Monohon beginnings: Donnelly Post Office opens on February 5, 1885.

  • By Greg Lange
  • Posted 12/07/1998
  • Essay 456
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On February 5, 1885, the Donnelly Post Office opens with Simon Donnelly as the first postmaster. The office is in King County on the southwest shore of Squak Lake (now Lake Samammish), where a sawmill had been set up by Donnelly and a Mr. McMahone.

Mill on the Lake

On December 10, 1888, the name of the post office changed to Monohon. Around this time, the sawmill, now under the ownership of Watson Allen and Albert L. Nelson, moved to the site of the homestead of Martin Monohon, on the east shore of Squak Lake. The newly named Allen & Nelson Mill Co. now had access to the recently completed Seattle, Lake Shore & Eastern Railway. The mill provided lumber to rebuild Seattle after the Great Fire of 1889, and suppled the owners' pile-driving and construction business, mostly on the Seattle waterfront. The Monohon Mill and surrounding town were destroyed by fire on June 26, 1925. 


Guy Reed Ramsey, "Postmarked Washington, 1850-1960," Microfilm (Olympia: Washington State Library, February, 1966), 614-615; Clarence Bagley, History of King County, Washington Vol. 1 (Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1929), 770-771; R. L. Polk & Co., Oregon Washington and Idaho Gazetteer and Business Directory, 1889-90 Vol. 4 (Portland: R. L. Polk, 1889), 673. R. L. Polk & Co., Oregon Washington and Idaho Gazetteer and Business Directory, 1891-92 Vol. 5 (Portland: R. L. Polk, 1892), 861; Erik Erikson, "Whatever happened to Monohon?" Issaquah History Online website ( monohon_erickson_june2000.htm). Note: This entry was expanded and corrected on July 9, 2005. The correct name of the town, frequently misspelled Monohan, is Monohon, named after the 1877 homesteader Martin Monohon.

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