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The City of Kenmore will be celebrating the 25th anniversary of incorporation this August but the history of people living in Kenmore dates back well over 100 years.

We know that in 1888 in what is now the Arrowhead neighborhood, Reuben J. Crocker was the first homesteader, and the first home was built by Albert G. Shears (below).

Likely one of Kenmore’s first real estate plats was Northlake Terrace which was developed in 1912 by Shirl Squire of Squire Investment Company and son of Watson Squire, a future territorial governor and U.S. senator who purchased 198 acres sight-unseen from his father-in-law in what is now central Kenmore.

Lower Moorlands, in the eastern part of Kenmore, saw its first house in 1904. This neighborhood saw significant development after World War I which included the Charles & Elvera Thomson mansion that was built in 1927. This property was also known as Wildcliffe Farm and was a working blueberry farm for many years (below).

Deed Restrictions

Racial deed restrictions were also common in early housing and were prevalent between 1910 and 1960. The Northlake Terrace plat deed restrictions covered 129 properties and stated “neither the said premises nor any house, building or improvement thereon erected shall at any time be occupied by persons of the Ethiopian race, or by Japanese or Chinese or any other Asiatic or Malay race, save and except as domestic servants in the employ of persons not coming within this restriction. None of this property shall be sold, leased, or rented to any person or persons other than of Caucasian race, nor shall any person or persons other than Caucasian race use or occupy said premises”.

These types of restrictions were unfortunately very effective for many years because if an owner/seller violated the restriction, they could be sued and held financially liable. Also, the 1934 National Housing Act was also partly responsible for promoting these covenants. This was passed during the Great Depression to protect affordable housing and was responsible for introducing the practice of “Redlining”. Redlining was the actual drawing of lines on City maps outlining the ideal areas for bank investments and mortgages. The neighborhoods that were blocked off were considered riskier for banks to do business in. This was intended to ensure banks would not overextend financially but it instead increased racial segregation.

Fair Housing Act

In 1968 Congress passed the Fair Housing Act which was a follow up to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The 1968 act included prohibiting discrimination concerning the sale, rental and financing of housing based on race, religion, national origin, sex (which now includes gender identity and sexual orientation) and as amended to include handicap and family status.

Restrictive covenants can be removed from the chain of title on a property through the courts. They are illegal and cannot be enforced so many people do nothing, and they just remain a ugly part of that property’s history.

1998 Home Sales!

Kenmore area homeowners have enjoyed a great deal of appreciation over the years.

Here are some of the home sales from back in 1998 when Kenmore was incorporated:

  • 5 bedroom/3 bath home 3,240 sq ft sold in 1998 for $299,000.
  • 2 bedroom/1 bath home 1,570 sq ft sold in 1998 for $190,000.
  • 4 bedroom/3 bath home 2,880 sq ft sold in 1998 for $259,900.
  • 3 bedroom/2 bath home 2,190 sq ft sold in 1998 for $234,000.
  • 5 bedroom/3 bath home 2,620 sq ft sold in 1998 for $250,000.


The median sales price for a Single-Family Home in Kenmore in June of 2023 was $915,000.00.

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