The beach is named for Middleton M. Chism, who was the owner of the eighteen acres of land. Chism purchased the land in 1940, and originally used it for a summer home, spending the rest of the year in Seattle.
He eventually made his summer escape into his family’s year-round home. Chism built a cabin, a pier and put in extensive landscaping on his property.
He held out against property developers who were interested in dividing up the almost 1,000 feet of continuous waterfront. In 1965, a Parks Bond allowed for the purchase of Chism Beach from the family, for just over $250,000, which included the donation of nine acres. The park was developed in 1966, and until 1988, was Bellevue’s largest swimming beach.
This information and image were provided by the Eastside Heritage Center. To learn more about Bellevue and Eastside history, contact the Eastside Heritage Center at 425-450-1049 or visit www.EastsideHeritageCenter.org.