Name: James Hooker Hailstone, Jr.
Used my middle name, Hooker, most of my life since I was a junior in high school.
Birth Date or Year (optional):
Your history in Issaquah/How long lived here, etc.:
Born and raised in Issaquah.
If you have lived here all or most of your life, why did you choose to stay?
I stayed here to be close to friends and family.
Married Dorothy “Sunny” Wilson from New Westminster, British Columbia in 1949. We have 4 children, 7 grandchildren, 3 great grandchildren and have lived at High Point for 45 years.
Issaquah or area school(s) attended:
Issaquah Grade School: 1st through 8th
Issaquah High School: 9th through 12th
Family History in Issaquah:
Family History in Issaquah: The Hailstones moved here in 1888.
Education—Coming of Age
What are your memories of Issaquah High School? Which teachers were influential?
High School Memories
Initiation into high school – you got thrown in the creek!
I played sports for a couple of years.
Favorite field trips were in Agriculture: butchering, pruning trees, de-horning cattle. We butchered in the back of the Ag. Shop which sometimes was during recess for the grade school next door.
Lawrence Jensen: Manual Training-woodshop
Fred Frohs: Agriculture
What memories do you have of Minnie Schomber, or another favorite teacher?
I did not have Minnie Schomber as a teacher. I remember she was on the Draft Board during WWII, so she was not the most liked person in town (by the young guys) during that time.
Were you affected by earthquake damage to the schools in 1949 or 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 in sophomore and junior years and lettered. Played Mt Si with 2 inches of snow on the field. The groundskeepers dumped gas and lit it on the field’s yard lines to clear them for the game.
When I was a senior, I played center for the Alpine Dairy, semi-pro football team, 1946-49.
Coaches: Eddie Parker, George Morgan.
Trainer: Ralph DeSmith.
Teammates: Jim, Nick and Pete Bakamus, Tommy Bevin, Dave and Harold Chevalier, Frank Crosly, Ellie Croston, Jack Evans, Al Pankey, Bill and Rex Seil, Mike Sernitch, Jack Shelfa, Larry Totten, Art Wallace.
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?
Free Time: In the good weather – mostly at Lake Sammamish. If you weren’t working, you were at the lake.
Drove cars before I was legal age and did some wild driving.
Mischief: Wasn’t in trouble much at school – so teachers weren’t involved in punishment. One year I was noted for my careful driving at school – which was a joke. My friends and I spent a lot of time working on our cars and then driving around.
Parents Punishment: There was always a lot of work to do around home, not too much to do to get into trouble.
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?
Hailstone Feed and Seed: (Owner: Francis Hailstone) Front St N at current bus stop across from new Village Theatre. Hang out and feed, hay, grain, gasoline, lube room. They would buy blackberries (big wild ones) in the late summer/early fall, also cascara bark (used in making laxatives).
The Honeysuckle (owner: Tom Dryly – about where the driveway is between the new Library and the Issaquah Gallery). Went in and had milk or cherry cokes.
Sunset Cafe (owner: Ritzy -near where gas station is at Front & Sunset) and the Busy Bee (where the new library is): As a teenager would stop by to visit with locals. You knew everyone in town – half were related. No extra money to buy things there, just socialize.
Punchy Pain’s Pool Parlor: owner: Punchy Pain – located on the corner of Front and Alder (Bahá’í Center) Played pool for a nickel a game. You could work your games off by helping cleanup, racking balls, etc.
Triple X Barrel: owner Pete and Adelle Schaeffer 1946-47 located on East Sunset Way across street from Busch Collision. Purchases Root Beer and Cherry Cokes while we played the pinball machine.
Grange: run by Ellsworth Pickering on Front St. Favorite purchase, as a teenager was Black Jack gum. Shopped there my whole life – until it closed. Favorite memory was duckpin-bowling lanes (2) on the north side of the building by the creek. We got a nickel a game for setting the pins, there was no automatic pinsetter.
Would also stop at Alpine Dairy on the way home from school to see if we could get some free ice cream. Herman Garby was the ice cream maker and we walk in to the plant right back to him.
Moshier’s Market: owner Mr. Moshier, located on Front St N between Fishers Meat Market and Finney Meat Market. Stop to pick up few groceries and visit 1949-51.
