn’t really know too much about her. I just heard that she was awfully feisty.


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?

Don’t remember this.


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?

Yes, I knew several men that went to fight the war.


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

No. I did not know any were that taken to the int. camps – but I know there were a few from Issaquah.


What kinds of jobs did the War bring to the area?  Where did you work at this time?

I worked at Boeings for a short while – about 1942.


Issaquah Round-Up—Salmon Days—Labor Day Celebrations

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

A very nice time was had by all. Big crowds.


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

I was not here for the rodeo day – but my husband Ai participated in the rodeos.


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

Bigger crowds every year.


What are your memories of the Rodeo?

I’ve heard they were fabulous.


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?

Ai was the fisherman in our family – he literally loved it.


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?

Ai caught a lot of trout.


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

Oh, I loved it – they had a big celebration every year – I had fun dancing in the Hall.


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

Yes, I went swimming at Alexander’s beach a lot. So did my 2 daughters (Karen & Judy). Yes, I also went skating at the Horrock’s pond.


Logging and Sawmills

How did the logging industry affect Issaquah?  How did it change?  Did you work in logging?  For what logging camp or sawmill?  What do you remember of your logging days?  What type of machines did you use for logging?  How did you transport logs? How large were these logs?

It was employment for many men.


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?

Yes, I remember them all.


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

No, I was not here at that time, but I heard about it.


Farming and Dairy

Do you have any memories of Pickering Farm?

Yes, I used to go down to the Pickering farm a lot with Rita Pickering Lewis.


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

No, I did not.



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

Traveled a few times to Seattle when you had to go around Renton and Rainier Ave.


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

You could get to Seattle in a lot less time.


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

We bought a Chev. car from S. Chev.


Fraternal Organizations—Local Halls

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?

My husband Ai belonged to the club.


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

I used to go to dances at the IVFD Hall.


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

Yes, I did – and also dances.



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




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?

I remember going to the Theatre with my 2 daughters. Don’t remember the cost.



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?

The Community Church. I just can’t remember the name of the Pastor – She was a lady. Someone will surely remember her name. She was very popular.

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