John T. Brady

Name: John T. Brady

Birth Date or Year (optional): 06/10/25

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

72 years.

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

Didn’t have a choice, my parents moved here.

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

Was a quiet comfortable town in the past!

Issaquah or area school(s) attended:

Issaquah Elementary and Issaquah High School.

Family History in Issaquah:

Father was a merchant here, Brady’s Dry Goods.

Education—Coming of Age

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

1939 – 1943 the main concern was what part I would play in the coming war.  One of the most pleasurable parts of my high school years was the school band in which I participated as a trumpet player.  Mr. Blaine Ellefson and William Seaman, both were in music, Mr. Seaman was primarily an English teacher and was an excellent piano teacher.  Both were most influential in my life.


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

Minnie Schomber was known by most of the fellows as she was head of the draft board in Issaquah, (she was the draft board).


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

Not in school at that time.


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?

Since I was in the school band I had to play at football games to cheer our team.


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?

Played some kids baseball, Issaquah Theatre was a big form of entertainment as well as roller-skating at Vasa Park.  As punishment for misdeeds I couldn’t go to the movies.


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?

My father was in business so I remember most all the businesses.


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?

Just a regular standard haircut at Dave Lewis barbershop.


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

Tom Lewis was very knowledgeable about hunting and fishing.  He was very helpful with projects I was working on.


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?

Bought most groceries at Miles Red & White store as I worked there after school.


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?

Purchased some groceries and meats at the Grange – managed by Ellsworth Pickering.  Our family did have a storage locker there to preserve meat products.


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?

Mike and Rena Shane’s café was known for the wonderful pies Rena made.


What do you remember about Grange Supply?

Seeds and hay.


What do you recall about Lawill’s drug store?

Only drug store in Issaquah.


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?

Mayor Stella Alexander was the only lady mayor and was very controversial.  Judge Baker a city judge also had a restaurant.


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?

Liked the name changes.


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?

As far as I was concerned, nobody else had anything so we were all on equal terms.  Some people had a garden, chickens and hogs which helped with the food supply.  One main entertainment which was not expensive was the radio.


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?

My best friend, Kenny Kobukata was sent to an internment camp.  I was very unhappy when this happened.


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

Defense work – Boeing, Shipyards, and Renton Paccar Co.  (Kenworth Motor Co.)


Issaquah Round-Up—Salmon Days—Labor Day Celebrations

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

I did enjoy the round up or Rodeo but did not enjoy other celebrations because of all the people they brought in.


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

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


What are your memories of the Rodeo?

I enjoyed bronco riding, cattle roping, and horse racing, bull dogging.


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?

Really enjoyed fishing hunting and hiking in the area as it was a perfect setting to do those things.  Most boys did these things as the only other thing to do was work.


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?

Trout – biggest I caught was 16 inches.


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

Did swim in the lakes, but did not ice skate.  Swam mostly in Lake Sammamish at Alexander’s Beach.  I could ride my bike there.


Farming and Dairy

Do you have any memories of Pickering Farm?

Trying to learn how to milk a cow – Bruce Pickering worked with me.



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

Model A Ford, 4 door model 1931 deluxe – cost $300.00 in 1941.


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?

I remember it being built by WPA workers.  Target shot there.


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

Attend dinners upstairs in the Grange Hall – Also attended U7W meetings there as well as wedding receptions.



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?

Used to see – Sat. afternoon cowboy movies with my Grandpa.


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