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?
My father cut my hair until I was a teenager with clippers that had a tooth missing. Boy it would pull.
Then went to Lewis Barber Shop got crew cuts/flat tops from Dave Lewis. Located on E Sunset Way next to Hepler’s Ford by the current Texaco Station.
What is memorable about Lewis Hardware? What items did you purchase there?
Purchased most everything there. Ammunition, hunting and fishing licenses, plumbing household repairs, paint, glass. If they didn’t have what you needed they would order it. Also, did a lot of socializing at Lewis Hardware; all of the hunters and fisherman hung out there – lots of good stories.
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?
Most grocery shopping was done at the Grange – Favorite Clerk Joan Boni Karvia. Even got my Kern and Green cork shoes/boots through the Grange. You would get a requisition and go in to Seattle to have them custom fitted, if needed, at the Grange’s price. They would also rebuild the shoes at least once. Bought all groceries there. Family has frozen food lockers, cold and warm. The old original lockers you went into a cold storage room. The newer warm lockers were accessed from the warm hall.
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?
Restaurants: Don’t recognize Rena’s Cafe.
Favorite Waitress Maxine Dougherty at the Honeysuckle 1945-47
Did you go to Boehm’s Candies? What candies were your favorites?
Our favorites were, and still are, Seafoam with Dark Chocolate and English Toffee.
What saloons or local bars did you and your friends frequent?
Union Tavern, Eagles Tavern, Park Inn. Don’t know Johnnie’s Tavern or Elmer H.
What do you remember about Grange Supply?
Frank (?) Stickney was manager. Bought gasoline and fuel oil there.
I have been a member of the Grange since 1953, but I traded there even earlier when I worked in the woods. Also purchased McCulloch chain saws there.
What do you recall about Lawill’s drug store?
Lawill’s Drug Store was right across from Punchy Pain’s. Where Edward Jones location is now. We bought drug supplies and ice cream cones. Family owned and operated by Mr. & Mrs. Lawill.
Stevenson Drug Store: where the alley is between the Odd Fellows Hall and Shanghai Garden (Fasanos). Owners, Stevensons, lived at the location also. It was somewhere we could go for after hours medical needs.
One time I cut my thumb opening pop bottles for the Rainbow Girls Tolo party at the Fireman’s Hall. I walked over to Stevensons to get bandaged. They were part of old Issaquah, they helped everybody and everybody worked together.
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?
The only local politician I remember was when Frank Hailstone was the Justice of the Peace mid 1940s
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?
Do you recall Ordinance No. 752 that changed most of the street names in town? What were your feelings about this change at the time?
It would have been nice to have our family name represented. We lived just outside the boundaries I guess.
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?
I remember we ate a lot of oatmeal. I was a child at this time, so not employed. At our house, there was always food on the table. When my father would deliver feed/grain he would often be paid with vegetables, chickens, pigs, etc.
During this time, my father drove school bus for Issaquah School District in 1936-37 and would be paid with vouchers. Each of the school busses had nicknames like: chicken coup.
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 knew a lot of people who went to war, including my brother Donald James Hailstone – I was too young.
How did the Japanese Internment affect Issaquah? Did you know men and women who were taken to Internment Camps?
I knew one family from the valley and one from the Plateau that were taken away. The community lost those farmers.
What kinds of jobs did the War bring to the area? Where did you work at this time?
The war had one of my sisters, Helen Hailstone, working at Boeing. My father was building houses in the Renton Highlands for Defense Department personnel; some locals and some that had been brought in from the mid-west.
I helped take in hay on the farms as a young teenager. In the later part of the war I worked in the woods logging with my father. The war ended during this time.
Issaquah Round-Up—Salmon Days—Labor Day Celebrations
What do you remember about Labor Day Celebrations or Salmon Days?
Figure 1- (1947-48) – Ron Turner & Hooker Hailstone at Labor Day Carnival. They would set up a fake jail and sell photos taken there.
Labor Day: We always played semi-pro football against a military team. In the mid-1950s, I was going to fill in as a relief player for the Issaquah team. But the Seattle Cavaliers were short handed so I ended up playing for them – the whole game – as tackle.
