First Snoqualmie Valley Teacher Honored with Naming of Thompson Avenue, a Short Hop from Today’s Cascade View Elementary

When Snoqualmie Ridge developed over 15 years ago, great thought went into the naming of its streets.  City officials wanted those new streets to have historical meaning.  To accomplish that, the help of Dave Battey and the Snoqualmie Valley Historical Museum was enlisted.  With their help, some early pioneers of the Snoqualmie Valley, as well as the Valley’s agricultural roots, were forever immortalized on shiny new street signs.

One of the shorter streets on Snoqualmie Ridge, Thompson Ave, has a deep history, rooted in Snoqualmie Valley education and tracing all the way back to the late 19th century Lulu Thompson - Valley School Teacher Enhwhen formalized schooling first developed in the area.  Today, Thompson Ave sits just a couple of blocks from Cascade View Elementary, the first school built on Snoqualmie Ridge.

The early Snoqualmie Valley pioneer attempts at educating local children (teachers hired by parents) were highly variable, so when a school district was finally formed in the late 1800’s, the district carefully chose their first teacher, Lulu Thompson.

Lurisse “Lulu” Thompson was just 19 when she first taught class in a hop warehouse building on No. 3 Hop Field in 1888, near today’s oil storage tanks by the entrance to the Mount Si Golf Course on Boalch Ave.  One source even states that Lulu began attending Washington Territorial University when she was only 15-years old, teaching school during the summer and attending the university (where Seattle’s Olympic Hotel is located) during the winter.

Lulu was a local girl, growing up in the wilderness of the Snoqualmie River’s North Fork, at the end of what is now Reinig Road.  In fact, the home was so remote that early Snoqualmie pioneers even had trouble finding the Thompson farm. According to the 1889 Territorial Census, the Thompson family consisted of  Lulu’s father, D. A. Thompson, age 48; his wife Nancy, 40; Lulu, 20; Frank, 15; Mary 12 and Clyde, 10.

The Thompson farm was later purchased by Dio Reinig in 1890, as it was adjacent to his parent’s farm, and the street running through the area became Reinig Road.  Around 1936, Dio Reinig requested that Lulu note the names of her very first 1888 class captured in a historical photo – with all the names spelled correctly.

Lulu’s sister Mary, a student of that first Snoqualmie Valley 1888 class, also became a local teacher, later working alongside Lulu in Fall City.  There is evidence that Lulu moved to the Klondike during the gold rush, and that her brother William later died in Alaska.

If anyone knows more about Lulu Thompson’s life, or the Thompson family, please contact the Snoqualmie Valley Historical Society. Photos courtesy of the Snoqualmie Valley Historical Museum.

 

First Snoqualmie Valley School Class, with teacher Lulu Thompson,  on Hop Ranch in 1888

First Snoqualmie Valley School Class, with teacher Lulu Thompson, on Hop Ranch in 1888

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