Did you know?

This week marks a new feature in the Snoqualmie Valley Record. At the suggestion of Snoqualmie reader Jeremy Fursman, the Valley Record presents "Did you know?" The new feature will briefly highlight something unique to the Snoqualmie Valley. Ever wonder how something got its name? Ever wonder why something is the way it is? If you have an idea for a future edition, please e-mail editor Travis Peterson at or give him a call (425) 888-2311. Here's the first subject:

The story of the noon-time whistle

Residents of Snoqualmie get a reminder of the time every day at noon. That is when the Snoqualmie Fire Department blares a siren from the top of its River Street station. The siren, a six-second siren on a timer, sounds every day of the week, except for Sunday.

Ed Wentz, owner of Wentz Electronics and former volunteer firefighter, has serviced the siren for years. He said the siren was originally put in place in 1959 to summon volunteer firefighters and needed to be tested on a regular basis, hence the noon-time whistle. Once firefighters had the ability to be called by other means, the siren stayed since many residents used it to mark lunchtime.

The siren briefly went on a respite when District 10 took over the fire department for a couple of years, but Wentz demanded it still be sounded. Wentz got City Council support and the siren continued to sound.

Snoqualmie firefighters say they get calls complaining about the siren, both when it sounds and when it fails to sound.

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