LETTER | Kirkland's annexation history repeats itself
May 19, 2011 · Updated 5:00 PM
Every annexation, merger or incorporation has a period of dissension and discord. With the new annexation to Kirkland, it is history repeating itself.
Kirkland became a city in 1905 after several failed attempts. King County fought our incorporation and many citizens fought it. Finally on Oct. 7, 1905, Kirkland became a town. We had 400 citizens with only 300 required.
Within days, the citizens felt the sticker shock of living in the town of Kirkland. The annual liquor license went from $300 to $800. Kirkland residents could no longer pick up cordwood from the city dock. There was a new dog license and every family had at least three dogs. And the cows had to stay home in their pastures. Before incorporation, the cows had a free reign.
So what did the new citizens do? They gathered signatures and filed to be dis-incorporated ... and it was still 1905! They had the required signatures but the new city fathers found a way to keep the petition from being filed. The petition lapsed and eventually compromises were reached and it is now all a happy robust history.
Had Peter Kirk never arrived in 1888, the original Kirkland town site may have remained Houghton. Juanita was the hub of the Eastside waterfront in the 1870’s and early 1880’s. Without Peter Kirk, Juanita may have joined Bothell or incorporated as Juanita.
So much changed when Peter Kirk and investors purchased the farmland and plated the town site of Kirkland in 1888. Kirkland became the hub, the Juanita Bridge was built and the communities joined in spirit and friendship.
No matter which way our history has gone, there was always been a period of conflict. And if history continues to repeat itself, it will all work out.
Now, this has been history - the cold hard facts. But there is usually some human interest in history if you care to research deep enough. Kirkland’s two main adversaries during the incorporation/dis-incorporation saga had something special in common. They were fathers. Their children were classmates at Central School, now the site of Kirkland City Hall. Their son and daughter married in 1917 with Reverend Newberry officiating. Nothing like shared grandchildren to mend fences.
Loita Hawkinson, Kirkland Heritage Society president