“The mill made itself known with whistles. There was a whistle when work started, and a whistle when it stopped. We told time by the whistle,” says Pearl Moore, 100-year old resident of the small community of Preston.
One Preston resident with a wealth of memories to share is Pearl Moore. She grew up in the community that lies just east of Issaquah along Interstate 90 amidst growth and change.
Pearl Moore Remembers Preston Mill
In the early 1900s, Swedish-American immigrant August Lovegren founded a lumber mill company, with a sawmill in Upper Preston where immense trees were felled and milled. Those trees traveled more than two miles by flume – water flowing through a trough – to a shingle mill located in the current Preston Mill Park. The Seattle Lakeshore and Eastern Railway carried lumber products to rapidly-growing Seattle. This former railway is now the Preston-Snoqualmie Trail, carrying walkers and bicyclists instead of trains filled with lumber or coal.
Pearl Moore Remembers her neighborhood
Preston grew as families moved in to work at the mill company. Pearl was raised in the seventh house built in Preston. Her parents were the first people to be married in the Raging River Community Church in 1901, the year after this Baptist church was founded.
Pearl Moore Remembers Raging River community
Today, Pearl continues to be a pillar of strength in the Preston community, and she is looking forward to Preston Mill Park being fully developed for recreation access along the salmon-bearing Raging River, along with interpretative stories of this historic site.
Pearl’s biggest wish at the park? A basketball hoop because that’s the game she played there, nearly a century ago.
Special thanks to videographer Ray Lapine and researcher Kevin Killeen
Photo credit: University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections | Issaquah History Museums | Eric Erickson private collection
To read more on Preston Mill Park and the surrounding area check out these blogs: