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

  • By Greg Lange
  • Posted 12/07/1998
  • Essay 456
See Additional Media

On February 5, 1885, the Donnelly Post Office opens. Simon Donnelly is the first postmaster. The original location was in King County on the southwest shore of Squak Lake (later Lake Samammish). This was the location of a sawmill set up by Donnelly and a Mr. McMahone.

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.


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, OR: Published by R. L. Polk, 1889), 673. R. L. Polk & Co., Oregon Washington and Idaho Gazetteer and Business Directory, 1891-92 Vol. 5 (Portland, OR: Published by R. L. Polk, 1892), 861; Erik Erikson, "Whatever happened to Monohon?" Issaquah History Online website ( monohon_erickson_june2000.htm).
Note: This essay 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.

Licensing: This essay is licensed under a Creative Commons license that encourages reproduction with attribution. Credit should be given to both and to the author, and sources must be included with any reproduction. Click the icon for more info. Please note that this Creative Commons license applies to text only, and not to images. For more information regarding individual photos or images, please contact the source noted in the image credit.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License
Major Support for Provided By: The State of Washington | Patsy Bullitt Collins | Paul G. Allen Family Foundation | Museum Of History & Industry | 4Culture (King County Lodging Tax Revenue) | City of Seattle | City of Bellevue | City of Tacoma | King County | The Peach Foundation | Microsoft Corporation, Other Public and Private Sponsors and Visitors Like You