King County Landmarks: Fall City Hop Shed (1880), Fall City
Address: Fall City Riverfront Park, Fall City. This hop shed in the Fall City area is the last remnant of what was the largest agricultural enterprise in King County during the 1880s -- growing and exporting hops. Hops, an essential ingredient in brewing beer, became a major industry in valleys east and south of Seattle after hop aphids destroyed crops in traditional European hop growing centers. George Davis Rutherford built the rectangular building, measuring about 20 feet square, on a 1,500-acre hop farm near the Snoqualmie River. The building was used to dry hops before shipping, with the large vented cupola creating a draw for the heat generated by stoves. Low prices, the high cost of supplies, and infestation of the hop aphid brought an end to large-scale hop farming in the Snoqualmie Valley around the turn of the century. The building was moved to its present location in 1904, and converted for use as a storage shed. The Fall City Hop Shed Foundation has been instrumental in preservation of the shed, and in 1966 supervised its restoration.