State Park Land was Once a Dairy Farm

Once upon a time… Lake Sammamish State Park was home to a pioneer family and their many cows.

The Anderson Farm was home to John Anderson, a Norwegian immigrant and his wife Addie. They built a 2-story, 10-room house in 1895 and it became known locally as “the big house.” The Andersons built another 6-room house for the farm foreman and his family. These buildings were close to Issaquah Creek near where the soccer fields are now. Not much remains of the buildings but a few remnants of foundations.

Other outbuildings included a horse barn, a small milk house, two garages, a fruit shed, and a log cabin with a plank floor.*

John and Addie and their children played an important role in the story of the park for the 70 years before it became a park, according to Rich Benson, former park manager. They had four children from Addie’s first husband. The pair has a a very successful operation, farming and raising dairy and beef cattle. Part of the farm crops were hops, later destroyed by hop lice.

After John and Addie passed on, John’s nephew farmed the land until John’s stepdaughters sold the property to the park.

*Source: “The Past At Present,” Edwards R Fish, pg 144-145. Issaquah Historical Society Past Times, Volume V Issue IV Autumn 2003, pg 1.

Communications Team