On October 11, Sammamish Heritage Society was awarded the John D. Spellman Historic Preservation Award for Advocacy. Sammamish Heritage Society was honored “for its commitment to preserving historic resources on the Sammamish Plateau in the face of tremendous development pressures. The City of Sammamish is less than 20 years old but the area has a 150-year history that the heritage society works diligently to protect by disseminating historic information, surveying the remaining historic properties, and working with the city to develop procedures to guide treatment of historic buildings.”
Located about 20 miles east of Seattle and about 450 feet above sea level, Sammamish is bordered by Lake Sammamish to the west, Redmond to the north, Issaquah to the south, and the Snoqualmie Valley to the east. There are two lakes within the boundaries of Sammamish: Pine Lake and Beaver Lake.
Sammamish was once home to Native American tribes long before the first scattered non-Native settlers began making tentative inroads onto the Plateau in the 1870’s and 1880’s. The Snoqualmie name Sammamish is a corruption of two words: “Sqawx,” the Snoqualmie name for Lake Sammamish, and “abs,” a suffix which refers to people of a certain area.
In the 1890’s, logging was becoming a major industry in this area, and by the 1930’s, most of the area was “logged out.” The southern half of the Plateau, particularly the area near Pine Lake, developed more quickly than the northern half. By the late 1930s no less than three resorts were operating on Pine Lake and Beaver Lake.
In the 1960’s, a small amount of development began, and by 1970, all of the resorts were gone. In the mid-1980’s, growth accelerated dramatically as more homes, schools, and shopping centers were built.
On November 3, 1998, local voters approved incorporation. Sammamish officially incorporated at midnight on August 31, 1999.
Modern day Sammamish has its own symphony, three high schools, and has been host to three major PGA golf tournaments at Sahalee (the 1998 PGA Championship, the 2002 NEC World Golf Championship, and the 2010 US Senior Open).