Name:Marilyn (Dodge) Batura
Your history in Issaquah/How long lived here, etc.:
My family moved to the Issaquah Valley in the 1930’s and I am a lifetime resident.
If you have lived here all or most of your life, why did you choose to stay?
It is still, with all the recent growth, a wonderful town. We have a close family who have remained in the area and still enjoy the beauty of the village nestled between the mountains.
Issaquah or area school(s) attended:
Clark Elementary, Issaquah Jr. High and Issaquah High School
Family History in Issaquah:
My parents moved to the valley in the mid 1930’s and raised five children on our farm just south of town. We all attended the local schools and I cannot imagine a better childhood.
Education—Coming of Age
What are your memories of Issaquah High School? Which teachers were influential?
My class (1962) was the last class to graduate from the high school referenced in our fight song “on the hilltop” which is now the site of the Julius Boehm swimming pool. I have fond memories of school and the teachers. Everyone knew everyone – the whole school district, Preston, May Valley, Pine Lake attended the same schools. Our principal was Charles Fallstrom, who coincidently was my half-brother George Larsen’s school teacher in the early 40’s at Issaquah High. George left school and joined the Army and died shortly before the war ended in 1945.
What memories do you have of Minnie Schomber, or another favorite teacher?
I remember Minnie as a speaker at our homecoming assemblies and also as a classmate of my step-father Schaller Bennett (class of 1919).
Were you affected by earthquake damage to the schools in 1949 or 1965?
No, but my sister Nancy was in the school cafeteria during the 1949 earthquake and said it was quite frightening. She told about the damage and cracked pavement.
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 the flute in the band under the direction of Bill Klein, which gave me the opportunity to go to all the sporting events with a guaranteed good seat. We also participated in the parades such as Seafair and Torchlight in Seattle. I later marched in the Drill Team at the school games.
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?
Growing up in the 50’s, there wasn’t much for teens to do in Issaquah. For a short time there was a teen center in the old Fireman’s Hall at the Memorial Field. They had a pool table and some games but it wasn’t long before the building was torn down. On Friday nights we would go to the Issaquah Theatre – never to watch the movie but to gather, talk and socialize. The ushers and other patrons did not appreciate us very much and sometimes asked that we leave before the end of the movie. We went roller-skating at Vasa Park and to the Factoria Drive-In Theatre when we had a car. Occasionally we went to the Spanish Castle on Hwy 99 to dance and see the popular Rock and Roll or County-Western artists of that time.
If we got in trouble our punishment was usually grounding and extra chores.
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?
Saturday we went with Dad to the Western WA Co-Op (site of Darigold now) where they sold hay, grain and farm supplies. We had a great time riding on the hand dolly, playing hide and seek in the maze of stacked sacks of grain and hay and probably being a real nuisance to the employees. I think Walt Karvia and Floyd Bush were both working there at that time.
I also remember Brady’s when it was located on E. Sunset across the street from the Log Tavern. The store was long and narrow with oiled wood floors and bolts and bolts of yard goods. Mom would send us down with a scrap of material (probably flour sack cloth for a dress) and Mrs. Brady would patiently help us pick out the tread and buttons to match the sewing project. Every purchase was neatly folded in brown paper and tied with a string that magically came down from a spool hung over the yard goods table.
I recall riding my bike to the Red & White grocery (which was next to Brady’s) to buy vinegar for pickles my Mom was making. As I was getting back on my bike, the bottle dropped to the sidewalk and shattered. I was devastated because I didn’t have another quarter to replace the purchase, but the store clerk had witnessed the accident and promptly replaced the vinegar at no charge.
Mr. Cussac had a shoe store about where Fischer’s Meats is located today. It was another long, narrow store with the oiled floors. He was an elderly gentleman who shook terribly, probably with Parkinson’s disease. The shoeboxes were neatly stored on shelves, floor to ceiling. He would slowly climb a ladder to retrieve the shoes you wanted to try and then painstakingly lace each eye for the trial fit. Due to his shaking, this was a tedious task for him and you were inclined to take the first pair even if they weren’t to your liking.
Another delight was the Dime Store (where Las Margarita’s is today). It was a variety store with lots of trinkets and where we did all our Christmas shopping as children. Mrs. Yourglich and Mrs. Trigg were the store clerks and the store was owned by the Dalbottens.
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?
We usually did not frequent the beauty or barbershop as my Dad had barbered so we all learned the craft at a very young age. He taught us by having us cut his hair then each other’s. There were some strange dos in our household and one was so bad I remember my brother wearing a Mohawk for a while. Later Bill Evans opened Evan’s Salon of Beauty on Sunset where the Brewhouse is now located. At one time I thought I might like a career in cosmetology so I interviewed Mr. Evans for my Career Notebook, which was a required high school project.
