Issaquah History Museums

Nelliemae Smart Nolet

Nelliemae Smart Nolet (1914-2004) was born and raised in Issaquah. Nelliemae graduated from Issaquah High School in the Class of 1933. Nelliemae’s grandfather, John Anderson, operated one of the largest farms in the valley. She has lived on West Lake Sammamish since 1941.

Name: Nelliemae (Smart) Nolet

Birth Date or Year (optional): 

November 13, 1914


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

From 1914 until marriage in 1934


Issaquah or area school(s) attended:

Went to Issaquah Grade School and Issaquah High School.


Education—Coming of Age

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

Those were post-depression days and the Senior Class of 1933 couldn’t afford the Year Book or Annual.


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

I was very fond of my First Grade teacher in 1920-21.  Her name was Miss MacMaster.

In High School Superintendent Maurice J. Thomas, James Stevens, Ernest Edgerton, Clara Bean.


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

My children, Laurene and Larry, were in school in Issaquah during the 1949 earthquake.


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?

My home was North of town near where Gilman Village is now.  The home I was born in is in Gilman Village, now named “The Sweet Shop.”  The building near it, I believe it is a dress shop, was the garage and woodshed.  The Model T, and later the Model A’s, were housed there.


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?

The Wold Store          –   Andy Wold

Lewis Hardware          –   J.  J. Lewis

Red and White Store  –   Leonard Miles

Johns’ Grocery           –   Mr. Johns and wife, Ada.

Grange Store

Eaves Clothing           –    Miss Eaves


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?

“Depression” days and years didn’t allow for many Beauty Shop visits.


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

I always wondered how anyone could get something from those high shelves.


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?

I went to school with Tony and Johnny!  We traded at the Johns’ Grocery (under the IOOF Hall).


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?

My parents had a Frozen Food 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?

I think I mainly went to Stevenson’s Drug Store, Rena’s was later.


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

This came after I married in 1934 and moved away.


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?

We grew our own vegetables and Mother canned over 300 quarts of vegetables and fruit every summer.  I went to the Summit of Snoqualmie Pass every weekend and four summers with Mrs. R. J. (Lena) Schneider.  I washed dishes in the restaurant owned by Mr. and Mrs. R. J. Schneider.  After dishes, and dishes, and dishes, the other young folks and I would take great hikes.  In the winter we went skiing.  In those days you “herring-boned” to the top of a hill, yelled “TRACK,” and when everyone was out of the way, you went “straight” down.  No slalom skiing then.


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?

I wasn’t living in Issaquah then, but my younger brother, John Raymond Smart, was a B-26 pilot and killed October 1943, when his bomber went down in the Mediterranean.


Issaquah Round-Up—Salmon Days—Labor Day Celebrations

What are your memories of the Rodeo?

I liked going to the Rodeo.  Such excitement in Issaquah during those few days each year!


Outdoor Recreation

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

My Grandfather, John Anderson, owned the acres from Pickering farm to Lake Sammamish.  Many the trips my brothers and I walked through the pastures – and avoiding curious cows – to wade and play in the water near the mouth of Issaquah Creek.


Logging and Sawmills

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

I have lived on West Lake Sammamish since 1941, and we saw the Monohon Mill burn, two different times.


Farming and Dairy

Do you have any memories of Pickering Farm?

My grandparents lived across the road from the Pickering Farm, and across the creek from the C. W. Peters Farm.


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

My father worked at the creamery for a time, before the Depression.



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

I had three Aunts who lived in Seattle, and to visit them, we had to drive to Renton, around the end of Lake Washington, north on Empire Way, and on to the north part of Seattle.  A long drive in those old cars.


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

My husband, Ted Nolet, owned a 1929 Model A when we married, but after World War II he was employed at Hepler Ford Motors until it was sold.  Then he worked at Stonebridge Chevrolet.


Fraternal Organizations—Local Halls

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

Yes – as a teen-ager, in the late 20’s and early 30’s the dances were great fun.



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?

Mr. and Mrs. Brunsberg owned the theater when I was younger.  I can’t remember how much it cost, but those silent movies were fun.



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?

My brother and I attended the Sunday School in the Baptist Church near the creek at the north end of town – near the Grange and Creamery.

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