contact us  |  site map  |  disclaimer  |  home
search  |  print

History of Kenmore

Click here to learn about Kenmore's Historical Preservation Program
   

Dygert/Telquist garage

Al Telquist (right) operated Kenmore's first auto-repair garage, at 65th Avenue NE and Bothell Way, beginning in 1922 with his father-in-law Dan Dygert. The large sign above the door reads "Kenmore Garage, Shell Gasoline, Day and Night Service." (Man at left is unidentified).

*Photo courtesy of the Telquist family and provided by Kenmore Heritage Society

    
Dygert/Telquist Garage

 

 

 

Kenmore was primarily dense forest for many years while Bothell and Woodinville were being built up, and was mostly owned by investors. One of these investors, Philo Remington (inventor of Remington guns) sold some of the investment property to Watson C. Squire (his son-in-law). Squire was the last territorial governor of Washington state and one of our states' first United States Senators. He erected a water tower and the availability of water attracted water squatters. Shirl Squire, his sister, a landscape architect in Massachusetts, had planned to make it into a residential waterfront park complete with lagoons, but Squire died in 1926 before he was able to build it.

Kenmore was named by John McMasters. He and his wife, Annie, were originally from the small town of Kenmore, Canada - 40 miles south of Ottawa. They arrived in Puget Sound in 1889 and leased land at Kenmore from Squire and named the area after his old home town. He took over a mill started by Fir Lumber in 1903 and at first was partnered with Chris Kruse, but bought him out in 1905. At first Kenmore was only the mill, its cookhouse, manager’s house, bunkhouse and a few worker shacks. The mill was just at the edge of Lake Washington, where logs were floated to the area to be made into shingles for roofs and the sides of houses. The mill employed 35 - 40 men and stood east of the present Premix plant on the flat land beside the river. The mill burned down in 1923 and John McMaster’s died in 1930.

 

 


 

 

 Nite & Day Market 

Nite & Day Market

Founded in 1946, the Nite & Day Market continues serving the motoring public from its site at 6233 Bothell Way overlooking Lake Washington.

*Photo courtesy of Washington State Archives, Puget Sound Regional Branch and provided by Kenmore Heritage Society 

 

 


 

 

Sportsmen enjoyed hunting in the area of the marsh at the mouth of the Sammamish and a boathouse and resort house accommodated the at Peterson’s Landing, near the present highway bridge. There was a houseboat hotel with a saloon and floats for mooring. In fact, there were duck clubs up the river, usually small cabins owned by small groups of well-to-do citizens from Kirkland. Because of the loggers, sportsmen and saloons, weekends were known to be rowdy and busy. There were places like the 'Bucket of Blood' which existed at the location of the present Tradewell Store, which existed as late as 1940. 'The Blind Pig' was only accessible to boats and got its name because during the Prohibition it was easy to dump evidence in the water in case of a raid.

The Red Brick Highway, which was first called Squire Boulevard in Kenmore, then became Bothell Brick Road, opened in 1913 and stimulated growth in Kenmore.

 

 


 

 

Victory Drive Inn

Hungry customers received curb service at Kenmore's first drive-in restaurant, called Ingram's Drive Inn and later Victory Inn as a tribute to the World War II effort. Les and Mary Ogle took over the restaurant in 1942 on Bothell Way just west of 68th NE. 

  Victory Lane
 

 


 

 

After the end of the first World War, the Puget Mill Company (Pope & Talbot) offered small tracts of land. Homes were built north of the highway and between the main intersection and Swamp Creek. Progression of the Moorlands also started about the same time, especially after a bridge was built across the river about 1918. The Mitchell family built a store in 1919 at the Kenmore crossroads and the first service station went in the following year.

Kenmore had its own school district for many years and built its first school in 1914, then in 1916 consolidated with Bothell. The children were picked up in a milk truck, with benches put in every morning and again in the afternoon. It wasn’t until 1920 that the school obtained a real school bus. The original school faced what is now NE 181st Street, then it was used by the Kenmore Community Club from 1925 until 1930.

During the second half of the 20th Century, the population of Kenmore grew quickly. On August, 31, 1998 it was incorporated, making it the newest city in King County.

 

 


 
 First Kenmore Library  

First Kenmore Library

Kenmore children enjoy storytelling by local resident Ruth Munson outside the Kenmore Library in the early 1960s while librarian Jean Smith listens (left). The former barn on 73rd Avenue NE became the first Kenmore Library in 1958 through community efforts.

