Updated: May 24
By Paige Norman
The Isackson family history in Redmond begins when John and Johanna (Jonsson) Bengston arrived in Redmond in 1887, homesteading 160 acres in Happy Valley with her husband John. Johanna’s brothers Charles, Isaac Gust, and Albert Jonsson followed in the 1890’s during the Gold Rush, changing the family name to Isackson and staying with their sister on the homestead.
Charles Isackson married Anna Carlson and built a cabin for his family of 10 on 80 acres gifted to him by John and Johanna. Duane’s father, Henry, was one of Charles and Anna’s children, and Duane’s aunt, Edith, married George Magnuson. Duane and Gene Magnuson, another Redmond Historical Society volunteer and Lifetime Member, are cousins through George and Edith!
Joanne’s father Donald Meier came to Washington state during the Depression, and moved from Seattle to the west side, north end of Lake Sammamish in 1942, with his bride Mary (Nelsen). Don worked at the Houghton shipyards, and along with Mary and several other families, were founding members of Faith Lutheran Church. Four generations of Joanne’s family have been active at the Happy Valley Grange, beginning in the 1940’s, with her grandmother, Elizabeth Green.
While Duane attended Fall City Elementary, Redmond Junior High, and graduated from Lake Washington High School in 1959; Joanne attended Redmond schools, graduating from Lake Washington High School in 1961. If not for their families’ involvement in the Happy Valley Grange, Duane and Joanne might have never met!
Currently Duane is the Grange Master of the Happy Valley Grange and along with Dale Potter, continues to operate the sawmill his father, Henry opened in 1936. Fall City Historical Society has two videos about the historic Isackson Mill.
Joanne and Duane celebrated 60 years of marriage in May 2022 and are still an active part of the Redmond community through their continued involvement in the Happy Valley Grange and Redmond Historical Society. Joanne gifted a Lifetime Membership to Duane, who was presented with his certificate by Society President, John Oftebro at the March 2022 meeting of the Happy Valley Grange.
Redmond Historical Society appreciates all our members! We have a level for every budget and memberships make great gifts for the history lover in your family!