The McCluskey family


Peter and Elizabeth McCluskey (sometimes spelled McCloskey) were married in Ireland in the early 1870s. Elizabeth’s twin sister married a Mr. Finnegan at the same time, and together the four young people immigrated to America by sailing around the Horn.

They arrived in San Francisco in 1875, and immediately ferried up to the Seattle area. The two couples journeyed east, traveling over the Newcastle Hill to arrive in the Squak Valley to homestead.

The McCluskeys claimed 80 acres stretching east from the railroad depot to where the train trestle stood. The Finnegans took the 80 acres north of that, but did not like living in “the woods” and eventually returned to Seattle.

Peter and Elizabeth continued to farm and log their land. It turned out to be a wise investment. As the town boomed in the 1880s and 90s, they sold off prime lots in the “McCluskey Addition” which covered almost the entire northeast section of downtown.

They also donated land for the original St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, which stood for years on Sunset Way. It was not far from their big family home that was located on the site of today’s Issaquah Fire Station.

The McCluskeys had four children: Tom, who died in 1906; Peter, who married Pearl Tibbetts; Katherine, who married James Gregory; and Elizabeth, who remained a spinster. Peter and Pearl’s daughter, Lavera McCluskey Mitchell, and her daughters and granddaughter are the last descendents of the family still living in the Issaquah area.