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There’s a lot to see in this 44-mile trip, which covers much of the development of the towns on the east side of Lake Washington from former fruit-farming town Bellevue to the town that investors once hoped would become the “Pittsburgh of the West,” Kirkland.

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Key waypoints and Main Street communities along the tour leg. Sites you do not want to miss!

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Overlooking Lake Washington, Kennydale is the center of a small farming and poultry-raising district. The tour crosses the lowlands of the Cedar River Valley, formerly marked by meadows, thickets of willow, and alder, and sparse patches of truck gardens. As of 1941, here and there were reminders of other days contrasting oddly with compact modern structures: the remains of an old mill or a dignified old country house of three...

Learn more about Kennydale

Newcastle is an incorporated city within King County on Coal Creek, east of the south shore of Lake Washington. Coal was discovered here in 1863 and one of the first successful local coal mines was developed. F. H. Whitworth, J. E. Whitworth, and Rev. George F. Whitworth named it in August 1869, when they uncovered an excellent coal vein, basing it on an old adage about carrying coals to the...

Learn more about Newcastle

This community is on the east shore of Lake Washington north of Renton in west central King County. The place was established as Hillman’s Garden of Eden Addition to Seattle but did not flourish. In 1907, when a post office was established, residents were invited to propose names. A drawing from a list resulted in the present name; there was once a lot of native hazel in the neighborhood.

Learn more about Hazelwood

Beaux Arts Village began in 1908 as a colony of artists, writers, architects, and others on the east shore of Lake Washington cofounded and named by Alfred T. Renfro, an artist, cartoonist, photographer, and architect, after the Western Academy of Beaux Arts, located here and where the founders were members. Another founder was Sidney Lawrence, known for his paintings of Alaskan landscapes and marine subjects. The village became known principally...

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A trading center for the berry farmers and wine grape growers in the rich lowlands. It was once a base for the fleet of American-Pacific Whaling Company. Oliver F. Franz platted the town site in 1904; the name has no special significance. The Annual Strawberry Festival, held in June starting in 1925, continues today, now organized and hosted by the Eastside Heritage Center, which is dedicated to preserving and interpreting...

Learn more about Bellevue

This north Pacific whaling fleet once operated from Bellevue. Six stubby steam-whalers, the Tanginak, Moran, Paterson, Kodiak, Unimak, and Aberdeen, were all oil burners, with speeds of from 10 to 12 knots and crews averaging 12 men each. During the season from June to October a good catch averaged about 60 whales per boat. The boats worked out of Port Hobron and Akutan in the Aleutian Islands, hunting blue, humpback,...

Learn more about American-Pacific Whaling Company Fleet

A quiet community on the hillside on the northeast shore of Lake Washington overlooking the lake, it was once devoted almost entirely to shipbuilding. The Lake Washington Shipyards and drydock was a center for construction and repair of both Puget Sound and lake boats, and, during early spring, whaling vessels were prepared for the summer’s work. Here the ferryboat Kalakala was remade with an all-weld superstructure. This plant pioneered all-weld...

Learn more about Houghton

This busy little town is by Moss Bay on the east side of Lake Washington; the Indian name for the site was Sta-lal. The town, founded in 1886, was named in honor of Peter Kirk, a British-born millionaire, who envisioned a huge steel plant here, because of the iron ore discovered in the Snoqualmie River headwaters 60 miles away. Lots were platted and new buildings were constructed. Kirk and L....

Learn more about Kirkland
Points of Interest
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Cannery Building

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Tugboat Arthur Foss

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Lightship No. 83

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Tourist II

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Kirkland Woman’s Club

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Town Center

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Sears Building

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Kirk Building

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Trueblood House

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Pittsburgh of the West

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John George Kellet House