What is memorable about Lewis Hardware? What items did you purchase there?
Lewis Hardware was another interesting store, with lots of gadgets, which is much the same today as it was fifty years ago.
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?
Our groceries were mostly purchased at the Grange Mercantile but I remember Tony Wallen very well. He was always jovial and especially on Labor Day when he would pair up with Schaller Bennett and visit the local bars. Sometimes they would come by our house and try to coerce me to sing for them as they remembered an Eagles talent show in which Susan Vidonis (Ruby) and I sang a duet “I don’t want to play in your yard.”
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?
We did most of our shopping at the Grange Mercantile where we also went to retrieve meat from our rented locker. It was so very cold that you literally ran to your locker, unlocked a padlock and got the meat as fast as you could. Our grocery list was primarily flour, sugar and the basics since we raised our beef; had a cow for milk, butter, and cottage cheese and had a garden with fruits and vegetables. John Kramer owned the store and his brother Dan was the butcher. There were wood shavings on the floor in the butcher shop and Joan Karvia and Imogene Woodside were clerks at the time.
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?
The Shamrock (Shane’s or Rena’s ) was the teen hangout. The Honeysuckle, with grouchy, Mr. Drylie was the place to get green rivers, sundaes and ice cream floats.
Did you go to Boehm’s Candies? What candies were your favorites?
Boehm’s candy was way over our budget, but Julius did visit our grade schools and bring samples. He would tell the class about his escape from Hitler’s regime by skiing over the Alps! He was very interesting and quite an athlete. He later taught me to swim as a Red Cross instructor at the Lake Sammamish State Park. He also scaled Mt. Rainier several times.
What saloons or local bars did you and your friends frequent?
The Rolling Log (with the running water spittoon), Union Tavern, Eagles Club and Fasano’s cocktail lounge (which was then next door to the Log Tavern) were all busy bars with interesting clientele.
What do you remember about Grange Supply?
The Grange Supply was a fuel and farm supply store, and we purchased garden and hay seed at the store. Also, it was the ONLY reliable source of gasoline for grange members during the gas shortages in the early 70’s.
What do you recall about Lawill’s drug store?
The drug store on the corner of Front and Alder was the place to go if you needed a prescription, bandages or medications.
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?
Although I am too young to recall this era, I remember stories and it was then that my family moved to Issaquah. Dad had been involved in real estate sales in the Everett area and moved to Issaquah when the Depression hit. He purchased 72 acres on the Issaquah Creek at the Y of the Hobart/May Valley road and started a herd of milk goats. He, with the help of a hired man, milked 100 goats twice a day and shipped the milk to the Alpine Dairy (now Darigold). I think he was paid $ .10 a pound for the milk. My sister Nancy and stepbrother George (Buddy) had to herd the goats up the mountain every morning after milking and then retrieve them for the evening milking. They had a garden and raised most of our food. There were salmon in the creek and occasionally Dad shot a bear for meat if it was threatening the herd of goats. The bear did not eat the goat meat, but would kill the goat for the milk bag.
Dad also worked for wages on the local WPA projects such as the Fish Hatchery and Gibson Hall.
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 young high school students signed up for the war and my stepbrother (George Larsen) was one who died in that effort. His name is one of those listed on the memorial, which is located by the current Library building. Communication was so poor in those days that we were not notified of his death and became worried when an Aunt saw his name included on a list of “missing in action” in a Seattle newspaper. Most of Mom’s letters to him were returned after his death unopened. My Mom always walked with the VFW in the Labor Day parade in his memory.
Issaquah Round-Up—Salmon Days—Labor Day Celebrations
What do you remember about Labor Day Celebrations or Salmon Days?
Labor Days were pretty wild celebrations. I don’t remember the rodeos but in later years there was a parade and the Seattle Seafair Pirates came to town. There was a big carnival with a game arcade and rides. We would furiously pick blackberries to sell so that we had spending money for the carnival. Mr. Phillips, who had a gas station where the new library parking building is being built (across W Sunset from the Fish Hatchery) would carefully weigh them and pay us about ten cents a pound for the berries. No cheating by including some stones for weight, because he poured them from your container to a flat and demanded “clean” berries. I usually made enough money to buy some sweets, ride the Ferris wheel and come home with a bellyache.
What are your memories of the Rodeo?
My stepfather Schaller Bennett (Bennett Logging Company and IHS graduate 1919) participated in the rodeos. He cherished a saddle with silver trim that had been awarded to him as the grand prize in an Issaquah Labor Day Rodeo.
What were some of the other memorable special events and occasions in Issaquah?
The Christmas programs at church were always special and Bill Bergsma was the best Santa Claus ever! He had a beautiful costume and really looked the part when he gave everyone a candy cane.
