Redmond’s Early Settlers
“The breathtaking wilderness scenery of the Squak Valley offered a surprise at every turn and twist of the rivers. A bear pausing to drink at the water’s edge. Otter playing in the bubbling rapids. Lush sword fern and lad ferns lifting their fronds in praise of cedar giants, some as tall as 200 feet. Mount Rainier reigning king of all…”
– From Our Town Redmond by Nancy Way
This was the scene welcoming settlers and early visitors to the area now known as Redmond. Many arrived by water, paddling canoes or carrying their belongings aboard a scow. Later, they came by horseback and wagon over primitive trails carved from the wilderness.
In the 1870’s, the Perrigo family opened Melrose House, the first inn to open its doors to travelers, pioneers and hunters coming through the area. Known for serving fine meals that included wild game, fresh vegetables and cranberries picked from the bog at Happy Valley, the inn soon became a community landmark.
In 1888, the railroad came to town and in 1900, the Redmond Hotel (now known as the Justice White House) and Hotel Walther, both built within blocks of the depot, became popular spots for visitors. A few years later, James Clise built Willowmoor, a hunting lodge, on property he purchased at the north end of Lake Sammamish. This land is now a regional park known as Marymoor Park.
With numerous forested areas in which to hunt and water bodies in which to fish, early visitors found plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities. The town grew, welcoming more loggers, homesteaders and guests. Saloons and dance halls opened and people gathered together for fun and socializing.
By 1939, the town decided to throw a party and staged the first bicycle race around Lake Sammamish, thus beginning its longstanding community celebration we know today as the Redmond Derby Days Summer Festival.
Present-day Redmond, although much changed from its historic beginnings, prides itself on its continuing traditions, the diversity of its parks and recreational opportunities and its protection of the environment. Despite the changing landscape, it is still a destination point for visitors and tourists – and a place that offers comfortable lodging, diverse dining opportunities and a great variety of things to do and places to see.
Redmond Historical Society
Annual Summer Picnic History is happening in the Redmond area! The Redmond Historical Society will meet on Saturday, June 13, 2009, 11am to 2pm, in Anderson Park, 7802 168 Avenue NE, Redmond. This is the annual picnic, so bring your family and friends and a favorite potluck dish to share. The Society will provide the rest. The Old Time Fiddlers are providing entertainment. Don’t miss this last get-together until September.
To receive the monthly newsletter, contact the Society office at 425-885-2919, or email your request to firstname.lastname@example.org. Books, note cards, free historic walking tour brochures and the book, “Redmond Reflections”, are available in their office, which is open on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from 9:30am to 4:30pm and by appointment. Visit their website at www.redmondhistoricalsociety.org
This Place Matters is a campaign organized by the National Trust for Historic Preservation to raise awareness of place and showcase the many historic resources across the country. Here in Redmond, it offers a simple way for you to participate in raising awareness of our local historic resources and to celebrate your community's history.
You can also upload your photo and short story to the National Trust for Historic Preservation website.