2012: Mirrormont’s 50th Anniversary

February 20, 2017 History0

While Seattle celebrated the 50th Anniversary of Seattle World’s Fair, Mirrormont had our own 50th Anniversary. In 1962, the first three homes were built here. On September 22, 2012 — 50 years to the day from the Grand Opening — the Mirrormont Community Association sponsored its biggest party ever with live music, food trucks, games, a wine & beer garden, commemorative tee-shirts & ball caps, historical displays, and a speakers’ panel. I became our resident historian after I was given a box of old documents about our community from Tom Cole, who moved into a Mirrormont A-frame chalet in 1965, when he joined about twenty other residents who wanted to “get away from it all.” Tom said, “Everybody knew everybody, and there were a lot of parties!” He thinks he may now be the second longest resident. Over the years, he helped form Mirrormont Country Club, managed the pool, edited the newsletter, built the original bus shelters, served as Treasurer… and organized parties. Tom alluded to Mirrormont stories about murders, race cars, gambling parties, an African lion, plans for a gravel quarry, and reports of a flying saucer… To me, the most captivating documents in the box were the original sales brochures from the Mirrormont Branch of Seaboard Realty, the exclusive sales agent and broker John Temcov, who has since passed away. Their office was on the corner of Cedar Grove Road and Issaquah-Hobart Road. A full-page ad in a 1970 issue of the Issaquah Press proclaimed:

Mirrormont

Above the Fog, Beyond the Smog in the beautiful Tiger Mountain Highlands

A Residential Park Acre, lots priced from $6,000

Mirrormont was a development of Woodland Properties, Inc., under the direction of Rodney L. Loveless. We owe the vision and creation of Mirrormont to Glenn Nordlie, who died in 2006 at age 80, and Rod Loveless, who currently lives in Bothell with his wife Barbara. I had the pleasure of interviewing Rod and Glenn Nordlie’s son Mark, who grew up helping his dad on projects in Mirrormont.

Another key player was Jim Elder, Sr, who bought 100 to 120 lots selling for $3250 to $7950 each, which sustained the initial financing of Mirrormont. He built the first building on the corner of Hobart Road and Cedar Grove Road, which was a real estate office. In 1971, his Elder Corporation, Realty Division had plans to develop Mirrormont Village, an 8.6-acre business center that never materialized. Jim’s son, Jim Carey Elder, still lives in Mirrormont with his wife, Sharon. The sales brochures had sketches of A-frame chalets, deer, Mt Rainier, dogwood flowers, and tall evergreens. Much of the original vision has materialized, while the 25-minute “swift-moving scenic drive” has become…a bit longer and slower. As in 2012, sales were slow.

Here are a few enticements from the brochures:

Mirrormont Estates

Elegance in country living

680 acres of unspoiled beauty…

Mirrormont is located a 25 minutes drive from Downtown Seattle, 20 minutes from Renton or 35 minutes drive to Tacoma on the new Auburn Freeway. Mirrormont is truly centrally located to the Seattle-Tacoma complex and is connected by swift new highways to the growing population centers east and south of Lake Washington. You will find this lofty plateau 5 miles south of Issaquah on the Hobart Highway near its intersection with the Auburn Freeway. You may drive to it from Rainier Avenue in Seattle without being impeded by one stoplight. Just put yourself on the Sunset Highway, Route 10 and head for the hills. Turn south at the first Issaquah turnoff and drive the remaining 5 miles on the Hobart Highway to the entrance portals of Mirrormont. What is best, is that you will enjoy every minute of the swift-moving scenic drive.

What is Mirrormont?

Mirrormont is a rising new suburban district situated on a spectacular 800 ft. plateau southwest of Tiger Mountain. It overlooks the beautiful Issaquah Valley and stretches of land to the south, West and East. This community and its planned additions presently encompass nearly 700 acres. The objective of this huge development is to provide the Seattle-Tacoma complex with a combination of suburban-residential community which truly provides the much desired aspects of country beauty and spaciousness with the convenience and sophistication of the better residential districts. This objective is the corner stone of the Mirrormont development. We are sure that, with conscientious efforts on our part to nurture this concept and to incorporate it in the development of the beautiful land chosen for this purpose, we can provide our families with a truly wonderful setting for living. What is Mirrormont? In essence it is a big step towards a better way of life.

The Mirrormont Story

Millions of years ago nature decreed that the beautiful two-mile long Mirrormont plateau must always remain peaceful and secluded. This bequest of nature explains why Mirrormont today is a most wanted place to live in, or to own an acre tract for your dream home of tomorrow. Imagine your family living in a wooded park, minutes from office, schools and industry, yet safely and securely outside the roaring city and grinding suburbs. Inside Mirrormont’s forested entrance, waiting for you, is the calming welcome of quiet, winding streets, graceful evergreens, vine maples and dogwood blossoms, elderberry and wild cherry trees, soft ferns, salal, and stately bouquets of wild huckleberries. On the plateau, sunny skies and gentle breezes are yours to enjoy. Here you suddenly become aware of the irreplaceable grandeur and friendship of nature… of Mirrormont. … this is YOUR home.

Points to remember
  • Large, acre-sized tracts
  • Towering evergreens, lush undergrowth
  • Protective covenants
  • Bridle Trails, modern stables, boarding and training facilities
  • Close to skiing, hiking, fishing, and mountain recreation areas; unlimited adventure
  • Wide county roads and excellent school district
  • Underground oil system and underground utilities
  • Minutes from Bellevue, Seattle, Kent, Auburn, Renton and Tacoma
  • Areas set aside for shopping village and community center
  • Permanent privacy
  • Restful seclusion
  • Protection from repetition of homes

Five builders featured in the brochures offered “6 outstanding homes reflecting the ‘Spirit of the 70’s’ from $42,500 to $55,000.”


Fifty years later, lots are assessed here in the order of $140,000 — up a bit from the original average selling price of $6000. We still have deer and forested lots. I don’t know about “elegance”, But Mirrormont remains a unique place to live. Personally, I love it here.

Thanks go to Tom Cole and Jim Elder for sharing their memories.