Cedar River Watershed newsletter, Issue 31
Discover Learn Connect
Connecting people to the source of Seattle's drinking water, inspiring confidence, stewardship and sustainability.
Questions? Comments? Contact Cedar River Watershed Education Center
or (206) 733-9421

There's No Place Like Home


The Cedar Falls Hotel, owned by James Potts, located in the town of Cedar Falls (formerly named Moncton).

For over 50 years the Cedar River Watershed was a bustling place where people worked and lived. During the late 1800’s people flocked to the area to harvest the rich resources of the land. Logging, mining, the transcontinental railroad and municipal construction projects lured laborers with high pay that offered a one-way ticket to a more prosperous future. Amidst the hustle and bustle, company towns sprang up to house workers. Generally the land and homes were owned by the company, while workers occupied them during employment; however, sometimes employees owned their own homes. Most company towns boomed and busted, some more than once, between the 1890’s and the 1950’s. The last industrial town in the watershed was shuttered in 1947, but the municipal town continued to be inhabited for many years after that.

Company towns were relatively self-contained, usually consisting of boarding houses for young bachelors, homes for families, a school or two, and numerous amenities including grocery stores, hotels, dance halls, saloons, and sports areas like tennis courts and baseball fields. Close-knit communities developed in these often isolated locations. Some of the company towns had adjacent areas housing Japanese workers who contributed significantly to the labor force.

Although there were up to a dozen distinct, organized company communities, there were only four established towns within the Cedar River Watershed boundaries. Visit the Cedar River Watershed Education Center or register for a tour to learn more about these remarkable places!

Did You Know?

Salmon in the Cedar River

A volunteer naturalist points out salmon in the Cedar River.

Autumn is salmon viewing season!

  • Chinook, coho, and sockeye salmon journey back to the Cedar River to spawn.
  • Salmon stop eating when they transition from saltwater to freshwater.
  • Each female lays 3,000 eggs in the gravels of the Cedar River.
  • Only one to two of those will survive to adulthood.

This October, see these incredible creatures on the Cedar River Salmon Journey in Renton and Maple Valley!

Breaking News

Upcoming Programs

Adventures in Forest Ecology
September 17
9:00am – 4:00pm
Get Tickets Now >

Twilight Towns of the Watershed: Cedar Falls
September 18 & October 2
1:00pm – 3:00pm
Get Tickets Now >

Twilight Towns of the Watershed: Taylor
September 24 & October 1
1:00pm – 3:00pm
Get Tickets Now >

Cedar River Salmon Journey
October 1, 2, 8, 9, 15, 16, 22, 23
11:00am – 4:00pm
Learn More >

Fascinating Fungi
October 15 & 16
9:00am – 2:00pm
Get Tickets Now >

Browse & register for programs >

Visit Us

Education Center

19901 Cedar Falls Rd SE
North Bend, WA 98045

April thru October
Tuesday - Sunday
10:00am - 5:00pm

November thru March
Tuesday - Sunday
10:00am - 4:00pm

Rattlesnake Lake Recreation Area

19901 Cedar Falls Rd SE
North Bend, WA 98045
All Year
6:00am – Dusk


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Cedar River Watershed  email   |  (206) 733-9421  |  (425) 831-6780