Founded in 1892, Gilman (later named to Issaquah) grew rapidly in its early years thanks to railroads, coal mining, and timber production. The jobs were plentiful and brought workers, business people and residents to the area. In 1909, Northwest Milk and Condensing Company (Darigold) opened and fast became one of Seattle's largest milk suppliers. The 1920's saw a decline in coal and timber jobs, but visitors kept coming through the area thanks to the railroad and the creation of the Sunset Highway and Lake Washington Bridge in the 1940's. The local railroad station closed around this time, but didn't affect the area very much due to the end of WWII and the creation of the I-90 corridor. By the 1980's, farmers were selling their land to developers and the area started to look like the Issaquah we know and love today.
"Downtown Issaquah is the bright cultural beacon on the east side of Seattle, drawing those looking for an urban scene on a human scale, situated only 15 miles to the east of Downtown Seattle. Downtown Issaquah is emerging as a hot spot for socializing and connecting with a local funky vibe on the eastside. Those who live in, work in and visit the Seattle area find afternoons and evenings in downtown restaurants full of eager foodies; galleries full of art lovers who welcome emerging artists; and a nightlife featuring upcoming local musicians. In fact, Issaquah was voted one of the most livable cities in the country by Outside Magazine."
- Courtesy of DowntownIssaquah.com
Downtown Issaquah is host to the Art District where you can find the award-winning Village Theatre, artEAST Art Center and multiple galleries featuring local artists.
Summer brings weekly ArtWalks, outdoor music and Shakespeare performances, and the Saturday Farmers Market.
Fall is for the fishes when the town celebrates Salmon Days celebrating the fish's return to Issaquah Creek where they spawn. Walk around the hatchery and browse the numerous arts & crafts tents while enjoying food and live music.
Issaquah is also a short drive to dozens of trail heads in the Central Cascade Mountains with varying levels of difficulty and some of the most beautiful views the Pacific Northwest has to offer.