Welcome to Issaquah, Senior Citizens
With a name like that, there just has to be a good reason. Seniors, can you even guess the derivation? The Issaquah area was first called “Squak,” a Native American name that referred to the calls and squawks of the many water birds which frequented the boggy land, swamps, and creeks of the valley.
Several years later, the citizens changed the town’s name to Gilman, after Daniel Gilman, who was responsible for bringing the railroad to the area. In 1899, the city’s name became Issaquah.
Why do senior visitors stop in Issaquah? For starters, the neighboring highlands are called the Issaquah Alps, featuring hiking trails and outdoor activity throughout the Tiger, Cougar and Squak Mountains that surround Issaquah.
Sunset Magazine highlighted Issaquah (Feb. 2014, pp. 52-53) and noted that this “Best Burb” feels like both a time warp and a new edition of Main Street USA. Issaquah is a suburb of Seattle.
Seniors Drawn to Culture and History of Issaquah
There are many cultural and historical activities going on in Issaquah. The old Village Theatre has presented live stage plays on its main stage in historic downtown Issaquah since 1979. The Cougar Mountain Zoo is located on the north slope of Cougar Mountain just to the west of Issaquah.
Senior visitors come to the area to watch paragliders and hang-gliders descend from Tiger Mountain. Another major attraction is the Issaquah Valley Trolley #519. It seats up to 24 passengers and is like the trolley cars in the early 20th Century. Senior passengers riding the Issaquah Trolley will get a sense of a primary mode of transportation a century ago.
Salmon Days is a two-day award-winning festival held in Issaquah on the first full weekend of October each year, celebrating the return of the salmon to their birth-waters, and praising Issaquah’s history, culture, and ethnic diversity.
Home of Notable Natives
A host of famous people hail from Issaquah. They include J.J Putz, Ichiro Suzuki, Tim Lincecum, Mel Stottlemyre, Detlef Schrempf and several other baseball stars. Must be something in the water from the local creek that produces so many powerful athletes.
The local Chamber notes that “Issaquah is a great place to live, visit, conduct business and explore the best of the great northwest. A community dedicated to local traditions, hometown values, and award-winning neighborhoods. With one of Washington State’s top school districts, a series of thriving business districts and a growing arts, nightlife and recreation scene…Issaquah has it all.”
So when you come out for your cup of Pike Place at Starbucks in Seattle, take I-90 15 miles over to Issaquah and enjoy. jeb