Hailstone Feed Store

Hearing History: James “Pinky” Hailstone

Hailstone Feed Store – the closest thing IHM has to a picture of James “Pinky” Hailstone
(left to right: Frank Hailstone, Nell Hailstone Falkenstein, Emma Greenier Hailstone [wife of James Hailstone])

Did you ever hear anything about that hanging over by the Marchettis, a maple tree?

James “Pinky” Hailstone:  Oh, yes.   My older brother witnessed that.

Richie Woodward:  Uh-huh.
JH:  I asked him, oh, a few different times, you know, about the deal.  And he was the only one that I could find in this community who could tell me different parts of that.  
You see, they – what I wanted to know was what they did with the bodies of the two men that were blown up in this explosion.  And he told me that they were buried in that little corner, where they had that … uh … public building there, across the creek from the fish hatchery, that apartment house.

RW:  Oh, yeah.

JH:  They were buried in that corner.

BE:  What explosion was that? 

JH:  Well, you see, why, they hanged the man.  He went down and blew up part of a house.  Of course, the whole history of the thing was, at the time then, why, we had instead of – we did have hotels in this town.  I don’t mean that, but we had many of the men that worked in the mine were single men.  And a lot of the women had what they called “rooming houses.”  They would have board and room for so much a month.

And this fellow came to one of those boardinghouses and he and this woman that was operating it had known one another in Europe.  I think in Austria or one of the German you know, close to Germany.  And he wanted to board there with her, but she wouldn’t let him.

So, her and her daughter lived in a little sort of a lean-to built onto the house.  They slept in that.  And, of course, he got that information.  And when she had refused him two or three times to let him come in there and stay, why, he brought powder from the mine, and one night he blew up this part of the house.  And during the time from when he had talked to her until he was ready to blow it up, she had moved her bedroom upstairs and moved a couple of her boarders in there.  And, of course, they were the ones that were killed; and that’s what the hanging was about. 

The town folk just organized and got the guy and took him up there and hung him.  They had a trial in the little union hall up there.

RW:  Where did they hang him at?

JH:  Well, they just took him down over the hill … now, what would that … let’s see …

BE:  That was Marchetti’s there, wasn’t it?

JH:  Yeah, that was Tom Marchetti’s place, right just across the alley from the Tom Marchetti –

BE:  Where they built the schoolhouse and [inaudible].

RW:  Uh-huh.

JH:  You know, from the school, it’s on that side, on the west side.  That was the original school grounds, of course.  But they just held their court, and they found him guilty, and they went down there and strung him up and left him.”

Oral History Transcript / Full Record

Note: the transcript and record are incorrect in their use of the name “John” Hailstone. The correct and full name is James Hooker Hailstone, Sr. Records will be updated to reflect this.

James “Pinky” Hailstone was born in British Columbia in 1898 to Francis Hailstone and Ester Hooker Hailstone. He was interviewed in 1975 by Richie Woodward, a student at Issaquah High School. His interview has a lot of interesting stories including he and some friends burning a “fiery cross” and the KKK being blamed for it, the story of the only hanging in Issaquah, and a story about Ben Legg.

Last week we wrote about James “Pinky” Hailstone’s daughter – Dorothy Hailstone Beale.