The team was coached by Elmo H[udgens], he was a policeman at the time. My children ran along the sidelines cheering for me. I was the oldest guy on the team- they all called me “Dad.” I continued to play for the Cavaliers part of the season traveling to games at the Monroe Reformatory, Grays Harbor Junior College (where they didn’t throw in a new player – they threw in a new TEAM!) Issaquah was the home field for the Cavaliers.
One year, we were at Labor Day with our newborn daughter, Robin – she was only 3 days old. Later, my children always looked forward to being in the parade. Everybody went to Labor Day. People came from all over, Renton, Kirkland Seattle, Redmond, Snoqualmie and North Bend. It was the biggest celebration around then, especially after the war with the return of all of the men.
There was always a carnival for the Labor Day celebrations.
What special activities were there at Labor Day Celebrations, or at Salmon Days? How has Salmon Days changed over time?
My daughter, Robin, that first went to Labor Day as a 3 day old baby, ended up getting married on Salmon Days weekend in 1976. She later became the Salmon Days Festival Director in 1996.
Salmon Days has changed the most in size.
What are your memories of the Rodeo?
The Rodeo was before my time. My father helped clear Memorial Field in 1919-1920. He horse-logged at that time and he would bring the horses home. He would take the horses to help clear the field, then he would take them back to the barn for the next day’s work.
Was there any year that these celebrations were especially memorable to you?
My wedding day 12/3/49. The special ceremony took place at the Grange Mercantile Building – upstairs. It would hold more people than any of the little churches in town.
Figure 2 – 1949 – Engagement weekend. Dorothy “Sunny” Wilson and Hooker Hailstone. Bandage on Hooker’s forehead is from a car accident that occurred en route to Canada that weekend driving to propose marriage to Sunny.
What were some of the other memorable special events and occasions in Issaquah?
I used to help my mother Emma Hailstone, when she cooked for special events: Lions Club, Couple’s Club, Kiwanis and banquets.
Some Hailstone family Thanksgivings were held upstairs at the Grange. Part of the evening activities would be drawing names for the Christmas gift exchange.
Family Christmas parties were also held at the Grange with special appearances by Santa (aka Bill Bergsma Sr. – who continued that for 60 years).
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?
Outdoor Recreation: A lot of time outside. I got all the fish we needed out of Jordan Creek (salmon, trout and red fish). We would go down to Lake Sammamish to swim and fish.
Hunting: the best for our area was the Middle Fork of the Snoqualmie and Pratt River. We hunted Black Tail and Pacific deer.
Favorite hiking trail: The shortcut to Mason Lake and Kula Kula. Trail accessed off I-90 at Camp Mason, 9 miles east of North Bend. Sometimes we would hike in with oatmeal and Lipton’s soup, a 22 rifle, fishing pole and stay for 3 or 4 days. My favorite hiking partner was Joe Haldeman.
As a family we would hike the Blue Lake Trail in to camp at Trail Lake. My mother didn’t fish, so she picked blueberries – lots of blueberries – she put them in everything. I don’t eat them much to this day.
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?
We caught some salmon, as many as we needed to eat and trout. The largest from the Issaquah Creek was a steelhead that was 19 pounds. I never got involved in fishing derbies.
Fishing methods were much different in the old days. We had a stick for a pole, especially on Jordan Creek. A hazelnut branch was preferred, because it would bend and not break. No reels in those days, you wound the line around the end of the pole. If you wanted more line, you turned the pole and unwound it.
Hunting has changed because there was a lot more game in the old days. We lived on the deer, elk, and fish that we caught. There was no hunting for trophies – it was the food on our tables. We hunted for Black Tail, Pacific and Mule deer (Mule deer in eastern Washington) on the middle fork of the Snoqualmie River, and on the Lake Tradition plateau and Pine Lake Plateau (north side of High Point and over the hill).
What are your memories of Vasa Park? What did you do while there?
My most vivid memories are of the Swedish Mid-Summer Festival. Visitors would come from mid to late 1940s, in to the 50s. It was a festival that all the old timers, Norwegians and Swedes would come for. They would have their flags up, their native dancing in costumes and lots of food and beer and happy revelers. People would stay the weekend, camping in tents or just sleeping under the stars.
There was Carl Johnson aka “Foul Holt Johnson.” Various members of his family used the last name differently – Johnson and Johanson.
