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Mercer Island, WA   98040


As one of Seattle’s earliest pioneers, Thomas Mercer was credited with first exploring the island in the middle of Lake Washington and was recognized in a federal land survey with his name attached to the island --- thus, Mercer’s Island.

In the beginning, Mercer Island was just as wild as the surrounding Bellevue countryside.  A black bear was taken in 1873 and the last deer hunting season was as recent as 1942.

Initial settlers started arriving about 1870, and a short 17 years later, Charles Calkins homesteaded in 1887 where Luther Burbank Park is today.  He quickly proceeded to build a community called East Seattle, and a luxury resort hotel designed by John Parkinson, at the north end of the island.  Alas, the hotel was destroyed by fire in 1908.  The commute to Seattle was via a steamboat Calkins owned as well.

Calkins always dreamed big --- he went as far away as Kingston to plat the town in 1890 in hopes of attracting vacationers from Seattle.  The community grew but not to Calkin’s expectations.

The Island’s official name of East Seattle continued in effect until 1924 when the name was shortened and changed to Mercer Island.

Three notable buildings remain from early Mercer Island, including a landmark meeting place, The Roanoke Inn, still referred to as “a place where friends meet friends”.  Other buildings are the Keewaydin Clubhouse now the VFW Hall, and Luther Burbank Park with its Boys Parental School, which was a place for wayward boys.  All can be visited at the northern end of the island.

Ferries played a major transportation role connecting countless stops around Lake Washington from before 1890 to as recently as 1950.  Even as 12 ferry runs per day continued between Mercer Island and Seattle, the first bridge to connect the Island to land crossed the East Channel in 1923 to the eastern shore of Lake Washington at the southern reaches of current Bellevue.  This wooden, 20 feet wide bridge would gallantly serve the island until 1940.  As the story is told, the bridge eventually became so treacherous that school busses let the children out to cross ahead on foot, and then re-board the bus!

The residential area of the Island was incorporated in 1960.  However just one month later, the business district incorporated separately.  It took 10 years for the two areas to come to terms and finally merge as the City of Mercer Island in 1970.

From a leisurely start, population grew in spurts with each new means of access to the Island: 1940/1,200, 1950/4,500, 1953/9,000, 1960/13,000, and in 2010, 22,699 residents called “The Island” home.  The community is vibrant, upscale and a sought after location in which to live and raise a family.  Schools are absolutely top notch, with most students college bound.

Builders have conquered many a hillside to use available land with a water view.  As a result, some residents have even considered installing heated driveways in order to navigate steep slopes in occasional winter snow.  But then again, a day off from school sledding down the snowy drive could make a wonderful childhood memory.  There’s always a bright side if you look for it!

Useful Links and Local Features

City of Mercer Island

Mercer Island Chamber of Commerce

Mercer Island School District

Thinking of Moving Here?

Mercer Island, WA - Neighborhood Scout

Mercer Island Overview by Coldwell Banker Bain Real Estate Services

Mercer Island Neighborhood Guide - Seattle.Findwell

Living on Mercer Island - Tyson Rowley

Northwest Life Series – Mercer Island – Nathaniel Maddux

Luther Burbank School - 1 - Wikipedia

Luther Burbank School - 2 - Wikimedia Commons

Luther Burbank Park - Pierre Pierregothomes

Mercer Island Schools Foundation Breakfast Video

Mercer Island High School

MIHS School of Rock 4 Don’t Stop Believing – RockwfPizza

Mercer Island H.S. Marching Band - 2012 Bandfest - Music213

Mercer Island H.S. Marching Band - Tournament of Roses Parade 2012 - Danrabold's channel

Mercer Island H.S. Golden Apple Awards - KCTS 9

Bike Riding I-90 Floating Bridge from Mercer Island to Seattle - Alexwarrior1

Summer Celebration - Richard Sprague

Class Reunion at the Roanoke Tavern - Kickboxkitty's channel

Mercer Island Deer in a Backyard Garden - 2013 - Conner Webster

Global Diving & Salvage - Mercer Island Sewer Line Replacement in Lake Washington - Christian Castro

