Please click on the feet above to start your tour!
Although its exact meaning has long been the subject of debate the name Issaquah is of Native American origin. It is said that migratory Indians gathering food in and around Lake Sammamish would imitate the sound of birds taking flight. The name appears to be an anglicized version of the Indian's spoken word Isquoh, meaning "the sound of the birds."
Originally incorporated under the name Gilman honoring Daniel Hunt Gilman who brought the railroad to the area in 1889, it wasn't until 1899 that the town requested permission from the Washington State Legislature to change the name to Issaquah.
In 1862, L.B. Andrews located outcroppings of coal along Issaquah Creek and the area soon became a center of mining, farming and lumberjacking. The town continued to grow through the latter part of the 19th century despite a "chain gang" reputation. This was acquired through a series of events, including a riot that drove away Chinese workers who were brought into the valley to harvest crops, transient men attracted by booming mining and lumber industries, and labor unrest initiated by "Wobblies," members of the International Workers of the World. In 1872, the state militia was called in to protect the residents from a Wobbly protest.
After Issaquah's incorporation in 1899, the first 70 ordinances dealt with liquor wandering animals and unruly public officials. lssaquah boasted between ten and twelve saloons during those days.
Services, community groups, organizations and transportation developed as people's needs turned to products. utilities and social interaction. During the early 20th century Issaquah became a melting pot of many nationalities, backgrounds and interests.
Despite the steady growth, Issaquah remained a relatively isolated community until the 1940 opening of the Lake Washington floating bridge. Before 1940, the population varied between 500 and 1,000 people. By 1962, Issaquah had 2,000 residents and by 1968 it had jumped to over 3,500.
Today there are over 8,400 residents within the city itself and approximately 53,000 within the lssaquah School District Service area.
Present day lssaquah is a thriving town along this area's rapidly developing 1-90 business corridor However its history and heritage can still be seen and felt today among the local and longtime residents, annual celebrations the many historic landmarks and the many streets named after early settlers, prominent citizens and lssaquah families.