A History of the Sno-Valley Senior Center by Marge Qualls
Once Upon A Time, in the early 1970’s, a hobby club was formed in the community for the enjoyment of elders during their retirement years. From this beginning, the Sno-Valley Senior Citizens (our legal name) was officially chartered September 1, 1975 as an independent organization, serving the lower Snoqualmie Valley. The group met in various locations throughout Carnation, including in its own original building which is currently the home of Hopelink.
In the mid 1980’s the Sno-Valley Seniors joined the United Way sponsored Senior Services of Seattle-King County (now known as Sound Generations), becoming one of several senior centers under that umbrella organization.
In 1992 the Sno-Valley Seniors took out a mortgage to purchase this building and many volunteers worked long hours to make it livable as our new official permanent home.
In the late 1990’s the adjoining property, including the parking lot and the small rental house, was added. Donations from supporters of the Center, affectionately known as “Friends Forever”, paid for this acquisition.
In 2000 the King County Council voted to give the Sno-Valley Seniors $57,000 to finish paying off the mortgage on this building. Finally, The Sno-Valley Senior Activity Center was really ours!
Built in 1925, this building was originally the Independent Order Odd Fellows (I.O.O.F.) Hall, and was also used as a meeting place for several other organizations. Subsequently, the building went through several diverse ownerships and uses in its history – as a furniture manufacturing plant, a dance hall, a skating rink and, now, the Sno-Valley Senior Activity Center!
Remember mention of the little rental house that was part of the purchase of the parking lot property in the late 1990’s. The Sno-Valley Seniors continued to rent the house to a family for several more years. Then, after some paid renovations, lots of hard work by volunteers, and donations from the community, that little house was opened in October of 2009 as “RE-IN-CARNATION”. Our popular and productive thrift store continues to receive donations to support our Activity Center and is operated by volunteers.
In 2011, King County grant monies initiated the remodel of the Sno-Valley Senior Activity Center building to create more space for classrooms, activities and services for a growing population of Snoqualmie Valley seniors. Among the building’s improvements was the restoration of the Main Room ceiling that had been removed many years earlier to accommodate some over-sized organ pipes installed in one of the building’s previous lives. Additional King County grants and donations from our supporters enabled completion of the building’s upgrades and amenities.
Serving Carnation, Duvall, Fall City, and surrounding areas, the Sno-Valley Senior Activity Center has become a hub of activity for seniors in the Snoqualmie Valley and, for the hundreds of volunteers of all ages who make this a warm and inviting place for all who gather here.