Hearing History: Dorothy Hailstone Beale


Hazel Hircko (left) and Dorothy Hailstone Beale (right)
ca 1936

Dorothy Beale (right)
ca 1993

Dorothy H. Beale: But I knew Dorothy.  And Dorothy Miles.  And Dorothy Castagno.  When I went to school, I went by “Margaret.”  
I said, “No, I’m not [going to be called Dorothy].  They’re going to get all mixed up!”
And so my first grade teacher, Mrs. McMaster she called my mother – or talked to my mother, we didn’t have phones – and she said, “Is it all right if she goes by Margaret?”  And my mother said, “If she wants to.”
So I went eleven years to school as Margaret.  And then when I was a senior, I wanted my first name on my graduation.  So the teachers sure raised Cain with me.  [chuckles]  Made me write my full name.
And you can imagine, on a sheet of paper like this, and you write Dorothy Margaret Hailstone, you’ve got half a page done!  [laughter]
MM:  That’s a long name.  So Margaret was your middle name that you decided to go by?
DHB:  Uh-huh.
MM:  That’s probably smart of you.  Because otherwise, they would have gotten mixed up.  That’s a lot of Dorothys.
DHB:  Oh, it was a funny situation.  I went all that time as Margaret.  And never thought anything about it until my senior year, and I thought, Oh, I want my first name on my diploma.  
I went twelve years to school and never missed a day.
MM:  Really?  You had perfect attendance?  Were you ever sick?
DHB:  No.
MM:  You were never sick?
DHB:  Not when I was young.
Dorothy Hailstone Beale was born in 1919 to James H Hailstone and Emma Greenier Hailstone. Dorothy was interviewed in 2006 by Maria McLeod as part of IHM’s oral history project. Dorothy talks about growing up in Issaquah, logging, and the Hailstone family. Her extensive interview covers many families in Issaquah as well as some fascinating discussion about the KKK and cultural and race relations in Issaquah.

Hearing History: Jake Jones

Student Body of Squak School
Jake Jones (believed to be 3rd from right, in front)
Full Record
Full Record 2



Jake Jones:  And furring and trapping and trading, so they created what they called the Chinook language.  It had something like about a hundred words.  And many of them words, the way you used them, meant two or three different things, depending on how you used it. 
And the Indians, the younger Indians, they learned the Chinook, and they also began to learn more of the English language than they did Chinook.  But not being – uh – they couldn’t pronounce the English words very good, so you might say theirs would be part Chinook and part jargon, with the Indians. 
When an Indian would meet you on the road, or you’d meet an Indian, he’d say [sounds like] klahowya.  Well, that meant hello.  And when he went after you’d talked with him a while, he’d say klahowyaagain.  That meant good-bye.  And that’s the way, they didn’t have many words and they used the same words. 
If he had something to sell – he wanted to sell the whites some clams one time – and [sounds like] nikanika means either the Indian himself or it means you that’s talking to him, or whoever the other party is.  Nika means either party.  He’d say, “Nika tikke clam.”  If you wanted to buy something, buy potatoes, he’d call them hopatoes.  He’d say, “Nika tikke hopatoes.”
So they accumulated more of a jargon of the white man’s language, but they couldn’t pronounce the English words very good, so it become more of a jargon with the younger Indians.  That was my time then when I associated with them.
Jacob Jones Jr. was born in 1881 to Jacob Jones Sr. and Mary Anderson Jones. He was born in Washington and lived in Issaquah until his death in 1959. His interview is from 1958 and contains many first person accounts of Issaquah’s early days. His interview is a fascinating picture of what life was like in early Issaquah.

Hearing History: Ruth Kees


Ruth Kees (left) and Fred Nystrom (right) walk along Issaquah Creek
ca late 1980s


Maria McLeod: So I wanted to ask you about the Issaquah Creek, I wanted to ask you about the watershed, and I wanted to ask you about water quality, and what you’ve noticed about water quality, and what ways water quality has been compromised, or that you fear it’s been compromised since doing your work. 


Ruth Kees:  Well … mainly I think what’s affecting this country now is that the fermenting of little urban areas, areas of urbanization.  They permit people to dig a well, and if the well will produce 5,000 gallons a day –  


And I don’t think they’ve ever run a test on any of them to make sure that they would produce 5,000 water a day.  They figure, we can put six houses on 5,000 gallons of water a day.  And we’ll group them all in one little spot, and that will keep them from sprouting out all over the country. 


Well, I think I’d rather see one house per 5 acres than these little urban areas, which require all kinds of amenities that these other houses don’t require.  And you won’t get people watering their lawns.  In other words, we’re urbanizing the area whether it wants to be urbanized or not, by permitting these little colonies.  [Sounds of material being rattled around in the background] 


MM:  Are you worried about the kind of growth that’s occurred in Issaquah since you’ve – I mean, in recent years, and that compromising water quality and the environment here? 


