Issaquah History Museums

Lorraine Swanson Morton

Lorraine Swanson Morton (b. 1949) was born in Seattle, but was raised on her family’s homestead south of Issaquah. With the exception of a few years in college, and her husband’s years in the military, Lorraine has lived in Issaquah for the majority of her life. Lorraine’s grandmother and grandfather were married and settled on their homestead in 1910.

 Name:Lorraine Swanson Morton


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

I was born in Seattle, but grew up south of Issaquah on the family homestead, and with the exception of some college years and two years of my husband’s military time, that’s where I’ve lived all my life (and continue to live).


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

There’s no place like home.


Issaquah or area school(s) attended:

1st through 6th grade @ Clark Elementary

7th through 9th grade @ Issaquah Junior High (now Issaquah Middle)

10th through Graduation @ Issaquah High School


Family History in Issaquah:

Mom’s notes cover it!


Education — Coming of Age

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

I entered Issaquah High in September 1964. Chuck Fallstrom was the principal and later, in 1972 when I began working for the Issaquah School District, he was still principal. Even when we became colleagues, he was always MR. Fallstrom to me! A very fine man who always had the best interests of students in Issaquah High in mind.


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

Mrs. Piercey, business ed teacher. In addition to teaching shorthand and typing, she often had fresh flowers on her desk – she advised putting a drop of Clorox or an aspirin in the vase to keep the bacteria away and the flowers fresher longer. I still do that today! Others I remember well include Mr. Tonstad, Mr. White, Miss Crelly, Mr. Coyle, and Mr. Klein.


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

In 1965 I was sitting in French class behind my friend Jan Yourglich’s boyfriend (now her husband of 31 years) Rick Quandt. Rick turned around and said “EARTHQUAKE” about the same time the teacher said “EARTHQUAKE – get under your desks” She ran out of the room and I don’t remember much beyond that. As we reflected about the earthquake for this book, Rick said he recalled a big mess on the sidewalk outside the liquor store, which was located on Front Street at that time!


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?

I remember a store about where Issaquah Floral is now. I think it was called DorMax and it was a clothing store owned and operated by sisters, Doreen Dahlbotten and Maxine Maulsby. I can remember buying my mom a sweater set there for Mother’s Day…maybe in the early 60s.


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?

Yes, we grocery shopped at The Grange and had a frozen food locker there. My most vivid memory of The Grange was the day that we pulled up to go in and everyone got out of the car, my aunt and cousin were with us, and I slammed the car door shut with my cousin Tom’s fingers still in the door! We were probably 9 or 10 years old at the time. Ouch! I don’t remember anything else from that day.


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?

My two favorites were The Shamrock Café which was on Front Street approximately where the Shanghai Garden and parking lot are now. Mike Shain owned it. I recall sitting at the counter with my dad – he always said no one could make a better real blackberry pie than Rena, Mike’s wife! And I loved their Green River sodas.

Also, the Honeysuckle on Front Street which was about where the Front Street Gallery is now. At that time it was also the bus station.


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

I worked at Boehm’s all through high school, 1965-1967. It was a wonderful place to work. Julius Boehm encouraged us to try the candy: “You can’t describe it to a customer if you don’t know what it tastes like.” When I began there Julius asked if I preferred light or dark chocolate. Me, who’d only had Hershey bars before, answered, “Probably light.” He told me that before long I’d find that dark chocolate was the best – much more depth and character. He was right. In answer to the question “Don’t you get tired of candy?” the answer, for me, was nope. I just changed from week to week – one week it was Divinity, the next week dark chocolate Rocky Road or Opera Roll, the next week peanut brittle or dark caramels. On Sundays Julius would fix lunch for the staff. A favorite was pork chops and mashed potatoes with spinach!

Co-workers at that time included Robin Pickering Taylor, Martha Hall, Martha Willard, and Robin’s mom, Rae Pickering. Rae was like a hostess, manager, and dorm mom rolled into one. She was lovely and solved our scheduling problems and answered our questions. Julius relied on her a great deal.


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?

Many of my classmates were in the service during the war in Viet Nam. Bob Arndt, IHS Class of 1965, was killed over there and his name is listed on the Viet Nam Veterans’ Memorial wall in Olympia and Washington, D.C. I’m proud to remember Bob and all the others who served in the military services.


Issaquah Round-Up– Salmon Days– Labor Day Celebrations

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

I remember big crowds for the Labor Day parade. When I was little, 5 or 6, my mom and aunt baked a lot of cookies and dressed my cousin Tom and me up as the King and Queen of Hearts and I got to hand out cookies along the parade route. Another year my dad built a boat around a bicycle and poor Tom had to peddle the bike “towing” me “water skiing” behind him! Dad had to jump out of the crowd and help push us over the railroad tracks on Sunset!


Farming and Dairy

Do you have any memories of Pickering Farm?

I remember the parachute jumpers who landed in the Pickering field that’s now home to Trader Joe’s, Cucina! Cucina!, and Barnes and Noble. I sure loved watching them.


Railroad– Transportation

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

Not frequently, and when we did go in, it was kind of a big deal. We usually took the bus from Issaquah to Seattle and got off near the Bon. We usually had lunch at Bartell’s Drugstore or the restaurant in the Bon.


Fraternal Organizations– Local Halls

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

My dad belonged to the Masons and my mom is still active in Eastern Star. I joined Rainbow when I was 12 and belonged until I reached “majority” at 20. I thought it was a great organization for young women, teaching poise, values, character and how to walk in high heels! I really remember wearing awful Suntan colored nylons – they were practically red in color.



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 lived out of town and I didn’t go to the movies too often. I remember seeing West Side Story twice with my friend, Jan, who lived in town and saw it at least five times! Was there kissing in the back? I don’t remember a thing about that.

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