Snoqualmie Valley Record â€˘ October 21, 2015 â€˘ 7
A Spotlight on historic Snoqualmie Valley Businesses
Inside: Bicentennial Bridge
Tolt-MacDonald Park footbridge was big bicentennial project
The Upper Valley has enjoyed a long history with movie houses
Signs of Fall City
Historical Society creating information signs for downtown spots
History in the Making
Snoqualmie Valley Historical Museum has its own origins story
Above: Scouts gather for the opening of the Tolt-MacDonald Park footbridge. Below: a photo of the Brook Theater, demolished this summer.
8 • October 21, 2015 • Snoqualmie Valley Record
Tolt-MacDonald Park’s bicennential bridge
Evan Pappas/Staff Photo
The Tolt-MacDonald Park footbridge as it stands today. Additional weights were added to improve stability in 2014. By EVAN PAPPAS Staff Reporter
What started as a project for the U.S. bicentennial celebration became a massive effort involving thousands of people that would improve the Tolt-MacDonald park for decades. John MacDonald, banker, Navy veteran of World War II and volunteer for the Seattle Council of Boy Scouts of America, had a development idea for a
park and campground that had been acquired by King County in 1964. Alan Sinsel, King County Parks District Maintenance Coordinator, explained that a notice from the president to the Boy Scouts of America is what spawned the idea in MacDonald. “During the Nixon administration, he put out a notice to Boy Scouts to do projects for the (United States’) bicentennial,” Sinsel said. A campground had
already been built on the Carnation park, but the area on the west side of the property had not been developed. Developing that portion of the park was MacDonald’s brainchild. He wanted a bridge that could connect the two sides of the park, split by the Snoqualmie River, and found help in completing the project from the Army Reserves’s 40th Engineering Company, Courtesy Photo
SEE BRIDGE 08
John MacDonald stands at the construction site of the suspension bridge.
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Snoqualmie Valley Record • October 21, 2015 • 9
Evan Pappas/Staff Photo
The John MacDonald Memorial Campground sign, created by a scout for his eagle award, for the 2011 rededication ceremony.
BRIDGE FROM 8 which worked on the approximately 500-foot suspension bridge. He also organized all the Boy Scouts in the greater Puget Sound area, approximately 20,000 of them, and over a four-month period, they cleared the land, built campsites, shelters, cabins, and an amphitheater that are still there today. The bridge was the Army Reserve’s job, but they didn’t have much experience in building suspension bridges so they went up to Canada and got help
from some of the armed forces there who had experience in building that type of project. MacDonald was able to bring together a massive amount of people to work together on this community project, but was unable to see the result of all the work they had done. “Unfortunately, he had a heart attack and died on May 10, 1976, weeks before the project was finished,” Sinsel said. The park was named the “Tolt-MacDonald Park and Campground” when the project was finished in June, 1976.
Years later, one of MacDonald’s sons was volunteering at a King County Parks event and got in
“We rededicated the campground to him and to bring awareness to the project because the history had been lost.” Alan Sinsel King County Parks District Maintenance Coordinator
touch with them to share some of the historic photos and newspaper clippings that his family had recorded and kept for over 30 years. On June 26, 2011, the 35th anniversary of the development’s completion, King County Parks held a rededication to celebrate the work that John MacDonald, the Army Reserve and the Boy Scouts did all those years ago. “We rededicated the campground to him and to bring awareness to the project because the history had been lost.” Sinsel said. Many of MacDonald’s
Evan Pappas/Staff Photo
The eastern end of the Tolt-MacDonald bridge. Walking across leads to the Yurt campgrounds and group camps. family attended the event along with King County representatives like Dow Constantine and Kathy Lambert, and about 200 Boy Scouts. In fact, according to Sinsel, King County Executive Dow Constantine
was one of the Scouts who helped out on the project. Today, the bridge is kept up-to-date with annual inspections and has seen some improvements as recently as 2014 where additional support weights were added to each side.
Holiday Food Drive
November 2, 2015 thru March 13, 2016 Mount Si Golf Course will continue the tradition of the holiday food drive. This program gives you a discount on golf if you donate non-perishable food items when you play. Food donations will be given to the Snoqualmie Valley Food Bank. For winter rates and food drive discount details go to www.mtsigolf.com or call 425- 888-1541.
