Issaquah History Museums

Lenore Cutsworth Martinell

Lenore Cutsforth Martinell (b. 1938) lived in Issaquah for fifty-two years. Lenore’s father was a poultry farmer and carpenter, and both her grandfather and great grandfather, John and James Bush, lived on farms as well. Lenore graduated from Issaquah High School in 1956 and worked for the Issaquah School District until she retired. Lenore currently lives in Everett, Washington with her husband, Ted.

Name:Lenore Martinell


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

I lived in Issaquah 52 years

Issaquah or area school(s) attended

Issaquah elementary, junior and high school

Family History in Issaquah:

My grandfather, John Allen Bush, was the second white child born in the Issaquah Valley.  He was the son of James and Martha Bush.


Education—Coming of Age

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

The teachers I most remember are Richard Treat and Gerald Lider.  They were both wonderful teachers and great role models.  I worked for Mr. Treat as his assistant in my senior year (1956).  Mr. Treat taught U.S. Government.  Mr. Lider was my home room teacher in the ninth grade.  Mr. Treat, and his wide, Edith, who taught elementary school, passed away some years ago.  I believe Mr. Lider still resides near Lake Sammamish.

I also remember, then principal, Charles Fallstrom, meting out punishment he thought appropriate.  I witnessed an event at school one morning that would be unthinkable now.  A young man came to school with his pants belted well below his waist.  Mr. Fallstrom walked up behind him and pulled his pants down and then told the kid to pull his pants back up, go home, and not to come back to school until his pants were worn correctly.  Needless to say, the kid came back to school the next day with his pants belted where they should have been in the first place.  Nowadays, Mr. Fallstrom and the school district would have had a lawsuit filed against them.  All the kids thought it was hilarious.

Mr. Fallstrom also had a paddle with holes in it that he administered to the backsides of boys when deemed necessary.  That particular punishment took place down in the boiler room of the high school.

I also remember the day that Robert (Bob) White, a long-time teacher and administrator in the school district, was first introduced to the student body at Issaquah High School.  We girls all swooned.  He was (and still is) a Robert Redford look-a-like.

Mr. Albert Rosenhall was my seventh grade teacher.  After one year in our classroom, he resigned and went in to the undertaking business!  We always thought we must have given him a pretty bad time.  The kids said he must have preferred “dead ones” to “live ones”.

I attended first grade in Issaquah during the 1944-45 school year.  Miss Johnson was my teacher.  There was only one first grade in the district at that time. (picture enclosed)

We also took a field trip to the Issaquah Valley Diary.  I am not sure which grade I was in, but I would guess the third or fourth grade.  Mr. Bergsma gave each of us a small bottle of milk to drink.  (two pictures enclosed).

I don’t remember what the occasion was, but nine of us little girls in grade school were dressed in dresses our mothers made out of crepe paper.  The dresses were each made in a different color. (picture enclosed)


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

My friend and I were out on the field in back of where the Issaquah Middle School now sits when the 1949 earthquake hit.  It was terrifying, and to the best of my memory, we were never allowed back in the building.  It was condemned.

Tommy Bush, Sue Cameron’s brother, was standing beside the brick building with his friend Jerry Hamm, when the earthquake occurred.  Tommy was not injured, but I believe falling bricks broke some of Jerry’s ribs.

After the quake the principal stood on the roof of the small porch off one of the back entryways to the building with a loudspeaker telling us that we could go back in to get our things.  We were then sent home.

I was at home with my children in 1965 when the earthquake occurred.  My eldest son, Don, was on the school bus headed for Sunny Hills Elementary and never felt a thing, although the bus driver thought she was having a heart attack.

I was in the back bedroom of the house and had just put my youngest son, Ted, down on the bed to change his diaper, when the earthquake hit.  My middle son, Kevin, was watching J.P. Patches with Candy Watson, our five year old neighbor girl, in front of the house.  The rolling and shaking was so bad that I could not get from the back bedroom to the front of the house to get Kevin and Candy.  I asked Kevin just this past week if he remembered the earthquake.  He said he did, but the thing he remembered the most was my screaming at both of them to come to me!  So much for remaining calm.  We were without power for quite a number of hours.


Education—Coming of Age

Where did you and your friends spend your free time as teenagers?  What kind of mischief did you get into?  How did your parents or teachers punish you when you got into trouble?

We spent a lot of our time going to the movies at the old Issaquah Theatre.  A really special treat was to take the bus and go to Seattle to see a movie.  Our youth group at the Community Church was very active and we did lots of fun things together.

I remember vividly upon receiving my first bicycle when I was a young teen that my mother’s one instruction was that I was NOT to ride my bicycle to Issaquah.  We lived down near the state park at the time.  I, and my cousin, Irene Kelderman, decided we would be very careful and we would go anyway.  I proceeded to fall off of my bike, hurt my knee, and eventually wound up with blood poisoning.  I received no punishment from my mother at that time.  Her look told me what she was thinking.


