Although small, the upscale Seattle suburb of Woodinville has a surprising past – and present.
Now home to a steadily growing population of highly educated, highly paid suburbanites, Woodinville offers its residents the peace and privacy of densely wooded residential areas, along with waterfront parks on the Sammamish River, easy access to miles of trails for hiking, biking, dog walking and horseback riding, and numerous roadside stands offering this health-conscious populace and abundance of locally grown organic produce.
As of mid-2015, the median sales price for homes in Woodinville was just over $600,000, which is an 11.3% increase over mid-2014. While condos and small homes are offered in the $100,000’s, approximately 25% of the homes currently for sale are listed at prices in excess of one million dollars.
The desirability of this community combined with a scarcity of listings continues to drive prices upward.
Woodinville’s colorful history
Prior to 1871, the Woodinville area was populated by the native Sammamish people. Ira Woodin and his wife Susan became the first Caucasian residents when they moved from Seattle, built a cabin on 160 acres just north of today’s NE Woodinville Drive, and began logging timber and raising cattle.
A small community soon began to grow along the river just to their east, and by 1886 Woodinville had a population of 60. The Woodin home was the hub of the community, serving as an informal doctor’s office, the first church, the first school, and the first post office.
At that time the Sammamish River (then known as Squak Slough) reached from Redmond to Kenmore and served as transportation into the valley. In 1876 a steamboat called the Mud Hen began traversing the Slough, and between 1884 and 1892, offered twice-weekly service between Lake Washington and Lake Sammash. One of the stops was the Woodin house.
In late 1887 or early 1888 the Seattle, Lake Shore and Eastern Railroad arrived in Woodinville, offering an alternative to steamboat travel. However, steamboats continued to ply the river until 1916, when construction of the Lake Washington Ship Canal lowered Lake Washington by nearly nine feet and rendered the river too shallow for steamboat use. Thereafter, the river was used to float logs to local mills and later, for boat racing.
Not far from the Woodins was a logging community known as Derby. This community was renamed Hollywood in 1911 when lumber baron Frederick Stimson began building a vacation home on his farm. He requested the name change in honor of the hundreds of holly trees he had planted along his driveway.
The home was named Stimson Manor and the farm Hollywood Farm. Hollywood Farm became a sophisticated dairy operation, which was later expanded to include chickens and hogs.
Stimson died in 1921 and in 1931 the property was sold. Over the next 40 years it changed hands several times and even served as a speakeasy during Prohibition. Then in 1973, U.S. Tobacco bought the property, which became home to the Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery.
Today the Stimson Manor and the grounds are listed on the National Register of Historic Places and Hollywood is a Woodinville neighborhood.
Hollywood Schoolhouse is a state historical landmark.
Now an event facility for weddings, banquets, and meetings, the Hollywood Schoolhouse had but a short history in education. Built in 1912, it closed a few years later for a lack of students. In the 1920’s and 1930’s it was used as a clubhouse for community activities, then was home to the Sammamish Valley Grange. Before being remodeled in 1994, it also served as an auction house and an antique mall.
From 60 to 780 – the population grows
With the coming of the railroad, development accelerated. By 1909 the town was home to four hotels, two sawmills, two shingle mills, a blacksmith’s shop, a feed store, and at least two small manufacturing facilities. By 1929 Woodinville’s population was 780 and the town was bustling.
The Woodins had opened a general store in Woodinville in 1888, but the store that played the greatest role in Woodinville’s history was Teegarden’s Shop. Built in 1890, it not only sold everything from shirts to oil stoves, it was the hub of the community. Home to the post office, it was the place for residents to gather and trade gossip.
In 1925 the store was sold to John DeYoung, who grew the business and subsequently formed the Woodinville Mercantile Company, which sold food, general merchandise, and gasoline. He established a lettuce packing plant, a shingle mille, Woodinville Hardware, and DeYoung’s Farm and Garden Center. The Farm and Garden Center, which opened in 1944, is still in operation today.
When Woodinville was incorporated in 1992, DeYoung’s granddaughter, Lucy, was elected the town’s first mayor.
The West Coast Woodstock
Driving through Woodinville today you might notice a not-very-attractive white dome alongside the road. What you might not guess is that the dome and the land surrounding it played a significant role in rock music’s history.
This was the site where in 1969, and just a month prior to Woodstock, more than 50,000 rock fans gathered for a three day festival of music, events, and exhibitions.
