100 years ago, simpler times, tougher rules applied in North Bend | Then & Now

Two men linger by the North Bend jailhouse circa 1910.  - Photo courtesy Snoqualmie Valley Historical Society
Two men linger by the North Bend jailhouse circa 1910.
— image credit: Photo courtesy Snoqualmie Valley Historical Society

The North Bend of 100 years ago was a simpler place. But the rules were a bit tougher than today.

Minutes from North Bend’s council meetings circa 1909 to 1914, when the town was first created, show that the modern world was still coalescing. The city had to deal with the phenomenons like electricity, speeding automobiles—and smallpox.

Strong winds in 1909 prompted the council to appoint two night watchmen.

The next year, the city was dealing with local smallpox cases. In June of 1910, the city paid $5 to the North Bend Hospital, Inc., for care of Alex Anderson, $2 to Thomas Liddle for a stove for a smallpox patient, $3 for services for a smallpox patient, and $55 to a G.S. Moore for “putting a big tree in place.”

In March of 1910 the town council held a special session to discuss a businessman’s proposal for a local electric lighting franchise. A newspaper was also being published. That year, the Snoqualmie Valley News was named the official paper for the town of North Bend.

May 18, 1912, was chosen as North Bend’s Park Day.

Bans and curfews

On June 12, 1911, the town council decided to ban “fireworks, torpedoes, sky-rockets, Roman Candles and explosives of any sort,” anywhere in the city, with the sole exception of the area “southwest of the Railway tracks.”

The same day, it was decided that the town curfew bell would ring at 9:30 p.m. nightly, April through September, and at 8:30 p.m., October through March. All children under the age of 15 were forbidden to loiter on any street after the bell rang. This law went into effect on June 20.

In February of 1912, a citizen made a complaint against another man for violating the town’s peddling ordnance. A Fred Ellis was reported to be peddling meat around town; that violation needed to be stopped, W.C. Robinson said.

In April of 1912, the town declared that anyone riding a bicycle “or any other vehicle” on the sidewalks was to be arrested, and a fine of at least $5 be collected.

Two years later, the town passed a motion that set the town speed limit at 12 miles per hour. Breaking the limit meant a penalty of between $5 to $50, or 10 days to six months in jail.


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