Are you familiar with the history of our neighborhood? If so, contact rodneyr@gmail.com to contribute to this page!

The neighborhood of South Rose Hill was annexed to the City of Kirkland in 1988. The Rose Hill Neighborhood Plan contains a history section with more detail. The Bridle Trails neighborhood was annexed in pieces, from 1968 to 2009, as detailed in the Bridle Trails Neighborhood Plan.

The Kirkland Heritage Society has a written record of Rose Hill taken from Ms. Hazel Belts. Note that "Rose Hill," before the building of Interstate 405 in the 1960s, included the Highlands neighborhood and some of Houghton. Sheffield Street, by the way, is now 116th Ave. NE. Let's reproduce Ms. Belts' account here, in case it disappears from elsewhere:


The growth of the community of Rose Hill is the story of development of all the eastside: When the first people settled here, homes were few indeed. No roads were here for travel; footpaths from this house and that to the ferry made pleasant walking in the summer and disagreeable plodding in the winter rains. It was in 1912 that the country-side was platted in the acre plots by Burke and Farrar, and some roads were used for horse and buggy trade.

Kirkland became known when the steel mill was publicized and a railroad spur was built from Woodinville to a spot along Slater Street. A railroad depot was built at the junction of Sheffield and Slater streets. One short spur led to a saw-mill on Lake Kirkland and another to the steel plant.

The plans of mice and men fail. The steel mill did not materialize. Only a shell of a building, a foundation, the frame and some corrugated tin was erected where the Rose Hill school now stands at 122 Avenue N.E. and 90th Street. Other foundations were begun across the street, but they never amounted to more than holes in the ground.

Sheffield Busy Place

Sheffield street was the center of population in the early days, for here there were six houses. Some of them still stand. Here there was also the first rural shopping center of the eastside, three grocery stores and a butcher shop. F. Whalen retired and A. W. Clawson operated that store, Fred Lietha and Will Acker were the grocers and H. E. La-Marty the meat-man.

A very old house stands at Four Corners, the original front part is built of hand hewn logs and the old nails are square. Mr. and Mrs. J. C. Cathcart live there. ‘ They are both old-timers. Mrs. Cathcart can shut her eyes and see the three houses between 132nd Avenue and Kirkland their log cabin, the Andreen home, and the old house next the county shed on Redmond Hiway.

The direct road to Redmond was Kirkland Avenue. It ran due east. Over two deep gullies were bridges, and when these burned the old highway or “Blacktop” was built in 1912. To make the property south more accessible, the road curves in wide sweeps. This road was the first paved highway in King County, and some claim, in the state.

The new highway to Redmond was opened in 1928. There is still another route farther north, along Slater Street and the county farm road. Many years ago the county farm or “The Stockade” for the county prisoners was in operation out there.

Rose Hill Like Utopia

In these good old days there were no herd laws in force on the hill. Cows were pastured along the trails. Milk was got from your own cow or that of the neighbor. And every family kept a few chickens. Utopia-like.

Each ranchette had its own well. There was, however, a water system of a kind. Abundant springs gushing from a hillside provided a steady stream of clear cold water. Through wooden pipes this water was carried to each household as far west as Sheffield. Before a water system was established, the county built a small reservoir on 122nd Avenue N.E. to catch the overflow, to be used in case of fire. On 132nd Avenue N.E., there is a water-tower where water was forced up from the gully east by a ram installed by Dr. Crawford Warren of Seattle. This is still in operation.

In the early days the boys and girls walked along the meanandering paths to school in Grote’s hall on Sheffield Street where C. E. Boyce was the teacher. About 1913 the first school was Duilt, a two-storied building, where Mr. Boyce was principal and Miss Laura Miller one of the other teachers. This building burned in 1921 and was replaced by the one that still stands and is used now as the school for exceptional children.

School In Church

The Presbyterian Church was about finished when it was time for school to reopen in 1921 and it was in this building that the school was held. School lunches weren’t a requisite in those days, but the Rose Hill ladies served a hot lunch even then. Mrs. Martin Larson and Mrs. Walter Fiske were among those who carried the big kettles of soup to school at noon. And this custom has never stop