Hints of Snoqualmie Valley's rich heritage and pioneering spirit dot the landscape.
Totem poles, standing majestically at Snoqualmie Depot and downtown Fall City, are reminders of our Native American history. Mementos, great and small, of the Valley's heavy timber harvesting days, including those of the railroad, can be seen throughout the Valley.
The Valley was originally settled by members of the Snoqualmie Tribe. They christened the Valley "Snoqualmie" which in their native tongue means valley of the moon. Many Snoqualmies are now buried in "the old Indian section" of Fall City Cemetery. For more information about the Snoqualmie Tribe, write to Snoqualmie Tribe, PO Box 280, Carnation, WA 98014 or phone 206-333-6551.
In the early 1880s, the Hop Grower's Association farmed hops on the Snoqualmie prairie, 1500 fertile acres between North Bend and Snoqualmie. After harvesting, the hops were transported to Fall City and stored in the infamous Hop Shed, which still stands alongside the Snoqualmie River next to Fall City Community Park.
Ferries would travel upstream from Puget Sound and then dock at Fall City to collect the hops, which would eventually be shipped to far-away places such as San Francisco, England, and Germany. The Hop Shed reminds us hop farming was once a mainstay of the Valley's early economy. Earning one dollar per box, growers continued to prosper until the mid 1890s when the booming timber industry and dairy farming became the two main industries.
The development of the railroad played a significant role in the success of the timber industry. And until recently, timber harvesting and sawmilling continued to drive the local economy. The railroad also opened up a new industry for the Valley—tourism. Today, tourism and the high-tech industries are growing contributors to the Valley's economic growth.