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Architecture & Engineering

Emma Hinchliffeh
Emma Hinchliffe

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January 5, 2022

Talking History: Proposed development in Snoqualmie Valley may usher in a new era for former mill town

For the first half of the 20th Century, a mill town called Snoqualmie Falls was the cultural and economic powerhouse of the Snoqualmie region. In 1917, the Falls Lumber Company, which would become Weyerhaeuser in 1948, established a mill in the Snoqualmie Valley in an area served by two railway routes. Following the establishment of the mill, the town grew up around the site. Snoqualmie Falls soon became a bustling community. By the 1940s it included 250 mill houses for workers and their families, a hotel and boarding house for single workers, a local store, a church, a fifty-bed hospital and an active community hall. Japanese immigrants, who had come to the area to work on the railroads from 1916, also lived in the valley but in separate barracks on the northern outskirts of the town. In 1943 the railways closed. By 1958 the once thriving mill town had all but ceased to exist. The mill itself operated until 1993.

Rendering by Miller Hull Partnership [enlarge]
Phase one of the proposed development has residential, retail and light industrial components.

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