RK:  Every road that they put in is putting a dike in the ground.  And this disrupts the transmission of ground water.  Or every little urban area that they put into, also disrupts – uh – it increases runoff because of having more – uh – gosh what do you call it?  Ground that won’t permit … 


MM:  Impermeable? 


RK:  Impermeable surfaces.  Every road is an impermeable surface.  And this creates runoff.  And the water doesn’t get back into the ground where it does any good.   


And look at Lake Sammamish now.  Lake Sammamish used to be a lake that did not respond to rainfall.  It was fairly static.  People have built docks and they’ve built all kinds of wood structures along the edge of Lake Sammamish, and by golly, now some of the – after a rainfall, they’re under water!   


And this never happened before.  And that’s because of increased runoff.  So that all the water has just poured into Lake Sammamish, instead of going into the ground where it will replenish the aquifers. 


Ruth Moore Kees was born in Nebraska in 1923 to Paul Moore and Myrtle Schultz Moore. Ruth was interviewed in 2006 by Maria McLeod as part of IHM’s oral history project. Her interview covers her work as a government inspector during WWII, getting her pilot’s license and working at Boeing, and the impact Issaquah’s development has had on the environment and her effort to protect it. If you’re interested in local environmental issues, both of Ruth’s interviews are amazing reads.
You can also visit the Ruth Kees Big Tree Trail on Tiger Mountain if you’re in the mood for a hike. See the City of Issaquah’s Heritage Trees page for more information.

Hearing History: Bill Evans


Evans-2C-2BBill2Maria McLeod:
  …Tell me a story about you and Walt Seil.  I know you guys ran around together, and I’m sure there’s a lot of stories.  Some you could probably tell, some you can’t.  [laughter]  But what’s a memorable moment with your friend Walt? 


Bill Evans:  Well, of course, we graduated in the same class.  On graduation night, we – big stuff – I was president of my senior class – so we tried to arrange a party.  But we graduated on June 3, 1941.  It was a Tuesday night.  It was raining to beat heck.  Usually, the first part of June, I always remember the rain.  We didn’t get good weather constantly until July.


 …So I had a class meeting the day before we graduated, and I said, “It’s our last time together as a group.  How are we going to celebrate?” 


Well, a lot of them had family parties on graduation night.  I had a graduation party, too, with my family.  But we all decided well, after the party is over – and it’ll probably be over about ten o’clock – we’ll meet back at the high school and go to a party in Seattle.  We’ll find something that’s really good to do. So Walt and I and another fellow, I don’t remember who the other fellow was, but we had our dates, and we met back at the school at ten o’clock.  And we went to Seattle.  We thought, “This’ll be great!  We six will do something that nobody else does.” 


So we went down to Boeing Field.  We were going to rent an airplane and take our first flight over the city.  Well, we got down to Boeing Field and, of course, Tuesday night, ten o’clock, everything was pitch dark!  There was nobody there. 


“So what do we do now?”
“Well, let’s be daring.” 


And there happened to be a bottle club on First Avenue in Seattle, with entertainment and so forth.  But it wasn’t a club like you think of nowadays.  But still, you had to be 21 to get in.  Of course, we looked like we were eighteen.  [chuckles]  So we got stopped at the door!  And that took care of that. 


“What do we do now?  It’s midnight!” 


“Well, there’s all-night shows.” 


“Big deal.” 


So we went to an all-night show.  We parked Walt’s car up on somebody’s rooftop parking downtown.  We went to the nearest all-night show.  We enjoyed the show.  And our dates were kind of worried, because they’d never been out this late before. 


MM:  No, that’s probably about two in the morning by that point. 


BE:  By the time we got out of the show, it was almost dawn.  The girls were hungry, naturally – like my wife – and so we went to breakfast.  My girl lived in Upper Preston.  There’s a Lower Preston we all know, but in those days … and still, people live up there.  It’s further up toward Echo Glen, fairly close to that.  And it’s a little Swedish flicka that I went with.  Her mother was at the door when I brought her home, and the sun was shining bright.  And she was a sweet little lady. 


