Kenmore welcome sign, HWY 522. Courtesy City of Kenmore
First grocery store (opened 1919), intersection of Bothell Way and 68th Avenue NE. Courtesy Kenmore Heritage Society
Aerial (facing west) of main intersection and drive-in theater, Kenmore, December 1972. Photo by AEROLIST Inc

Kenmore

A busy community with a colorful past

Named for a village in Scotland, Kenmore is a community built on the hills and north shoreline of Lake Washington. The earliest known residents were the Sts’-ahp-absh people, who once wintered where the Sammamish River flows into Lake Washington. Non-Native settlers found their way to Kenmore even before Washington became a state in 1889. First came the loggers who moved timber by skid and rail to the shoreline, bound for mills down-lake. Early families brought the trappings of community life: a school and churches sprang up. Kenmore was famous (some say infamous) for its eating establishments, roadhouses, and dance halls along the Bothell Highway. Contraband whiskey was available during Prohibition. Business and commerce followed, with Kenmore becoming a road, rail, water, and air transportation hub. For several decades, Kenmore beaches were an idyllic lakeside destination. The community even had a nudist camp artfully located off the highway. In the World War II years, Kenmore became a bedroom community for Seattle and continues in that role today, although several thousand jobs now exist within its borders. Kenmore residents incorporated as a city in 1998. Its estimated population in 2018 was 23,093.

Tour Stops

1

Kenmore City Hall and The Hangar

18120 68th Avenue NE

Kenmore became Washington’s newest city on August 31, 1998, and began conducting its business in an empty storefront in Kenmore Village, a small strip mall on NE 181st ST. One year later, Kenmore officials arranged with Wells Fargo Bank to...

The Great Blue Heron, with its slate-gray body, chestnut and black accents, and very long legs and neck, is the largest heron in North America. In flight it looks enormous, with a six-foot wingspan. Kenmore’s heron rookery includes dozens of...

3

Kenmore Mural

Bothell Way and 73rd Avenue NE

The Kenmore Mural Project began with a simple exchange of emails between the City of Kenmore and St. Vincent de Paul staff in May of 2015. Completed in the summer of 2016, the mural is 188 feet long by 12...

4

Schnitzelbank Building

7330 NE Bothell Way

The Schnitzelbank building was constructed in 1926 to house the Chili Bowl Café. The building was often vacant during the mid-1930s Depression years. In the 1940s the building became the Wishbone Inn, specializing in chicken meals. It was followed by...

5

Kenmore Community Club

7304 NE 175th Street

“To make memories with each other and give shape to time.” In March of 1930, Kenmore Community Club opened their doors, bought a piano, and formed an orchestra. Dances were held on meeting nights after business was completed. The orchestra,...

6

Squire’s Landing

7353 NE 175th Street

“Connecting the Community with Water.” Named for Watson C. Squire, an early Kenmore developer who had visions for a waterfront park in the early 1900s, Squire’s Landing Park comprises 42-acres at the confluence of Swamp Creek and the Sammamish River....

7

From the 1920s through the 1940s, Kenmore was known for good food, but also for “good times,” which sometimes gave Kenmore a questionable reputation. During Prohibition, whisky was floated to Kenmore’s shores, and found its way into some restaurants, roadhouses,...

8

Burke-Gilman Trail

7204 NE 175th Street

The present-day Burke-Gilman Trail is located on the former railroad bed completed in 1887, making it possible for trains to travel from Seattle to Kenmore. Seattleites loved taking the Sunday afternoon train to Kenmore to see “the wilderness.” Passenger service...

9

Plywood Supply

7036 NE 175th Street

“More than just a lumberyard.” Started by fraternity brothers at the University of Washington in the 1950s, Plywood Supply, Inc. today is a wholesale distributor that covers 18 acres in Kenmore, delivering a full line of wood products and services,...

10

Kenmore Air Harbor

6321 NE 175th Street

Kenmore Air Harbor was founded in 1946 by three men, aviation mechanics Bob Munro and Reg Collins, and pilot Jack Mines, after returning from duty in World War II. They purchased a shingle mill and adjacent swamp totaling 2.5 acres...

11

Log Boom Park

17415 61st Avenue NE

Tracy Owen Station at Log Boom Park is a 3.9-acre park that provides access to over 1,200 lineal feet of shoreline on Kenmore’s Lake Washington waterfront. This shoreline was where early loggers once operated mills and anchored their log booms,...

12

Inglewood Golf Club

6505 Inglewood Road NE

Early Kenmore residents knew Inglewood as Peterson’s Goat Farm until 1919, when the land was cleared for the formation of the golf course. The club is one of the oldest in the Pacific Northwest. In October 1925, the original clubhouse...

13

Saint Edward State Park

14445 Juanita Drive NE

Located on the eastern shore of Lake Washington, surrounded by low forest and lawns, Saint Edward State Park sits on the traditional territory of several Native American tribes. The 1830s brought disease to the area and the native population was...

14

Bastyr University

14500 Juanita Drive NE

The 51-acre Bastyr University campus is uniquely suited for the study of natural health sciences. Nestled among fields and woodlands on the northeast shore of Lake Washington, the 186,000-square-foot campus complex is located adjacent to St Edward State Park. Built...

15

Rhododendron Park

6910 NE 170th Street

Rhododendron Park sits on 13 acres of land in Kenmore and was once the home of rhododendron enthusiast Reginald A. “Charlie” Pearce. An Englishman who immigrated to the Pacific Northwest at the turn of the 20th century, Pearce became a...

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