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?

Most of the time we shopped at Kramer’s Market on E. Sunset.  Mr. Kramer was a thoughtful man.  My mother and I had no vehicle, so he would deliver our groceries for us.

After I was married I always shopped at the Grange Mercantile.  I used to shop each Friday morning with my children.  I would get my groceries, take them to the checkout stand, and before the clerk (Joan Karvia) had them all totaled, I would have written out my check for $25.  The change would be my spending money for the week!  The meat department was really neat because you could pick out just what you wanted and the amount you wanted.  Dan Kramer was the butcher.

Tom Drylie (not sure of the spelling) was the proprietor of the store that was located near the old Union Tavern building.  His store also served as the Greyhound Depot.  He was, by reputation, a very frugal man, to put it graciously.  When I was a youngster I went in to buy a pound of jellybeans.  When he weighed the bag it was very slightly over one pound so he took one jelly bean out and cut it in half!

In later years, my husband, Ted, remembers Mrs. Pennington as a marvelous waitress at Fasano’s when it was located on E. Sunset Way.  It was a long and narrow building filled with booths and tables.  Ted says that Mrs. Pennington could take care of the whole place single handedly.

Most of my grandparents’ farming supplies were purchased at the Washington State Co-op which was housed where the Darigold plant is now located.  I have an old quilt that my grandmother made from feed sacks.  On the backing of the quilt is stamped “Washington State Co-op.”


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?

My friend, Mary Ann Hemmingsen, and I both got very short haircuts.  They were short in the back and slicked back on the sides.  It was respectfully called a “DA” or duck’s ass!  Many of the boys wore similar hair styles.


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

Oh, how I loved Boehm’s Candies and still do!  My son, Don, worked for a time in the kitchen learning how to make candy.

My favorite candies?  Rocky road, nougat, and honeycomb


Issaquah Round-Up—Salmon Days—Labor Day Celebrations

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

I can remember how excitedly we used to look forward to the Labor Day celebration.  Many times we had to stand under umbrellas in pouring rain and we still got soaking wet.  It was a time to see folks that one hadn’t seen for a while and to just enjoy the day.  I know the celebration went on for many years, but I do not know how long.

Issaquah Community Church used to build a float for the parade each year and we kids would ride on it in our white junior choir robes, complete with the red bows, and throw Bible tracts and candy to the folks along the parade route (picture enclosed) I believe this picture would have been taken sometime during the late 1940s and early 1950s.


Outdoor Recreation

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?

We played and fished in the Issaquah Creek.  There were large eels that inhabited the water under the bridge on what is now Gilman Blvd just west of the new Post Office.  We would go wading in the summertime and the eels would swim along our feet.  It was scary to me, at least, but I always seemed to go back for more.

I don’t remember ever catching any fish in the creek; however, I do remember that we, in our ignorance, threw rocks at the fish going upstream to spawn.  We called them redfish.  Nowadays, we would be sitting in jail, but in those days we really didn’t know any better.  I don’t think we killed any fish, but I do believe we gave a few of them headaches.

Alexander’s Beach on Lake Sammamish was our favorite place to go swimming.  As a kid, I spend many a wonderful hour there swimming and ruining my skin in the sun.  When I had children, I took them there, too.  It was such a nice place.



Farming and Dairy

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

My father, Dale Cutsforth, was a chicken farmer during the 1930’s.  He built, almost single handedly, a high block-long, 3-story chicken house, complete with an elevator along what is now 221st Pl. SE.   The building housed thousands upon thousands of chickens over the years.  Unfortunately, I was not too interested in it and didn’t appreciate it like I should have.  It was torn down in the 1970’s.  It was an imposing structure and should be part of Issaquah’s memories.  (picture enclosed)  The picture of me looking at the calf in front of the chicken house shows what a huge structure this was.  The picture was taken around 1940.  The other picture was taken in 1937 when the chicken house was newly built.

Please note:  I have written Sue Cameron and asked her to provide any pictures that she has.  I’ve also asked Paul Turcotte to submit to you any memories about the structure that he may have.  He worked there after my father sold the property to Earl and Dorothy Miller.

Both my great-grandfather, James Bush, and my grandfather, John Bush, were farmers in the valley.  My grandfather’s home and farm were located on the property where the new post office was built on Gilman Blvd.  (picture enclosed)

Most of my grandparents and parents farming supplies were purchased from the Washington State Co-op which was housed in a building where Darigold plant is now located.  I have a quilt that my grandmother made from old feed sacks.  Stamped on the backing of the quilt is “Washington State Co-op”.



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?

My mother and I always attended Community Church which was located down on Rainier Blvd. and is now an office building.  I was baptized there in 1949 and I played the piano for church there while I was in high school.  My husband and I were married there in 1957 by Pastor Bob Larsen.