I also remember a New Year’s Eve in the early 50’s when my family went visiting friends by Pine Lake. We were driving home in the early evening and the car broke down on East Lake Sammamish by the boat launch site. We walked to Hans Jensen’s to see if he could give us a ride home. Mr. Jensen was a bachelor and very happy to have company for the evening! He insisted we stay to see in the New Year and then he would drive us home. He served some snacks and even sang some Danish folk songs. It was a very late night for our family but a New Years Eve I’ll never forget. When he passed away he willed his lakefront acreage to the State for youth activities and parks.
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?
We always had horses so rode the trails on tiger mountain instead of hiking. We could even ride down the Hobart Road without automobile interference since the traffic was so light in those days.
What are your memories of Vasa Park? What did you do while there?
I only remember roller-skating at Vasa Park as we usually swam at the Lake Sammamish State Park.
Did you go swimming in the local lakes in the summer? Or ice-skating at the Horrock’s Farm in the winter?
We took swimming lessons and had picnics at the State Park. I did go ice-skating once with Tom and Sue Bush at the Horrock’s pond. Mrs. Horrock’s was a lovely hostess and found some skates that would fit me.
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’m too young to remember the mills, but my home is located on the former site of the Issaquah Lumber Company on Front Street South. When my family lived on the Goat Ranch about four miles south of town, my Mom would ride Smokey the Burro to town, as she did not drive. Smokey would balk at the noise and not pass the mill so she would tie him to a tree where Sycamore is today and walk the rest of the way to town. After the mill burned, he would pass so she would ride to Dr. Hillary’s office (now Dr. Fasano’s) and tether him there.
When Dad bought the mill property on Front Street he had house-movers transport our home to its current location. We all rode inside the house and Mom played records on a wind-up record player to pass the time and keep us entertained.
Farming and Dairy
Were you involved with farming in Issaquah? What farm did you work on? What was grown or raised there?
We had a small farm at home with a dairy cow, chickens, an occasional pig and a few horses. We also raised beef cattle and hay on forty acres we had about five miles south of town. We had a large vegetable garden, which was preserved and utilized through the winter.
Do you have any memories of Pickering Farm?
After the Pickering Farm would mechanically hay their fields with balers, they would let us pick up the “loose hay” left in the field. Dad and my brother would toss the hay into the truck with pitchforks but it was our task to stomp it down to accommodate a bigger load. It was a hot, sticky, scratchy job and then when we finally got home we had to unload it! Not one of my favorite memories.
Did you work at the Issaquah Creamery, or what is now Darigold?
In the late 30’s and early 40’s, my family shipped goat’s milk when it was Hans Forster’s Alpine Dairy. The milk was mostly used for cheese. Ironically, my husband Rich recently retired after 32 years with Darigold.
Did you travel frequently into Seattle? How did you get there? What did you do while in Seattle?
When we went to Seattle it was usually by bus. In the early 50’s for a special treat Mom took us on a field trip. We went by bus to Boeing Field; from there we flew to Port Angeles on a propjet, and then took a Greyhound bus home, which included a ferry ride. Quite an exciting day for some youngsters from Issaquah!
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 ’55 Chev purchased from a neighbor boy who was going into the Navy. I think I paid him $350. P.S. I think the Kaiser-Frazier dealer was Pabst-Vidonis.
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?
Since there wasn’t much in the way of entertainment, our social life evolved around the church. We regularly attended the Baptist Church but would go with our neighbors to the Seventh Day Adventist Church on Saturday and maybe the a weekday service with another friend at her church.
In the summer, Martin Hansen had Vacation Bible School at his church up in High Point. He would drive around town picking up all the kids in an old school bus with a most unusual horn. He would pull up in front of the house and sound the horn, OOOOGA- OOOOGA. We all called it the oooga-oooga bus.
My Dad would take us to church and return after the service to pick us up. Our older sister was the Sunday school superintendent so we had to behave. One nice summer day after she had married and moved to another town, my younger sister and I told Dad that we would walk home. Then, instead of going to Sunday school, we walked down the sidewalk beside the church and went directly to the Honeysuckle Soda Fountain. There we deposited our “collection plate” money for a pineapple sundae! We then took our time walking home and Mom couldn’t understand why we weren’t very hungry for her big Sunday dinner. I think the lack of hunger was partly due to ice cream and a lot due to guilt!
We had some interesting visitors in the early 1950’s such as the McNess Lady. She was an elderly lady and drove a shiny maroon Buick. She always wore a long wool coat with a fur collar that looked like a weasel. We were in awe of her and she sometimes gave us samples of her wares. There were quite a few traveling sales people and they all had wonderful sales pitches, but never made a sale with my Mom.
The Njos’ had an ice house in what is now the Arbor Building on W Sunset and delivered ice for our ice box. The driver would often break off some chips for us on hot summer days.
AUTHOR of THIS MEMORY BOOK (signature and date)