Pro Shop (425) 888-1541 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Restaurant:(425) 888-2150 Email: email@example.com
Mount Si Golf Course is pleased to host the
Annual Winter Tournament Series.
These are fun events and a great way to get some golf in during the winter to keep your game sharp for the next season!
Tournaments and Dates: (All events are 10:00 AM Shotgun Starts)
Sunday, December 13th, 2015 Four Player Teams (1) Gross Ball – (1) Net Ball
Sunday, January 3rd, 2016 Four Player Teams (1) Player is “Poison Ball” – (3) Players “Scramble” – Alternates every hole.
Campbell Scramble Sunday, January 24th, 2016 Four Player Teams (4) Player Scramble
Cabin Fever Classic
Sat Feb 27th/Sun Feb 28th, 2016 Two Player Teams (2) Day Event (2) Player Scramble – Both Days
Tip & Tuck Scramble Sunday, March 20th, 2016 Four Player Teams (4) Player Scramble
Fall Round Up Sunday, November 15th, 2015 Two Player Teams (6) Holes “Scramble”, (6) Holes “Best Ball” and (6) Holes “Alternate Shot”
A Valley Tradition
Mount Si GC has been a Snoqualmie Valley tradition since the 1920’s when the land was transformed from a hops farm into a golf course. It became an 18-hole public course in the 1930’s. In 1958,1985, and 1994 the course underwent significant changes and has evolved into a popular public golf course. The restaurant saw changes to its outside and inside looks in the late 2000’s and continues to serve excellent food along with a smile.
10 • October 21, 2015 • Snoqualmie Valley Record
From silent to sound: A history of movie theaters in the Valley
The Brook Theater and the adjacent stores on the corner of Meadowbrook Way and Park Street in Snoqualmie. By EVAN PAPPAS Staff Reporter
The Snoqualmie Valley has always had a historic connection to the movies. From the era of the silent film to today’s modern era, the local theaters have always played an important part in the Valley. Due to the collection of Valley history in the Snoqualmie Valley Historical Museum and
the hard work and research of David Battey, recording secretary for the museum board, the history of these theaters has been preserved. Almost all the information available on these theaters was recorded by Battey. Battey has written several articles about the history of the Valley’s theaters since the early 1900s. The Valley had three major theaters: the Sunset Theater, the
Pictureland Theater, and Brook Theater. Cristy Lake, assistant director at the Snoqualmie Valley Historical Museum, said the Sunset Theater was built into an existing Snoqualmie building that is now Sigillo Cellars in Snoqualmie. “The Sunset Theater is still around,” Lake said. “It was repurposed as a town hall and fire hall, then it was
the union hall for years, and then Christine purchased it and restored it as Mignone and then it’s been several business since then.” In 1923, the Brook Theater, built by William and Geneva Cochrane on the Northeast corner of Meadowbrook Way and Park Street in Snoqualmie, opened. The Brook was the largest and most luxurious of the theaters in the area. It
William Cochrane poses for a picture with a moviegoer at the Brook Theater. could seat over 400 people, live music accompaniments had cushioned seats and the by a pianist and a violinist. newest movie screens and According to Battey, E.W. projection technology. Over Sandell, the owner of both $20,000 (roughly $280,000 the Sunset and Pictureland in 2015 value) was put into theaters, sold both thethe building’s development. aters to the Cochranes in These theaters showed SEE THEATERS, 11 the latest silent movies with
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THEATERS FROM 10 late 1923 due to the huge competition the Brook had brought to the Valley. “The guy that started the two silent movies before the Brook, he just kinda disappeared back to Issaquah and then the Brook folks bought him out. So they had all three,” Battey said. In the late 1920s, sound was introduced to the world of movies. The two competing technologies, the Vitaphone and Movietone systems, were both installed in the Brook so the selection of movies wasn’t cut off. Battey described these systems as reminiscent to format wars we have seen in the last couple decades. “It is kind of fun when they started the talkies. It was like VHS vs Beta,” He said. “There were two ways to show talkies and they had to pay to have both of those systems installed in the Brook Theater.” The Brook saw a lot of success when it started showing “talkies,” but this new technology made the Sunset and Pictureland theaters largely irrelevant as they were still limited to silent films. Due to the recession, which started in 1929, both theaters were closed in 1930 so the Cochranes could focus on the Brook Theater.