The big hangout was the Vasa Tavern in the late 1940s early 50s, especially in the winter when the woods were closed.
My Dad’s cousin, Billy Corkle, owned it in the late 30’s- early 40s.
Did you go swimming in the local lakes in the summer? Or ice-skating at the Horrock’s Farm in the winter?
As kids we swam at Sunset Park on Lake Sammamish – later known as Lake Sammamish State Park and at Alexander’s Beach on east Lake Sammamish. Also, swam at Hans Jensen’s – which he later donated to the State Park and it is now the boat launch. As a teenager and in my early 20s we would occasionally swim in Pine Lake. It was too far to go there often.
Figure 3 – 1955 – Hooker Hailstone with son Don at Lake Sammamish State park. Where the family spent most of their summers while the children where growing.
ICE SKATING: only memories are skating on Pine Lake.
Logging and Sawmills
How did the logging industry affect Issaquah? How did it change? Did you work in logging? For what logging camp or sawmill? What do you remember of your logging days? What type of machines did you use for logging? How did you transport logs? How large were these logs?
The train went through town to haul logs. Half of the people in town worked with logging or were in someway connected to it. I joined my father logging in the summers when I was 15. My father was a jippo logger, which means he had a small independent operation.
After working with my father, James Hooker Hailstone, Sr. I worked for Olsen and Lind in 1947, I went from there to Mountain Tree Farm, then went to Weyerhaeuser, DeGross and Swanson. I left the woods in the winter of 1953 and went to work for Darigold.
I started using an ax, a spud and a peavey to peel poles and pilings. Then I got to run a Swede fiddle (Royal Chinook bucking saw) used for busheling (1,000 board feet to a bushel). Then went to 12 horse titan blue streak (also used for busheling). Then went to 71/2 horse McCulloch used for busheling. Then to the new version – direct drive lightweight versions of the saws.
Transportation of logs: Most of the places I worked were trucked logged. Two places reloaded on to the railroad. One cedar at Swanson Brothers, they had to quarter a butt cut, to get it under a state highway bridge. It was right around 16 feet in diameter. Many Douglas fir were 5-8 feet in diameter.
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? Do you remember when there was a fire at the mill? Did you help fight it? Did you see the fire?
SAWMILLS: I remember all of the listed mills. We shipped a big old fir down to Monohon. It was a big, ugly thing -but it was sound. It took them half a day to saw it up.
I remember the fire at Monohon but didn’t see it.
I hauled a lot of alder and maple in to Red Hall Sawmill, it was right by the Fish Hatchery. I hauled fir (over 30 inches in diameter) in to Preston.
Figure 4 – 1956 – Hooker Hailstone bucking short logs
Figure 5 – 1956 – (Left to right) Grandfather-in-law -Robertson Walmsley, Children: Candy (Hailstone) Hammer, Donald Hooker Hailstone, Robin Hailstone Kelley, unidentified girl, Hooker Hailstone.
How has the salmon hatchery affected Issaquah?
It was good thing to have in town and it is to this day – now as a tourist attraction/education facility. The Hatchery is the only time many will see these fish – up close – alive.
Farming and Dairy
Were you involved with farming in Issaquah? What farm did you work on? What was grown or raised there?
My father would deliver hay, grain and feed to the farms. He always carried his shoeing equipment with him so if their horses threw a shoe, he could put it back on.
Do you have any memories of Pickering Farm?
I worked for Pickering Farm taking in hay and then went to work for C.W. Peters (at current Federal Express site and north) cut, raked, shocked, and hauled hay. In those days people helped one another- if it was haying time – friends would help friends.
Did you work at the Issaquah Creamery, or what is now Darigold?
Darigold: I started in 1954 as a truck driver of canned milk, powdered milk, butter, Good Joe (chocolate milk) products, hauling it to Seattle. Sometimes I would help on a night run farm pickup. I moved from trucks to inside the plant, started as a night receiver/clean-up person, moved later to day receiver. Then transferred to cooking cottage cheese, making butter and powdered milk. The last ten years as Separator and Pasteurizer. Retired after 37 years, 10 ½ months.
At one time in the late 1960s, 4 family members, representing 3 generations, worked at the Issaquah Darigold plant.
Did you travel frequently into Seattle? How did you get there? What did you do while in Seattle?