I have many wonderful memories of the church and its influence on my life.  Rev. Albert Dahlby and his wife, Edith, came to the church as our leaders, I believe during the late 40s or early 50s.  Unfortunately, Mr. Dahlby was stricken with Parkinson’s Disease and could not lead the congregation.  Mrs. Dahlby took over the reins and kept church going with her ever-present courage and commitment.  Their daughter, Grace, still lives in the Issaquah area.

Pastor Larsen was our pastor during the 1950’s.  He was a very intelligent and was very straight forth.  I will never forget the time when a woman kept bringing herself and her baby to church each Sunday.  Our church had a lovely nursery where the moms could sit and watch and also hear the service, but this lady chose not to take advantage of what was offered.  Unfortunately, the baby cried during most of the services disturbing those who were there to worship.  One Sunday, Pastor Larsen came to the end of his patience, stopped his sermon, looked down t the woman and said “Madam, crying babies are like New Year’s resolutions; they should be carried out.”

There was also a time when a transient took up residence in the attic of the church and was there for quite a period of time until the day he carefully pulled back one of the ceiling panels to peer down into the church sanctuary to see what the kids were doing and was noticed by one of the kids.  He was promptly removed.

The Rev. Russell Hendrickson and his wife, Marty, were also wonderful leaders of the church.  The parsonage was located adjacent to the church which had a tall hedge in front.  The Hendricksons had come from Wenatchee.  One morning Pastor Hendrickson was walking over to the church past the hedge when he said he heard a rattlesnake rattle.  It scared him and he called the police who gingerly investigated.  No rattlesnake was ever found, but Pastor Hendrickson always said he was from Wenatchee and he knew what a rattlesnake sounded like!  We later heard that a rattlesnake had been found in a bale of hay that was being unloaded across the street at the Washington State Co-op.

The long-time custodian at Issaquah High School was Martin Hansen.  He and his wife, Florence, held Bible School during the summer months for any kids who wanted to attend.  He had a little old bus that we fondly nicknamed the “chicken coop”.  Martin would pick us up in the morning, deliver us to High Point for Bible School and then return us home again in the afternoon.  He surely deserves some recognition in our memories of Issaquah.


Additional Memories

My grandfather’s (John Bush) home was located directly behind what is now Gilman Station.  In the late 1940’s he sold a portion of his property along Highway 10 to folks who built the Mar Si Motel.

Grandpa used to have to walk all the way across Highway 10 and over Juniper Street to pick up his mail each day.  When the motel was being built, the owners kindly provided a large corridor between the two sections of motel buildings just for grandpa to walk through on his way to the mailbox.  Otherwise, he would have no way to get through.  I never fail to think of that as I drive by.  The buildings have changed, but I can still see grandpa with his cane walking through there to pick up his mail.

Grandpa and grandma (Ida) celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary in the old house.  Grandpa lived another couple of years and passed away in 1952.  Grandma lived another year and passed away in 1963.  They were married a grand total of 62 years! (picture enclosed)

I think Dr. Dana Hillery should also be remembered in the memories of Issaquah.  He faithfully worked among us for so many years.  He was my grandparents’ doctor, took care of my mother when she was pregnant with me and arranged for her to have a Cesarean section in Seattle when my mother was way overdue and showed no signs of delivering.  Dr. Hillery was also took care of me and my children.

Clint Brady operated a clothing store on E. Sunset Way for many years and then moved his establishment to the building that now houses Domino’s Pizza.  His son, John, operated the store in that location for many years.

I would also like to have my dear cousin, Beryl Baxter, remembered.  She was a wonderfully sweet lady who lived her entire life in the valley and passed away two years ago at the age of 87.  She was a talented quilter and earned the nickname “The Quilt Lady.”  She had articles written about her both in the Journal American and The Issaquah Press.




Dear Issaquah Historical Society,

I sent in my “Memories of Issaquah” booklet last week.  Yesterday, I received additional information from Paul Turcotte, who has specific memories of the huge chicken house that my father built in the 1930’s in Issaquah.

Would you please include the following information with my booklet:


“The chicken house was built before World War II, and was an imposing structure standing four stories tall with a length of around 150 feet.  It was all the more impressive when you consider that its construction was entirely the effort of one man, Dale Cutsforth.”

“It had several ingenious labor-saving features, such as electrically operated elevators for carrying the heavy feed sacks, cleated ramps that took you from floor to floor, removable windows for ventilation control, chutes going from the first floor all the way to the attic area for the movement of wood chip little and for transferring birds from floor to floor, an old Model “B” Ford engine driving a blower for blowing the wood chips into the attic area just under the roof, all this from the mind and effort of Dale Cutsforth, who must have been a dynamo of sorts in his own right.”

“Dale sold the property to Earl and Dorothy Miller who, during the late 40s to the mid 50s, raised 12,000 fryers twice a year for the Seattle market.  All the chickens were housed in the one building.”

“Sadly, sometime during the 1970s the building collapsed of its own weight and years of disuse.”

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