Denny Croston

Name: Denny Croston


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

Fifty-five years.  (The most part of.)

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

Never wanted to be anyplace else.

Issaquah or area school(s) attended:

All Issaquah schools (Grades 1-12).


Family History in Issaquah:

Crostons came to Issaquah in the early 1890’s.  I am fourth generation in Issaquah.


Education—Coming of Age

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

It was a lot of fun and lots of friends that I still get to see from time to time.  I remember when we moved into the new high school in 1962 or 1963.


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

Never met her.


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

I was out of school in 1965.


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?

I played football a couple of years and some baseball in the summer.


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 would usually be at ones house or right after school, we would stop by the Honeysuckle (soda fountain).  We were always in some kind of mischief but usually never got caught.  If we got in trouble at school we got swats.


Local 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?

Paul’s Barber shop or Hank’s.


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

Usually went to Lewis Hardware and still do.  I also remember Wold’s Hardware and later I think it was called Craymers’ Hardware that I worked at for a short time assembling bar-b-ques and lawnmowers.


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?

We shopped at Tony and Johnny’s after but also went to the Grange and later we went to Hi-Low.  I also worked there on Saturdays in the early 1960’s.


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 shopped there also and had a freezer 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?

We went to Fasano’s commonly on Friday nights in the 1950’s.  Would frequent others from time to time.

I went to the Honeysuckle after school and do remember go into Drylie’s Soda Shop but he seemed like an unfriendly old guy, so didn’t go there too often.


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

Hardly ever went there, they were too expensive for my budget.


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

Been to them all but none better than but the other in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s.


What do you remember about Grange Supply?

Really never had much need to go there, because we had no farm animals.


Issaquah Round-Up—Salmon Days—Labor Day Celebrations

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

I remember that Labor Day Celebration was “the big event” of the year and I always looked forward to it.


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

It went from small and fun to big and hard work.


Special Occasions

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

I remember when Pete Radimaker (heavy-weight boxer) was training in Issaquah for a championship fight.  There was a lot of activity at the old fire-hall, press and T.V. reporters, but he lost the fight.

I will always remember Bill Bergsma as Santa, and milkman.


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?

When I was young we used to hike around Tiger Mountain and Squak Mountain all the time.  I spent many nights camped up there.  When I was older I always went deer hunting and sometimes one of us would get one.


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?

I fished Issaquah Creek all the time.   And my grandfather (Irven Hynds) lived on the Lake Sammamish, and went fishing for perch (they were plentiful).  Used them for crawdad bait which we caught lots of them to eat.


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

Vasa Park was a real neat place to swim and play.  Didn’t go there too often because it was too far to walk.


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

Swam at Lake Sammamish often.  Swam at my grandparents’ house, State Park, and at Alexander’s Park.


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?

All but Issaquah Lumber.


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

I remember that the Monohon Mill had fires very often, because my uncle (Roy Croston) was on the fire department.


Farming and Dairy

Do you have any memories of Pickering Farm?

I was only there once, but I remember us kids were playing in the hay barn.  When they stacked the bails of hay, they would leave tunnels and chambers in them and it was like crawling around in a maze.


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

I worked at Darigold for about seven years in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s.



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

As kids we would hop the train and ride it down to the lake to my grandparents on the lake.  After a while the train would make us ride inside and then stop when we wanted to get off.  They said it was too dangerous for us to hop on and off but it sure was exciting riding on a flatcar or boxcar.


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

My first car was a 1936 Ford pickup that was given to me by my sister.

I later bought a 1954 Ford sedan from Jerry Malone Ford (Helper).


Fraternal Organizations—Local Halls

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

I was a member of  the Eagles for about 20 years.


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 we used to go to the turkey raffles during the holiday seasons.



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?

Yes, I went to the back upper corner of the theatre to kiss.

Went to the movies almost every Friday night.  My dad gave me a quarter and it cost 20 cents to get in and that left 5 cents for a candy bar.

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