Issaquah History

“Issaquah is an anglicized word for a local Native American name, meaning “the sound of birds”.  Another version of the name is said to have come from the pioneers, who, being impressed with the multitude of wetland birds, called the area Squak Valley. When the next wave of settlers came and asked for the name of area, the Natives told them, “Is Squak.”


“The city was officially incorporated on April 29, 1892. Initially a small mining town, this town has changed noticeably both in its appearance and economic focus. Issaquah was originally developed to service the mining industry on nearby Tiger Mountain, and began as the town of Gilman, Washington. As the mining deposits neared depletion in the late 1890s, other companies started to realize Issaquah’s potential to support a lucrative lumber business. These companies exported timber from Issaquah and other small, local towns to Seattle and larger, rapidly growing communities throughout western Washington. These early boom industries, however, faded into a period of relative quiet by the time of the Great Depression.”

issaquah“The town remained fairly placid through the succeeding decades with The Boeing Company providing the majority of employment in the area. Microsoft and other technological industries moved into Redmond, Washington and other cities in the area, and later established operations in Issaquah itself. Both Boeing and Microsoft have significantly affected Issaquah’s history, cultural development, and diverse population through their active community participation and attraction of outside residents.  An interesting fact: Boeing’s first wooden seaplane was built by employees from Issaquah and took off from Lake Sammamish (located at the northern edge of downtown Issaquah).”

Today, Issaquah combines its rich history with a modern atmosphere, providing art, music, and entertainment for its residents and guests.Downtown Issaquah boasts many historical attractions including our famous Historical Shell Station/Feed Store, and Historic Train Museum.

Get more information about the City of Issaquah and Issaquah History Museums

Additional Organizations:

Issaquah Chamber of Commerce:

City of Issaquah:

Local Weather: Issaquah Weather

Issaquah History Online:

Regional Links:

Sammamish Heritage Society

*Issaquah History from Wikipedia