My Sunday Morning Education: The Bindlestick: Coffee House, Pub, Live Music (Today) and an Ode to the Hobo!

I learn something new everyday and lately a lot of my new-found smarts come from Living Snoqualmie readers who contact me to let me know about their business, event, organization, fundraising.

This week I got a quick education on The Bindlestick, the little coffee shop and pub wedged in between old Snoqualmie city hall and the long-time barber shop.  Prior to 2011, The Bindlestick was Koko Beans coffee shop – and even further back in time it was the former home of Snoqualmie’s original florist, Down to Earth.  How many of you remember that trivia tid-bit?

Owner Hilary Shemanski says when she bought Koko Beans 1 ½ years ago she changed the name and the interior because she wanted to tie it together with the railway museum a little better.  Hilary explains, “My store has an ode to the hobo.”

A bindle stick is the stick on which hobos carried their bindles (bags, packs, knotted up handkerchiefs) on their travels.  The Bindlestick has an ode to the men and women who were pushed from their homes during the Great Depression, sometimes solely because their families couldn’t afford to keep them around.  They would travel the country, hopping trains with their bindle sticks looking for work, often times not realizing there was none to be found.

Along with my education about the origins of The Bindlestick name and its tie to the railway, I also learned Hilary tries to host live music every Sunday at 2PM on the store’s back patio –  except the super crazy Sundays like during Railroad Days and when Thomas the Train is in town.  Today, July 1st, The Bindlestick features Danea Dean, an accoustic folk rock singer.

Live Music on Bindlestick’s back patio last summer.

Hilary will also be hosting a “hobo feed” on August 16th in The Bindlestick parking lot to raise money for the railway museum.  Food will be provided by Black Dog Café; live music from Baby Gramps;  and a cigar lounge area sponsored by the Snoqualmie Tobacco Liquor Co.

Have something about the valley you want to educate me on?  If so, drop an email to  You may end up being featured next Sunday morning.  Have a great day Snoqualmie Valley!

Bindlestick’s comfy interior

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