Issaquah Roundup 1924

Looking back: Issaquah Roundup

Published in the Issaquah Press on October 6, 1999

Issaquah Roundup 1924

Bucking broncos at the Issaquah Roundup 1924

This photograph was taken during one of Issaquah’s early celebrations. A Seattle photographer snapped this shot of a cowboy trying to maintain his balance on a bucking bronco during the Issaquah Roundup, which traditionally took place around Labor Day each year. This picture is from 1924 when the roundup was Aug. 30- Sept. 1. The Issaquah Roundup is generally considered the forerunner of today’s Salmon Days Festival, which marked its 30th anniversary this year.

Labor Day Parade 1924

Looking back: Labor Day Parade

Published in the Issaquah Press on January 5, 2000

Labor Day Parade 1924

Labor Day Day Parade on September 1, 1924. [IHM photo]

Our continuous look at past celebrations take us this week to Issaquah’s first Labor Day Parade. In this Sept. 1, 1924 photograph, the Labor Day Rodeo cowboys lead the march south on Front Street. Following is a band led by William Harris, visible just to the right of the band, in a suit, holding a book. The Issaquah Cafe on the left is where the new library is under construction. The railroad tracks in the foreground led from the depot to the coal mines behind the fish hatchery. Also of note is the white drinking fountain located next to the telephone pole on the right corner.

1939 Labor Day Royalty

Looking back: Labor Day Royalty

Published in the Issaquah Press on January 12, 2000

1939 Labor Day Royalty

This photo was taken on September 4, 1939 during the Labor Day Parade. The 1939 Labor Day celebration was held on September 2, 3, and 4th and celebrated the state’s Golden Jubilee, in honor of 50 years of Statehood.

As we move forward into a new millennium, we continue to look back at past celebrations.  This week’s photo is of Issaquah’s Labor Day royalty in a Nash convertible, circa 1940. From left is June Lindsay, Labor Day Queen Carman Scamfer, Marjorie Darst, Anne Kochevar, and an unidentified gentleman. In 1924, Issaquah changed its major celebration from the Fourth of July to Labor Day weekend and called it Issaquah Roundup.  The first Labor Day parade was in New York City on Sept, 5, 1882.  In 1894, the federal government made it a holiday for federal employees to honor the “American working man.”

Rebehah Float

Looking back: Gilman Rebekah Lodge Float

Published in the Issaquah Press on January 19, 2000

Rebehah Float

Circa 1950s Labor Day foat built by Gilman Rebekah Lodge No. 59. From left to right: Velma Chevalier, an unidentified woman, Ann Anderson, Joan Karvia and Ethel Clark. The children are unidentified. [IHM photo.]

The Press concludes its review of Issaquah Celebrations with this week’s photograph of the float built by Gilman Rebekah Lodge No. 59 for a Labor Day parade in the early 1950s. Riding on the float are (from the left) Velma Chevalier, an unidentified woman, Ann Anderson, Joan Karvia and Ethel Clark. The children are unidentified. The float is decorated with flowers and tree boughs, typical of parade floats of that time.

Top 10 Records in the Digital Collections from 2014

Last year was the first year we debuted our Top 10 records of the year. You can see that post here. So continuing in that tradition, here are the top 10 records of 2014.

