About Issaquah & Issaquah 360
The history of Issaquah is as interesting as the city itself is today. According to legend, the name “Issaquah” is derived from the language of local Native Americans (isquoh), although the precise meaning is uncertain (either “little stream” or “sounds of birds”).
Another tale suggests that the name is based on an older name for the area, Squawk (or Squak) Valley (based on the large number of birds there). When settlers arrived and asked what the area was called, the Indians reportedly responded, “It is Squawk.” Say it fast and you’ll get the idea.
Issaquah became a city in 1892 and initially made its name as a mining town. As the treasures of the mines were depleted, the town showed its versatility by then becoming a lumbering and dairy center, serving as a transfer point for the exports from smaller nearby towns to Seattle.
In more recent years, Issaquah provided a home to the operations and workers of the Boeing Corporation and Microsoft. In 1996, Costco was so attracted to the benefits and beauty of Issaquah that it moved its worldwide headquarters here from nearby Kirkland.
Issaquah is nestled up against the Cascade foothills. Several small mountains make up the so-called Issaquah Alps to the south of Issaquah: Tiger Mountain, Cougar Mountain and Squak Mountain. The Issaquah and Sammamish Plateaus and Lake Sammamish are to the north. In between these features is the valley floor of Issaquah.
The community began on the valley floor but has spread out through the entire valley and up each of the rises and mountains.
Today, Issaquah is home to more than 30,000 people who live, work and play here.
As you might expect, the geography creates a range of weather conditions, from the mid 50s to the upper 80s from April to October, and blustery wintry weather from November to March, with a temperature range from the low 30s to the upper 40s. Rain and cloudy skies are prevalent in the winter months. Sun blesses the area in the summer months.
The pre-college school system in Issaquah ranks as one of the best in the state of Washington, consistently placing in the top 20 in a number of important education categories.
According to an independent national school ranking agency, Issaquah placed sixth out of 218 Washington state school districts in overall excellence and ranked in the top 15 in excellence in elementary schools, middle schools and high schools. The city of Issaquah ranks 19th out of 262 cities in the state in terms of education excellence.
In addition, Issaquah’s Discovery Elementary School was the 16th ranked elementary school in the state (out of more than 1000 elementary schools) and Cascade Ridge Elementary School ranked 12th out of more than 1000 school in 3rd, 4th and 5th grade elementary education combined in the state.
Some of our high school graduates attend nearby community colleges, the University of Washington (Seattle), Northwest University (Kirkland), Seattle University (Seattle), Seattle Pacific University (Seattle), Lake Washington Technical College (Kirkland), City University of Seattle (Bellevue) or Antioch University Seattle (Seattle). These schools are all within King County and, as such, easy access from Issaquah.
Some stay in the State at Washington’s many other excellent universities while others leave the state to a wide range of Universities or the military.
The citizens of Issaquah value art and artists and their community contribution. Along a quiet street or in a secluded section of the park you can find breathtaking artwork that sends the imagination soaring. Many of the works of art pay homage to the heritage of the Pacific Northwest and use natural material found in the region including carvings from cedar, a tree native to the area, or basalt, a material that is also common to Washington.
The artwork itself often utilizes images familiar to the Issaquah and Washington state region, such as salmon and eagles. In addition to the outdoor sculptures, there are many locations to find indoor public art as well.
Issaquah 360 is published by Authority Real Estate, a Washington State licensed real estate firm. Our foundational revenue source is from real estate transactions.
90 NW Dogwood Street, Suite 102
Issaquah, WA 98027
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Salmon Photo Credit: Soggydan
Header Photo Credits (with many thanks):
Tiger Mountain: Kathleen Leavitt Cragun
Autumn Scene: Thales
Salmon Jumping: Kitaro & Kawauso
Salmon Stream: jc. winkler