Name: Helen Peters Stackable
Birth Date or Year (optional): June 24, 1915
Your history in Issaquah/How long lived here, etc.:
My parents lived there until their deaths in 1958 (Dad) and 1963 (Mother)
If you moved to Issaquah, why did you choose it?
In 1920 we moved to Issaquah because my father wanted his own dairy farm. There were big stumps on the field on the east side of the Road to Monohon. We had 160 acres.
If you have lived here all or most of your life, why did you choose to stay?
My parents moved to Issaquah when Dad retired. Then Stu and Imogene Woodside ran the farm. Imogene worked at the Grange Store. Stu has died (1991). Imogene and her family now live 1 ½ miles from me. They were dairy farmers too.
Issaquah or area school(s) attended:
First grade to high school graduation.
Education — Coming of Age
What are your memories of Issaquah High School? Which teachers were influential?
All high school closes were on the 3rd floor of the school, except for cooking or sewing classes and manual training classes, which were in the building behind the school.
My third, fourth and fifth grade classes were in annexes. Third and fourth were in a 2-room annex, and fifth was in a single building in front of the double annex. Miss Evans, Miss LaBrash and Miss Bresnahan were the teachers in 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades.
What memories do you have of Minnie Schomber, or another favorite teacher?
She was substitute teacher and I don’t recall having her often. She and me mother were friends. Willow Gene Herren was my 7th grade teacher. She often read to the class.
Mrs. Cabness was my second grade teacher. She always wore a black dress with a handkerchief peeking out of a pocket.
Were you affected by earthquake damage to the schools in 1949 or 1965?
I was not in Issaquah then.
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 was in the Debate Team. I was never very good at sports.
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?
I liked school and liked the teachers, so I didn’t get in trouble. Also, I came to school via school bus, so didn’t have much time to get in trouble.
We would go to dances at school, basketball games, movies (evenings). Movies were not shown often.
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?
Drylie’s Honeysuckle – sodas, ice cream.
Cussac’s shoe store.
Grange – bought most of our groceries there.
Stephenson’s Drug Store
Wold Store – hardware
Miles Store – hardware
A dress shop – owner was Miss Eaves
Mr. Benson’s Barber Shop
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?
Mr. Benson was my barber. His shop was near the Wold Store. I had wavy hair, so didn’t go to beauty shops until I was much older.
What is memorable about Lewis Hardware? What items did you purchase there?
Hardware items. I didn’t do much shopping there, as my parents bought what we 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?
My family usually shopped at the Grange Store, and Fisher’s Market. There was another meet market owned by Mr. Finney – it was near Fisher’s on Main Street. We bought meat there too. My parents let me have a small sack of candy for a nickel when I was with them on a shopping trip – when I was in grade school, and at the grange. There were dances upstairs in the grange hall, now and then. Fun was had by all!
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 bought most of our groceries at Grange Mercantile. My brother, Bill Peters worked there for a while when Ellsworth Pickering was manager. My first job was helping to take inventory at the Grange.
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?
Rena’s Café must have existed after “my time.”
Drylie’s (spelling?) had ice cream and sodas (It was near Cussac’s shoe store). I didn’t go there often – my mother made ice cream at home.
Did you go to Boehm’s Candies? What candies were your favorites?
I was not living in Issaquah then.
What saloons or local bars did you and your friends frequent?
After high school I was in Seattle and later in California, so was not in local bars. Also, there was Prohibition.
What do you remember about Grange Supply?
My Dad, C.W. Peters, bought farm supplies there. My brother, Bill Peters, would go there with Dad.
What do you recall about Lawill’s drug store?
We usually went to Stephenson’s Drug Store. It was on Main Street [Front Street] across from Fisher’s Meat Market.
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?
I never voted in Issaquah. After I finished U. of WA I worked in Seattle and lived there during the week (at a boarding house). From Seattle I transferred to a branch of the Northern Life Insurance Company in San Diego, Calif. Where I met my husband. We married in 1940.
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?
I recall her, but was not involved in politics (graduated from High School in 1933, and was at the University of Washington in 1934).
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?
The high school did not have an “annual” (yearbook) in 1933. “Sammamish” was published 1931 and 1932.
We lived on a Dairy Farm, and had a vegetable garden. Also, there was an orchard – cherries and apples. Also, we had three pie cherry treed and plum trees. My mother did lots of canning. If a neighbor who butchered, we might get meat – tho we got meat at Fisher’s in Issaquah usually.
We had 2 quince trees too. As boys walked down to Lake Sammamish to swim, they would take one bite of a quince and throw the remains on the road – they must have thought it was a kind of apple.
Actually the Depression did not affect our daily life too much. My parents probably worried about low milk prices. We raised potatoes – selling price $1 a sack (a “gunny” sack). My Dad gave potatoes to some friends in Issaquah.
There were large blackberry bushes on our place. Also some salmon berry bushes.
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?
Cliff Benson and Ray Smart did not come back. These tragedies affected everyone. The boys were closer to my brother in age, but we knew both families. Mrs. Benson was my Sunday School teacher. Nellimae Smart (now Nolet) and I still are friends and see each other every few years.
What kinds of jobs did the War bring to the area? Where did you work at this time?
I was not in Issaquah then. I married in 1940 and was living in California.
Issaquah Round-Up — Salmon Days — Labor Day Celebrations
What do you remember about Labor Day Celebrations or Salmon Days?
I knew about Salmon Days – but had been away from Issaquah a long time by then.
Was there any year that these celebrations were especially memorable to you?
The rodeos – two cousins from Ellensburg cam over to ride the bucking horses. They would stay with our family – on the farm about 2 miles from town (56th street now). Friends of theirs came also – these fellows sometimes slept in the hay in the barn! Also, we could hear the music from the Rodeo Carnival in the playfield beyond the train tracks in Issaquah.
