History Highlights

Snohomish History

Snohomish was founded in 1859 and in 1861 was established as the county seat.   See the town clock commemorating the incorporating of the City of Snohomish located at First Street and Avenue A.  See if you can find the “OOPS” on our clock. (Hint: what happened to the 11th hour?) In 1895 Snohomish lost the county seat to Everett, still a matter of questionable ballot counting.

During the 1880’s and 1890’s the Seattle, Lakeshore & Eastern railroad line ran through Snohomish.  In 1884, the local sawmill was producing 20,000 board feet of lumber per day.  Loggers came to town for to visit local “tonsorial parlors”, we are sure just for the public baths.  To get their work clothes washed they visited “Soap Suds Row” where mill worker wives did their laundry.  See these Row houses on Avenue A between 2nd and 3rd Street.

Destructive fires have hit hard throughout the history of Snohomish.  On Memorial Day 1911 a disastrous fire struck First Street and everything between Avenues B and C was destroyed. The fire the end of the day the fire destroyed 35 businesses. In 1974 the Seattle-Snohomish Mill was totally destroyed by fire.  Rebuilt, the site has remained a lumber mill until 2016.

During the Great Depression, one of the town's largest employers, Bickford Ford, was founded in 1934 by Lawrence Bickford, remaining open until today. That era also gave us home town recognition with Baseball great, Earl Averill who was born and raised in Snohomish.  A Hall of Famer, Averill played mostly with the Cleveland Indians from 1929 to 1941.

In 1973 the City adopted a Historic District Ordinance and in 1974 the Historic Business and Residential Districts were placed on the national Register of Historic Places.

In 1975 a catastrophic flood destroyed or damaged 300 homes with a loss of 3,500 head of cattle and other livestock.  Thankfully no human lost his life in that flood.  See the watermark on the side of the TODO Mexico Restaurant Building, 1011 First Street.

The G.A.R. (Grand Army of the Republic) Cemetery was established in 1889 by the G.A.R.'s Morton Post 110 of Snohomish, the historic cemetery is one of two in the Puget Sound area and the only independently active and maintained Civil War G.A.R. cemetery in the State of Washington. Approximately two hundred Union veterans are buried within the grounds. Highlighting the northwest corner of the premises is the G.A.R. monument.

Dedicated in 1914, this obelisk-topped edifice features representations of the cavalry, navy and artillery surrounding and supporting a southern-facing, full-sized, uniformed and armed infantry sentry, alertly standing guard over his sleeping comrades in arms.

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