She said, “Now, Bill, you know that Francesis younger than you are.” 


“Yes, I know.” 


She said, “And we live in a community where everybody sees everything that goes on.” 


I said, “Well, nothing went on.  Things didn’t work out, and we ended up at an all-night show and went to breakfast.” 


She said, “Well, please don’t bring her home in the daylight anymore.”  [laughter] 


“I promise.”  [laughing] 


MM:  Did the other guys get in trouble, or the other girls?  Do you remember? 


BE:  I don’t remember, because I was sweating enough!  [laughter]


William C. Evans Jr. was born in 1923 to William G. Evans Sr. and Ella Willig Evans. Bill was interviewed in 2006 by Maria McLeod as part of IHM’s oral history project. Bill talks about his grandfather’s work with Issaquah Water Department, growing up in Issaquah, and WWII. His interview is extensive and he provides a lot of information that’s impossible to summarize. See the Full Record for a complete list of people and subjects discussed.
Bill has been written about a few times on this blog before – check out previous blog entries:


Hearing History: Bob Gray

Seattle Biomedical Research Institute was founded in 1976 with an unlikely start in Issaquah. Seattle BioMed began as the Issaquah Research Group Lab, a project that was sponsored by the Pine Lake Presbyterian Church. Bob Gray, pastor of the church, tells the story of how it all began.
In related news, The Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI) in Seattle is opening its Bezos Center for Innovation on October 12, 2013 – today! An image from Issaquah History Museum’s collections will be used in this exhibit (see below.) The image shows a volunteer working at Issaquah Research Group Lab in October 1984. As Bob Gray mentions in the above video, volunteers from the church often came in to help out with the research and lab duties.


Volunteer working at Issaquah Research Group Lab
Oct 1984
(image used in Bezos Center for Innovatione exhibit)

Visit our Digital Collections to view more images relating to Seattle Biomedical Research Institute (records available October 14, 2013.)

Visit MOHAI and Seattle Biomedical Research Institute on Facebook for more up to date information.

Make sure you “Like” us on Facebook to follow our Washington Archives Month posts!

Hearing History: Camilla Berg Erickson


Camilla Berg Erickson
Yearbook Photo
ca 1936
Camilla Erickson: I don’t recall that there was anything specific about being Norwegian in with Swedes. My Uncle Andrew, he was married to a Swedish lady. And she had a brother that lived here, and he had a fairly large family.
And my folks had Norwegian friends up in Snoqualmie and Puyallup and Seattle. So, I mean, we did have friends from Norway.
And, oh, I was grown at the time, I was probably eighteen, nineteen, something like that, and my parents had [friends], three other couples that use to come [over]. They would go back and forth for dinner.
And one of the men – they talked Norwegian when they got together – and one of the men sort of apologized to me and said, you know, about them talking Norwegian.
And I says, “Oh, that’s all right.”
He says, “Yeah, but we’re talking about old times back in Norway, and it just doesn’t seem right to talk about Norway in English.” That they had to talk in Norwegian to talk about Norway. That was his feeling.
Camilla Berg was born in 1918 to Charles Berg and Gesine Eliasen Berg. Camilla was interview in 2006 as part of IHM’s oral history project. Camilla talks about raising chickens (her family had 800), the Norwegian community and food (blood dumplings), and Issaquah during the depression. She also discusses changes in Issaquah over the years.
Waler Seil

Hearing History: Walt Seil


Walt Seil
Senior Yearbook Photo
ca 1941

Maria McLeod: Well, OK, so tell me the story about shooting off your hand.

Walt Seil: Well, this was in the fall of the year. And Tony Campbell, who was neighbors to us, him and I decided to go hunting for deer. We walked up to the railroad track and went a mile or so up the railroad track.

