A Short History
The Region's Geology
Approximately 14,000 years ago, the Sammamish Valley was carved out by the Vashon
Glacier as it melted and retreated. The continual flooding caused by seasonal storms
and glacial melt deposited fertile topsoil throughout the valley. The glacial till
found in upland areas supported lush forests of cedar, spruce, and fir with an abundance
The Sammamish Valley area was originally inhabited by members of the Coast Salish
Tribe, who relied on the web of waterways for salmon and transportation. In the 1870s,
the area saw an influx of white settlers that grew precipitously once the Seattle,
Lake Shore & Eastern Railroad laid tracks in 1887.
The region's early economy was driven by the lumber and shingle industries. The waterways
continued to play a significant role, as many were used to float logs downstream to
sawmills. Around the turn of the 20th century, the forests that ran alongside North
Creek and the Sammamish Slough had been cleared for agriculture and ranching.
The campus, which we share with the University of Washington Bothell, now occupies one of those ranches. This picturesque property, situated between a forested hillside and the North Creek was once known as the Boone-Truly cattle ranch. In 1995, the state purchased the property and Cascadia opened its doors to students in 2000. As the newest community college in the state, Cascadia has quickly built a national reputation for its high transfer rate and innovative approach to student-centered learning.