Issaquah HISTORY Museums

Learn About & Visit Issaquah’s Museums

The area was first populated by Sammamish Native Americans of the Coast Salish Culture group and called “Ishquoh,” a word describing the sound of the local water birds. Pioneers arrived in the area and the city was officially incorporated in 1892. Mining and logging were some of the earlier industries and their evidence can be seen in the town and the landscape. Issaquah is now home to numerous museums where you can learn more about the history of the town and surrounding region.

Gilman Town Hall Museum and Jail

Built in 1886, Gilman Town Hall is believed to be one of the oldest buildings still standing in the vicinity of downtown Issaquah. Now a museum, you can tour the building, including a hands-on kitchen exhibit, as well as the two-room concrete building in the backyard that was used as a jail from 1914-1930. The permanent exhibit entitled “In This Valley: The Story of Our Town” will give you insight into the birth and evolution of the city.

In 2018, the Gilman Town Hall was recognized for its historic value, and is now a King County Landmark and an Issaquah Landmark.

165 SE Andrews Street

Issaquah Auto Freight Building

The Issaquah Auto Freight company constructed this building in the 1930s for warehouse and garage use. Today it is an Issaquah historic landmark and King County landmark and has a variety of vintage tools and machinery on display including wooden water pipes, a circa 1915 hose cart used by the Issaquah Volunteer Fire Department, and a restored 1948 Ford tractor.

92 SE Bush Street

Issaquah Depot Museum

Built just a few years after the Gilman Town Hall Museum, the Issaquah train depot played an important part in the city’s economic development. It is now a museum with opportunities to interact with educational displays such as a telegraph, while learning about the technologies that shaped our country in the nineteenth and twentieth century.

78 1st Ave NE

Issaquah Valley Trolley

You can catch a glimpse of the Issaquah Valley Trolley at the historic depot though there are no longer tours.

78 First Avenue NE

Self-guided Tour

Do you love to enjoy the sites and also love to learn, but can’t decide which Issaquah sites to visit? The self-guided tour is for you. The tour takes you to twenty noteworthy sites between the Issaquah Visitor’s Center on Gilman Boulevard and the Issaquah Depot Museum.

Like the feel of a paper guide? You can pick up the tour brochure at the Issaquah Visitor’s Center, Gilman Town Hall Museum, or the Issaquah Depot Museum. Like the convenience of your phone? Use the link below for a digital tour map and guide.

Website

Other Issaquah Treasures

Don’t miss these treasures of Issaquah as identified by local residents.

Historic Hailstone Feed Store

One of the oldest buildings in Issaquah, the Hailstone Feed Store is an example of architectural evolution and creative reuse.

232 Front Street N
Website

Village Theatre

Located in the Francis J. Gaudette Theatre building, the Village Theatre is dedicated to producing and performing award winning musical theater.

303 Front Street N
Website

Gingko Heritage Tree

One of the oldest tree species on earth, Gingko trees were originally native to Washington but were gone from the area by the 1700’s. Issaquah is fortunate to have one that is over 115 years old, planted in the early 1900’s by a former mayor and Washington legislator, Dr. W.E. Gibson. Saved by a group of high school students in 1970, it is now an Issaquah treasure.

100 Front Street S
Website

East Fork of Issaquah Creek

This is a favorite local spot for fishing. The fish are plentiful and you have an excellent chance of hooking one.

Website

Lodging

  • Homewood Suites
  • Hilton Garden Inn
  • Springhill Suites
  • Motel 6

WEDDINGS, MEETINGS & GROUPS

  • Event Venues
  • Banquet Space
  • Corporate Retreats
  • Weddings

Getting Here

  • Public Transit
  • Points of Entry
  • Parking

SHOPPING & DINING

  • Downtown Issaquah
  • Grand Ridge Plaza
  • Historic Gilman Village
  • Other Retail Centers