State Park was purchased piece-by-piece, beginning in 1950

In 1948, Washington only had about 50 state parks. That year, park commissioners identified the area east of Seattle as needing a state park.

Three potential sites were identified. Two possible sites were on Lake Washington — Juanita Beach and Enatai. But there was an available dairy farm on the south end of Lake Sammamish that the Issaquah Chamber of Commerce pushed hard for.

Local businesses joined the Chamber in support of the Lake Sammamish site. Investigations of the three sites continued through 1949 but it became clear which site was best suited for a large water-oriented state park. After several public meetings and some squabbling on price, 40 acres of former Anderson Farm were purchased in May 1950 for $25,000.

The following year, in April 1951, Washington State Parks bought what was left of the original Anderson Farm, adding 170 acres at a cost of $100,000.

Unfortunately, this property didn’t have easy access to the waterfront portion that State Parks intended to develop. In order to provide the access, 30 acres that bordered the frontage road were purchased from Arthur and Alice Andrell at the same time.

The state now had its park, but they had a ways to go to make it useable by the public. There were no roads to speak of, no swim beach or picnic areas, no restrooms and no one to watch over it.

History compiled by former LSSP Manager Richard Benson


Communications Team