And we was hunting and hunting and didn’t find nothing, so we come back across the trestle and stopped. And Tony says, “Let’s hit that snag over there that’s sticking out on that tree.” And I says, “OK.”

So he tried and he missed, and tried and I missed. And he said, “Well, let me try with your gun.” 

And I’d already injected a shell into the chamber and I had the safety on. And he says, “Here’s my gun,” and I reached over and took his gun.

And I thought he had mine and I let mine go. The safety hit the rail, broke the safety off. And the hammer hit the tied. And it was falling back towards me and I had my hand like this.
MM: Your hand was sort of in front of your body.
WS: It went right through my hand, here, and it nicked my ear, here.
MM: Oh, I can see where it nicked your ear! Ohmygoodness!
WS: And so I took my belt off. Of course, [inaudible] clear across the track. And I cinched it up real tight and held it like this.
And Tommy says, “What should I do with the gun?”
I says, “I don’t give a damn what you do with the gun. Throw it away if you want to!”
Walt Seil was born in Issaquah in 1920 to Edward Seil and Josephine Wood Seil. He had seven brothers and sisters, many with family remaining in the area. Walt was interviewed in 2006 by Maria McLeod as part of IHM’s oral history project. Walt talks about growing up in Issaquah on a ranch and in Snoqualmie where his father was a logger. He also talks about accidents he had, Alpine Dairy Football Team, and his role in WWII. He was a great story teller, as you can see in the video below (Walt begins at 1:19.)


Hearing History: Vernon “Babe” Anderson


Vernon “Babe” Anderson
ca 1945
Full Record


Maria McLeod: …So what land are you giving to the city?
Vernon Anderson: The whole thing.
MM: The old farmhouse, too? And this place?
VA: Yeah, everything.
MM: So what is this going to become?
VA: A park.
MM: You seem to really enjoy history. You’ve kept a lot of old files. Is there some sense in you that you’d like to preserve this?
VA: Well it’ll be preserved as a park, you know. Otherwise, what are they going to do? It’ll be a bunch of damn condominiums or something. And you don’t need that. It’s all a park anyway around here. Why ruin this piece in the middle?
Vernon “Babe” Anderson was born in 1927 in Renton, WA to Albert A. Anderson and Ruth Johns Anderson. Babe was interviewed in 2008 by Maria McLeod as part of IHM’s oral history project. His extensive oral history covers his grandparent’s immigration to the United States and Issaquah, through his life growing up and remaining in Issaquah. Subjects covered include working at Issaquah Creamery, being drafted for both WWII and the Korean War, and his father’s various building projects including two houses that still remain as part of Gilman Village. The City of Issaquah acquired Vernon’s family’s land and buildings for part of the Confluence Park Project. Vernon requested recognition of his grandfather, Tolle Anderson, in the park project.
Ruth and Albert Anderson
August, 1923
Full Record


In addition to buildings, land, and this oral history, both Vernon and his brother Rodney wrote letters home during their time in service, and these letters were generously donated to Issaquah History Museum’s by Rodney’s daughter. Some of these letters are available in our Digital Collections as well as other documents and pictures. Check out the full extent of the Anderson Collection.


Vern Anderson’s Navy Class
April 11, 1946
Full Record

Hearing History: Washington Archives Month 2013

Welcome to Washington Archives Month 2013!

Every year Washington State’s Archives celebrate the month of October by choosing a topic to highlight in museum collections across the state. This year the theme has been chosen as oral histories – and we couldn’t be more excited!

Issaquah History Museums has a substantial amount of oral histories in its collections. We have more than 50, the earliest dating from 1958 and the most recent from 2011. There are over 20 transcripts available through our website and on our digital collections website.

In honor of Washington Archives Month, we’ll be highlighting a few of our oral histories here on our blog, Facebook, and Pinterest. If you want to get a jump start on checking out our oral histories, you can visit our Oral Histories section of our website here.

Thanks to generous grants from 4Culture for making these oral histories, and all of our digital collections, available to the public. Thank you to members, donors, and volunteers as well.