I learned to dance at the carnival section of the Rodeo. A picture including one cowboy cousin, Schaller Bennett is in A Social History of an American School, by Joe Peterson (the picture of Prof. Clark and the graduates of the 1917 graduating class). [page 32]
What were some of the other memorable special events and occasions in Issaquah?
My brother wore glasses in first grade. He lost his glasses on the school hill between the school ground and the railroad. We searched, but never found them!
Flood & log jam – mid 30’s (bit we’re not sure of dates). A lake formed on the hill behind High Point. It suddenly “let loose.” As I recall, a boy was killed. My brother reminded me about a huge log jam down by the bridge near our house (56th Street). He was 16 and he was driving home that night and said the water could have washed out the end of the bridge if he had crossed it. The right turn into our yard was very close to the bridge. The next day Peter Rippee (spelling?) came down and worked hard to break up the log jam.
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?
My brother fished often. He also caught eels, which he then sold to fishermen.
What are your memories of Vasa Park? What did you do while there?
My brother Bill Peters danced at Vasa Park more than I did (he is three years younger, and he drove cars more than I did in my teens).
Did you go swimming in the local lakes in the summer? Or ice-skating at the Horrock’s Farm in the winter?
Mostly we swam at the State Park but enjoyed swimming near Monohon. My close friend and chemistry partner was Marse Western. Her mother, Myrtle Bush, married Dave Horrocks. I surely enjoyed skating at the Horrocks Farm.
Everyone I knew got ice skates the year when it was freezing for about three weeks. However, we didn’t get much chance to enjoy our ice skates, as the winters didn’t get that cold again (as far as I know).
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?
I remember the Monohon Mill.
Do you remember when there was a fire at the mill? Did you help fight it? Did you see the fire?
We could see the smoke, and drove down there the next day.
How has the salmon hatchery affected Issaquah?
It was very interesting and brought people to Issaquah. We took visitors up to see the salmon hatchery.
Farming and Dairy
Were you involved with farming in Issaquah? What farm did you work on? What was grown or raised there?
We were dairy farmers. I never milked cows – we always had a hired man (2 in summer during haying time). There were two horses – Belle and Major. Occasionally they got “out” and a neighbor would call to let us know. Sometimes we had to look for them. They were :work” horses and I never rode them. Later we did get a tractor.
Do you have any memories of Pickering Farm?
Our house was near the bridge on 56th, but part of our farm was across from the Pickering Farm. We knew and liked the Pickering family. I recall Mores. Fernell (spelling?), Gladys Bush Pickering (and Ada and Ernest), the Ray Pickering family. Sometimes we walked along the Issaquah Creek toward Issaquah to visit Uncle and Aunt, Leo and Lena Shaller, who lived close to Issaquah. We walked through the Pickering property then.
Did you travel frequently into Seattle? How did you get there? What did you do while in Seattle?
We probably went to Seattle once every month, or month and a half. My Dad met with other Seattle Milk Shippers every month. Usually Mother and I would go shopping at Frederick & Nelsons, and other stores (Bon Marché or Nordstrom’s). If they had other things to do, they would let me go to a movie and would pick me up later.
How did the construction of I-90 change life in Issaquah?
I don’t know. Probably it was easier to give directions to the town and made Issaquah more accessible.
What was your first car? Did you buy it from Hepler Ford Motors, Stonebridge Chevrolet, or the Kaiser-Frazier dealership?
We had a Buick for a long time. I do not know where my Dad bought it. I think the curtains snapped on.
Fraternal Organizations– Local Halls
What are your memories of the fraternal organizations? Did you belong to the Elks Lodge, or Lions Club, etc?
My father, C.W. Peters, was a Mason. My mother, Meta Peters, belonged to Eastern Star.
Did you attend dinners, dances, banquets, or other events in the upstairs Grange Meeting Hall?
Yes. There were many activities and programs there.
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 do not recall specific movies, but we did go, probably once a week. As I recall, someone played the piano part of the time. I vaguely remember “The Talkies.” Much anticipation and excitement – cost was nominal. Before the movie of the evening, there was the news and a short comedy. “Kids” usually sat in the front – near the stage, and parents were mostly in the middle or back of the theater.
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?
Community Church – Street back of Grange street and railroad tracks. I went to Sunday School for years. Dad would take my brother and me, then he’d go to Drylie’s Honeysuckle on Main Street [Front Street] and get the Times (Seattle Sunday paper). We subscribed to the “P.I.” We would walk home, down the railroad tracks. Sometimes he would pick us up, stopping at the nearest crossing if he saw us coming.
When my brother, Bill Peters, was a Junior in High School, he and some friends followed the seniors on Senior Sneak Day. They had to get permits from each member of the School Board in order to get back in school. Incidentally, our Dad was one of the School Board members!!
Mrs. Willis, who taught 4th grade, started a Girl Scout Troop. We met at her home. I also went to Scout camp for a week each summer. Later, when my three daughters were growing up, I was a Girl Scout Leader.
I can recall when Andy Wold’s sister was the school nurse.
In the school cafeteria a cup of soup or cocoa was 3 cents. Sandwiches were 6 cents. The lunchroom was on the first floor and the school building (near the first grade room).
When Bergsmas built a new barn, they held a dance there before the barn was put to use.
On rainy days, recess was on the first floor of the main school building. It sure was noisy!
I recall playing in the sand along the Issaquah Creek, which went through our property. We would make small ditches – then carry water to fill the ditches and watch it run back to the creek. There was a large sand bar, too, where we would have family picnics.
I recall when our phone number was 672. Probably in the 1920s!