*Photo courtesy of King County Library System and provided by Kenmore Heritage Society


 

 

McMaster Shingle Mill

 Vertical Line 2

 

The American hotel

The McMaster Shingle Mill on the Lake Washington shoreline
The McMaster Shingle Mill sprawls along the Lake Washington shoreline in 1909. The foreground buildings face a dirt road that later became Bothell Way. Just beyond are the railroad tracks and in the background is the site of the future Inglewood area. Photo courtesy of Snohomish County Museum & Historical Association and provided by Kenmore Heritage Society

 

 American hotel remains
Kenmore's first hotel, the American, housed Greek and Italian immigrant workers who laid the bricks for the road in 1913 that became Bothell Way. Photo courtesy of the Bannister family and provided by Kenmore Heritage Society

 
First City Council

Kenmore's first City Council
The first city council, elected in the spring of 1998 to guide the new government, became official when the city incorporated in August 1998. Members, left to right, are Tika Esler, deputy mayor Dick Taylor, Deborah Chase, mayor Jack Crawford, Chip Davidson, Steve Colwell, and Elodie Morse.


Future air harbor
Vertical Line 2
Mitchell Grocery Store
Future air harbor
A former swamp hosts the beginnings of Kenmore Air Harbor in 1946. Owner Bob Munro and his family lived in the house (right) that also served as an office for his small fleet of floatplanes.
Photo courtesy of Kenmore Air Harbor and provided by Kenmore Heritage Society
 Mitchell Grocery Store
The intersection of Bothell Way and 68th Avenue NE appears serene in the early 1940s with its single stoplight. The community's first grocery store, on the northwest corner of the intersection, was built by James and Sarah Mitchell in 1919. Next door, Ed and Eliza Mahler opened Kenmore's first gas station, a Mobil outlet, in 1920.Photo courtesy of Doris Clements and provided by Kenmore Heritage Society

 


Pre-Mix Trucks

 

Old Kenmore Pre-Mix trucks
The first fleet of Kenmore Pre-Mix trucks are poised to serve the building boom of the 1950s, when concrete products were in especially high demand. Photo courtesy of Jane Hallock Paige and provided by Kenmore Heritage Society


Lake Washington shoreline

 Vertical Line 2 Helping Develop Kenmore
Industrial site on the lake
Multiple use of the Lake Washington shoreline in 1948 shows the Northwest Plywood mill and its log boom located next to Kenmore Building Materials (center). Barely visible at lower left is Kenmore Air Harbor. The scene is bounded by Bothell Way (upper). Photo courtesy of the Menard family and provided by Kenmore Heritage Society
 Helping Develop Kenmore
Real estate offices sprang up in the Kenmore area in the 1920s and '30s to promote the availability of cheap land. This office on Bothell Way at 63rd Avenue NE advertised large view lots with water and electricity for "$200 and up." This site is occupied today by the Tai Ho Restaurant. Photo courtesy of Doris Clements and provided by Kenmore Heritage Society
 
 

Kenmore Inn
The Kenmore Inn staff stands ready to offer oysters and Sunday dining in March 1935. The cafe opened in the early 1930s at 63rd Avenue NE and Bothell Way, giving way to the Chowder Bowl in 1941. It is now the site of Passport Travel.
Photo courtesy of Loren Day and provided by
Kenmore Heritage Society

 

 Emmanuel Tabernacle

 

 Vertical Line 2 Ward's Resort
Emmanuel Tabernacle
The congregation of Emmanuel Tabernacle mission church at Linwood Heights clusters outside the church in the 1940s. The church name later became Bethel Evangelical Free Church. Photo courtesy of Ruth Rongerude and provided by Kenmore Heritage Society
 Ward's Resort
Ward's Beach Resort on the north end of Lake Washington was a popular destination for recreation from 1947 to 1959. The property owned by Carl Ward later became Uplake Marina and then Davidson's Marina. Photo courtesy of Carl Ward and provided by Kenmore Heritage Society
   
 
 
Fire Department
   
Early Kenmore Fire Department
The Kenmore Fire Department displays a variety of equipment in the late 1950s at its first station, located at 67th Avenue NE and NE 181st Street. The vehicles are (left to right) the "whoopee wagon," a 1954 Ford panel truck remodeled as an aid unit, a 1944 Mercury ladder truck, a 1949 Ward LaFrance ladder truck, and the department's newest vehicle, a 1955 Mac pumper truck. Photo courtesy of Kenmore Fire Department and provided by Kenmore Heritage Society