Early Kirkland (Images of America)

October 30, 2020
Early Kirkland (Images of America)

Kirkland is a city of over 88,000 today, but when the USgovernment opened the eastern shore of Lake Washington forhomesteading in 1870, it was an unforgiving, mostly unpopulatedprimeval forest of giant old-growth conifers and tangles ofundergrowth.Over the next two decades, hardscrabble pioneers graduallybraved the wilds to stake and prove up 80- and 160-acre landclaims. In 1887, a consortium of speculators, developers, anddreamers headed by a dynamic English steel industrialist sought totransform the scattered wilderness ranches into a steelmanufacturing center, the Pittsburgh of the West. A boomtown wasborn, but within a few years, the steel scheme imploded, leaving inits ruins a few resilient families who undertook the arduous,decades-long struggle to forge a town.Early Kirkland provides a new look into Kirkland spast, from its beginning to 1940.