Mercer Island Resident Rabbi Daniel Lapin Speaks at El Shaddai Ministries

St. Monica Parish School

Farmers Market - Richard Sprague

Mercer Island Farmers Market Website

Keewaydin Clubhouse - Wikipedia

Driving on Mercer Island - Matthijs Hoekstra

Mercer Island Mission Fund - GeorgeBuford

Cops on Mercer Island - GeorgeBuford

Pioneer Park on Mercer Island - Alaric von Teplitz

Mercer Island View - Pioneer Park - City of Mercer Island

Mercer Island View - History of the I-90 Bridge - City of Mercer Island

Mercer Island View - Fire Department - City of Mercer Island

Fire Station 92 Replacement Project - January through May 2014 Progress - City of Mercer Island

Mercer Island View - Island Crest Way & Merrimount Traffic Solutions Planning - City of Mercer Island

Mercer Island View - Emergency Preparedness - Part I - City of Mercer Island

Mercer Island View - Emergency Preparedness - Part II - City of Mercer Island

Cash&Carry: Committed to Customers - Gregory Bordeau

Freshy's Seafood Commercial Spot - Gregory Bourdeau

Mercer Island Real Estate - Zillow

Know What’s Below, Call Before You Dig

Pest Control and Extermination Services for Mercer Island - Trey Shelton

Bee, Wasp, Hornet and Yellow Jacket Nest Removal for Mercer Island - Trey Shelton

Beaver, Otter, Mt. Beaver and Raccoon Trapping for Mercer Island - Trey Shelton

Shockwave™ Mole Control, Removal and Extermination for Mercer Island - Trey Shelton

Tree Removal, Topping and Thinning - Mike Green

Real Estate Services – Joey McCune

Real Estate Services - E. J. Bowlds

Real Estate Services - Sarah Ford

Real Estate Services - Ricklie Stone and Ron Waxman

Real Estate Services - Stephen Saunders

Real Estate Services - Charlotte Kossow

Real Estate Services - Wendy Lister

Real Estate Services - Debbie Walter

Real Estate Services - Stephen Macdonald

Real Estate Services - Bryan Loveless

Strategies for Negotiating Inspections – Mike Winkler & E J Bowlds (As a General Contractor, Trey Performs Specific Issue and Pest Control Related Work to Seller|Buyer Complete Satisfaction)

Air Duct Cleaning

Roofing Services

Roof Repair Services – Dan Everts

Drainage and Structural Services

Home Inspections – Mark Daughtry

Precision Turf Equipment – Dan Robinson

Handicraftsman Services – Roger McColley

Professional Painting Services - Matt Elam and PJ Clarke

Irrigation, Lighting, Backflow Device Testing, Service & Repair - Dave Sheldon

Ballard Ornamental Ironworks, Inc. - Douglas and David Farage

Tom McIntosh Glass and Glazing - Tom McIntosh

Fasteners, Tools, Maintenance & Shop Supplies

Fireplace Heating Products

Woodworking Power Tools, Bits & Hand Tools

Premium Cedar, Exotic Hardwoods, Custom Milling

Home Improvement & Outdoor Equipment – Monroe

Home Improvement & Outdoor Equipment – Snohomish

Household Maintenance Products & Materials, Hardware & Supplies

Paint & Decorating | Wood Finishes | Expert Tint Matching

Premium Quality Paints – The Professional Painters Paint Store

Earl’s Lakeview Barber Shop - Traditional Old School Shop with Mounts on the Wall, Sports Memorabilia & Outdoors Conversation in Kirkland – Five Stars

Kirkland Transmission – Transmissions, Fuel Injectors, & Trustworthy Service (Tony Helps Keep My Trucks On the Road ~ Trey)

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