Lake Sammamish is part of the accustomed fishing area of several Native American tribes.
When European settlers began arriving in the newly formed town of Issaquah in the mid-to-late 1800s, the area along the lake’s southern shoreline that now makes up Sammamish State Park was quickly developed for farming. The Anderson farm, established in the late 1870s, was situated north of the small soccer fields at the park’s eastern edge. John and Addie Anderson ran a successful dairy farm on 210 acres for many years before passing the property on to their children. At one point their farm was responsible for about a third of the milk produced in Squak Valley.
Another dairy farm built by Albert Giese in 1898 was located at the site of the park’s boat launch and group camp to the east of East Lake Sammamish Parkway. The farm was sold in 1952 to Hans Jensen, who willed it to the state five years later.
The first 40 acres of the park were purchased by the State of Washington in 1950 from John and Addie Anderson’s descendants. The remaining 170 acres of the former Anderson farm were purchased the following year. The Gunderson farm was soon purchased to provide additional acreage and an access road.
On July 27, 1952, the park was officially opened to the public. The park quickly became popular with residents of Issaquah and the surrounding community as a place to swim and have group picnics.