Locals may have been aghast at the behavior exhibited and the goods for sale, including pottery water pipes. However, West Coast pop music fans couldn’t have been happier.
More than 25 musicians appeared, including Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, and most significantly, the Doors. The Doors were the Sunday night headliners, but the night was stolen from them by the appearance of Led Zeppelin. This was the year the English blues group first came to America, and this was the first and only time they and the Doors appeared on the same ticket.
Today in Woodinville
Today Woodinville’s population has grown to more than 11,000, with most of its affluent residents commuting the 20 miles into Seattle or to nearby suburbs.
Many of the original homestead buildings have been torn down and farms and ranches have been replaced by subdivisions and wineries.
The Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery opened in 1976 and has since been joined by several dozen others. Tasting rooms are scattered throughout the city. In 1994 the Redhook Ale Brewery opened, and since 2009 several distilleries have joined the mix.
In essence, Woodinville is Seattle’s “Wine Country.”
Education in Woodinville
Two districts serve Woodinville students – the Lake Washington School District and the Northshore School District. There are 17 preschools, 11 elementary schools, 6 middle schools, and 6 high schools. The city also has 4 private schools.
In 1986 the Woodinville Towne Center was constructed on the former Woodinville Rodeo Grounds.
This sprawling commercial Center is home to a wide variety of retail stores, including Target, World Market, TJ Max, Pet Smart, Albertsons, Rite Aid, and Office Max. It includes the UW Medical Clinic, which offers a wide array of medical services, including 24 hour urgent care.
It’s also home to AMC Loews Woodinville 12 and more than 30 restaurants ranging from fast food to ethnic dining and traditional American fare.
The Woodinville Farmers Market is open on Saturdays and offers a wide variety of products offered by local farmers, growers, and artisans. Produce here comes direct from the field to the market, for the freshest produce available without your own garden.
The Equestrian Center
Gold Creek Equestrian Center makes Woodinville the city of choice for horse enthusiasts. Situated on 10 acres adjacent to the extensive Regional Trail System, Gold Creek offers boarding, lessons, Dressage, Hunter, & Jumper Shows, numerous clinics, and even a riding program for equestrian enthusiasts who don’t own a horse.
The massive facility includes 83 stalls, both indoor and outdoor arenas, including a regulation Dressage Arena, heated viewing, restrooms with showers, and a vending area.
Lodging in Woodinville
Woodinville has one hotel and several B&B’s, including the Auberge de Seattle, French Country Inn.
Auberge de Seattle, French Country Inn is a place to relax and unwind in luxury, and is considered a culinary destination for food lovers from around the world.
While some guests come simply to partake of the ambiance and good food, others come to learn. Here at Auberge de Seattle you’ll find something one might not expect in a small Washington suburb – a renowned French specialty cooking school.
A small newspaper helped shape the city
In 1976 Carol Edward founded the Woodinville Weekly newspaper. Then she went on to help carve the character of Woodinville as the city developed over the next 30 years. She became known to many as the “Mother of Woodinville” due to her involvement in civic activities.
In 1978 she organized the first Woodinville All Fool’s Day Parade, which is typically held the Saturday before April Fool’s Day. Spectators and participants, who might numbers as many as 10,000, show up dressed in costumes as they compete for “most foolish” prizes.
Next, in 1984, came the “Basset Bash,” held after the parade. This is a contest in which Basset Hounds compete for prizes awarded for their finest attributes – such as the best waddle, best howl, and longest ears.
Mrs. Edwards passed away in 2007, but residents continue to follow her lead in creating fun.
The Woodinville Summer Event Series, hosted by the City of Woodinville, the Greater Woodinville Chamber of Commerce, Woodinville Wine Country, and Northshore YMCA, kicks off in mid-July with weekly concerts in the park, and culminates with Celebrate Woodinville, held each August.
This celebration includes a parade, a festival with free music in the park, a wine & beer garden, an Arts and Crafts Fair, the Woodinville Farmers Market, children’s activities, offerings from local restaurants, and a variety of exhibitors selling their wares.
The Redhook brewery hosts summer outdoor movies while the City of Woodinville hosts the Arts in the Park Series. This includes five one-hour concerts in downtown DeYoung Park at noon on Thursdays, beginning in mid-July.
In December, the city celebrates month-long, with the Woodinville Lights Festival.
Is Woodinville the place for you?
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