Battey gathered much of his information from Cochranes’ corporate records for his research into the business behind the theaters in the 20s. “If you are going to waste money when you have none, a movie ticket is an absolute wonderful indicator of how much spare change there was in the Valley, so I thought that was amazing to find all of the corporate books of the Cochrane Motion Pictures Corporation, including the closing down of Pictureland and Sunset and the beginnings of Brook, all there,” Battey said. “It was just amazing.” The Cochranes ran the Brook Theater until the 1940s when they sold it. The theater eventually closed its doors in the 1960s. But that was not the end of movies in the Valley. In 1941, the North Bend Theater opened. It is still standing in the same spot and is still open for business. Lake said having three theaters in such a close range to each other really showed how important that kind of entertainment was to people. The fact that the North Bend Theater is still standing and in good condition after 74 years is a testament to the hard work and passion the community has
Snoqualmie Valley Record • October 21, 2015 • 11
Top: The North Bend Theater (or Cinema in this case) as it started in downtown North Bend in 1941. Bottom: The the Sunset Theater on what is now Railroad Avenue. for the history of the Valley. “I think it’s very cool we had three theaters in a relatively small community,” Lake said. “To me that shows it was a huge community draw that so many people were able to go and sustain three theaters. Of course the Depression hit and two of them closed, but I think it’s really significant that within two miles of each other there were three theaters. It’s really rare that there is a historic theater intact today and we are lucky to have that in our community.”
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12 • October 21, 2015 • Snoqualmie Valley Record
Fall City creates historical signs
Sample sign for Neighbor-Bennett House, built in 1904. The Fall City Historical Society has begun an extensive effort to provide historic signs for many locations in town. A template has been designed, for overall cohesiveness of the signage, and development of signs for the Fall City Masonic Hall and the NeighborBennett House, both on the National Register of
Historic Places, is under way. Each sign will include a QR code, the familiar pattern seen many places these days, allowing mobile devices to access information. On the sign, the code will link to a more extensive report on the location, with additional background and images. These reports
will reside on the Fall City Historical Society’s website, www.fallcity.org/historical. The historical society is also considering making site information available in a GPS-linked format for mobile devices, such as the Stqry app. This project, and many other programs from the society are supported in part by King County Heritage 4Culture. Walking tours will be offered soon. When a wide range of background information has been assembled, an updated Fall City Walking Tour will be made available, both in printed and digital form. Volunteers are being recruited to serve as tour guides at times. Another guided tour, of the Fall City Cemetery, is also being developed. Coming up The annual Fall City Calendar for 2016 is now available, the 10th in the series and the second in full color. It is available for purchase at the Farmhouse Market and will be featured with other ‘History in your Hand’ items at the Fall City Holiday Market Dec. 5 at Chief Kanim Middle School. See www.fallcityhistorical.org for a preview of the calendar and instructions for ordering by mail.
Snoqualmie Valley Museum got its start at school
Evan Pappas/Staff Photo
North Bend is now home to the Snoqualmie Valley Historical Museum. By EVAN PAPPAS Staff Reporter
One of the oldest institutions in the Valley is also in charge of preserving its history. The Snoqualmie Valley Historical Museum was started in the early 1900s by Ada Hill, a school teacher in North Bend. Cristy Lake, assistant director at the Snoqualmie Valley Historical Museum, explained that through Hill’s work, the Valley gained an important organization. “She started collecting things from the pioneers who were the parents of the kids she had in her class and over time the collection grew,” Lake said. “By the ‘60s it was filling the whole classroom and the school. The baby boom had happened and the school needed the classroom space so they asked Hill to remove the
stuff from the school and at that point, the historical society was formed to help take care of the collection.” Since then the museum has been obtaining historical artifacts through a mixture of purposeful collecting and donations from people in the Valley. Lake said that over time the museum’s collection has narrowed in subject to better focus on the region it is in. “Originally the museum had a much broader mission that it does now. We focus specifically on Snoqualmie Valley now,” Lake said. “When Hill started the collection it was Washington State and Pacific Northwest pioneer history. So parts of our collection are better represented than other parts.”
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