10. Oral History Transcript of Dorothy Hailstone Beale
Dorothy Hailstone Beal (right) ca 1936
Accessed 52 times, this is the transcript of Dorothy Hailstone Beale oral history as interviewed by Maria McLeod on October 27, 2006. Topics covered include the KKK, the Depression, World War 2, and many other interesting topics.
9. Friend of Josephine Cornick, modeling her gym bloomers
This pictures was #2 on our list last year. Still a popular picture it seems as it was accessed 53 times; it’s from Josephine Cornick’s personal collection of pictures. Presumably Jo’s friend stands outside Issaquah High School in her gym pants.
8. Fifteen Mile Mine
This is a new one to the list – a photo of Fifteen Mile Mine taken at the entrance. In a tie with #8, this photo was accessed 53 times this year. This is the mine where George Weyerhaeuser was kept when he was kidnapped in the 1930s. No mining was actually done out of the Fifteen Mile Mine – instead it was a stock scam.
7. Oral History Transcript of Jake Jones Jr.
believed to be Jake Jones Jr. ca 1890
Accessed 56 times in 2014, this transcript of Jake Jones Jr. oral history contains fascinating and colorful stories touching on many, many topics of early Issaquah.
6. The 1938 Alpine Football Team
A perennial favorite of ours, this photo of the Alpine Football Team was accessed 63 times. View the full record (linked below) for another image with listing of names. Click here to view all records of ours relating to this scrappy semi-pro football team of Issaquah.
5. Oral History Transcript of Bill Evans
Bill Evans in uniform
This transcript of Bill Evans’ oral history was accessed 64 times in 2014. We’ve written about Bill Evans before – here, here, and here.
4. Letter from Fran Pope to Rita Perstac, Jan. 5, 1989
This letter was #4 last year as well as this year. This letter from Fran Pope jumped from 51 times accessed in 2013 to 135 times accessed in 2014. This letter is an important part of our Greater Issaquah Coalition Collection.
3. Labor Day Queen Arline Nikko with her Family
Arline Nikko and family ca 1953
Accessed 177 times, this photo shows Labor Day Queen Arline Nikko front and center holding hands with her future husband Floyd Hefferline. Far left is Matt Nikko; over Arline’s right shoulder are her twin uncles Larry and Toivo Nikko. See full record linked below for more information.
2. Janice Ott
Janice Ott ca 1970s
This photo was accessed 181 times in 2014. Janice Ott was a victim of serial killer Ted Bundy. She was abducted from Lake Sammamish State Park on July 14, 1974 along with Denise Naslund. Their remains were later found together on Taylor Mountain. Ott was a resident of Issaquah at the time of her death – she lived in a house on Front Street near the Issaquah Press Building.
1. Opening of New Vasa Hall in Upper Preston
ca 1950
This photo is very popular – it was #1 last year as well! Last year it was accessed a mere 64 times compared to this year’s 325 times! This photograph commemorates the opening of the new Vasa Hall in Upper Preston in 1950. Ernie Nyberg is just to the right of center in the back row. Buford Ambrose is the tallest in the back row. More information can be found in the full record linked below.

From the Digital Collections: Labor Day Celebrations

The Issaquah Volunteer Fire Department, circa 1940s.

The Issaquah Volunteer Fire Department, circa 1940s.

Labor Day festivities were a time for laughter and outrageous jokes. In this photograph, circa the 1940s, members of the Issaquah Volunteer Fire Department, in drag, celebrate ”Miss Firehose of 1905,” who ”Still keeps her dates and town alive.”

Pictured in the driver’s seat from left to right are: unidentified, Gordon Crosby, and Claude Brown. Don Anderson is in the foreground, wearing a blonde wig [and ”beach pajamas,” a 1930s fashion statement]. Reclining in back is Miss Firehose, Joe Chevalier.


From the Digital Collections: Issaquah Labor Day Celebration


Labor Day Parade, 1910s
Full Record

“They are going to have a big time here Labor Day. They are going to have sports as usual in the afternoon, the races for the children, Ladies race, Leap Frog Race, Old Mans Race, Base Running & Ball throwing and all sorts of things.”
– Letter from Minnie Wilson to her fiancé Jake Schomber, August 30, 1919
Full Record

Want to read more about Issaquah’s notorious Labor Day Celebrations? See our blog post from September 1, 2011. Want to see more pictures from previous Issaquah Labor Day Celebrations? Head over to our Digital Collections and search for “Labor Day”.

Labor Day, Issaquah Style

Before Salmon Days, Issaquah had a Labor Day Celebration. Like Salmon Days, it took place on Memorial Field. It lasted three days, and featured a carnival and a parade. The Labor Day Queen and her court had a spotlight role to play in the parade. Queen candidates were sponsored by fraternal organizations in town, and ticket sales determined the winner. The poster at left is from the 1956; Florence Bergsma was elected queen in that year.

There was also a dark side to Issaquah’s Labor Days Celebration. The weekend-long event has been described as “a big drunk” by a member of Issaquah’s police force who served in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The hard-partying aspect of the annual Labor Day celebration led to its demise. Although the party line was that the celebration had been discontinued due to “volunteer burnout,” in reality, the town could no longer manage the throngs of revelers. The last Labor Day Celebration was held in 1968.