I would frequently go with father on the feed truck to Seattle. We would drive Highway 10 through Renton and Dunlap Canyon. We would go to Sperry Feed Mill, Centennial Feed Mill and pick up orders for the Hailstone Feed Store and then back to Issaquah.
In 1937, I was stricken with a bone disease and needed to be taken in to Seattle to the Children’s Orthopedic Hospital for a 6-week stay. It was an all day trip to get in there and back for my parents. No floating bridges in those days. They could visit me once a week – maybe. My classmates sent get well letters, to encourage my recovery, I still l have them to this day.
How did the construction of I-90 change life in Issaquah?
More people moved to and visited Issaquah because it was easier to get to. I-90 divided many old parcels of land. Our families’ homesteads were impacted 3 times by I-90. Highway 10 displaced family members 6 times.
My family home (in what was known as Frog Town) was just north of the freeway, where the westbound entrance is now.
When I-90 came, many developers bought property and held on to it.
What was your first car? Did you buy it from Hepler Ford Motors, Stonebridge Chevrolet, or the Kaiser-Frazier dealership?
1931 Chevy Roadster, it was a beauty – Maroon with black top. I purchased it from a private party (Frank Raggio). It had musical horns; you could play tunes on it.
Fraternal Organizations—Local Halls
What are your memories of the fraternal organizations? Did you belong to the Elks Lodge, or Lions Club, etc?
When Eagles first opened, I belonged to for a few years. My mother, Emma Hailstone, was very active in Orthopedic, Garden Club, Rebeccas, Grange and VFW.
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 it being built. My children took Firearm Safety classes there. The only other time I spent there was in the mid 60s when my son worked for them running the machine that shoots out the clay pigeons for target practice.
What types of events did you attend at the Volunteer Fire Department (VFD) Hall? Did you use the shooting range located in the basement?
I don’t remember the shooting range in the basement, but that was our locker room for the Alpine Football league. I also attended dances there in the mid 40s.
Did you attend dinners, dances, banquets, or other events in the upstairs Grange Meeting Hall?
I was married there. We attended banquets, family functions and worked for my mother (Emma A. Hailstone) cleaning up. She was in charge of renting the facility, the operation and cleanup. She would turn on the furnace to warm the place up before events. She even had to carry up buckets of coal for the cook stove and the heater (she was under 5 feet tall!). They later converted both to oil. Many activities mentioned in previous sections of this Memory Book.
Do you have any memories of Issaquah’s mining days? Were you involved in mining?
My dad (James Hooker Hailstone, Sr.) used to shoe the mules for Harris Coal Mines. No other mining memories.
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?
MOVIES: We would go once a week – whenever we could get ten cents together. One movie we remember was Old Buttermilk Sky with Hoagie Carmichael.
Friday Night was always a western movie.
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?
The minister that married us was a woman! Her name was Mrs. Hines.
In the 1960s I fell timber for Don Finney on Front Street South, one block south of where Newport Way meets Front Street, at the bottom of the Middle School/Pool grounds. Monty Clark lived next door and he said I had cut down the “hanging tree.”
Beer, wine and stills:
Since at least the 1920s locals have been producing illegal alcohol in the Issaquah area. Issaquah residents had stills located from north on the plateau to south on the Hobart Road. Hometown folks were earning their living, or just extra money, distilling spirits. They were making wine and homebrew out of grapes, blackberries or whatever fruit would ferment.
One local moon shiner was conned into giving away liquor when a newcomer to town was passed off as a Federal man. After a week or so, the moon shiner learned the truth and cut off the supply. He was a young man rejoining our local family. My uncle, Frank Hailstone, had been living in the southeast, Kentucky area, and was one of the first organizers of the miner’s union.
Since the early teens (1913 ), local teens would grease (with lard or any other kind of grease or oil) quite a length of the train tracks on the way to the big trestle. The fun came when the train would attempt to climb the hill, the steam pot would go wild and the train would spin out. The brakeman would beat the brush looking for the kids that greased the tracks. The teens could always outrun him. Then the brakeman had to go back and sand the tracks, by hand, to get traction. They would have to back down to Issaquah and leave part of the train. Then they would take one part to Preston and have to come back for the rest. In later days they added sanders to the locomotives.