The fall and winter season in the Skykomish and Snohomish River Valleys is something you don’t want to miss. While we focus on today’s growth, we take a moment to look back at the foundations of our communities and how we got to today.
Lake Stevens captures the history of the mill production area, to the current residential growth of today. Snohomish features the Carnegie and the group that pulled forces together to keep it alive. Monroe introduces their community founders. The Upper Sky Valley highlights how rivers, railroads, and roads connected communities both in past and present.
Be sure to check out our Photo Road Trip locations for some amazing views and attractions. Our Restaurants with Roots points to different local favorites, while we also capture the Dive Bars that have been around for decades, and stay up to date with our calendar of events.
No matter where you look—from the shores of our rivers to the peaks of our mountains— communities gather and celebrate in the Skykomish and Snohomish River Valleys.
Mayor Steven Yarbrough, Gold Bar
Mayor Norm Johnson, Index
Mayor Brett Gailey, Lake Stevens
Mayor Geoffrey Thomas, Monroe
Mayor Henry Sladek, Skykomish
Mayor Linda Redmon, Snohomish
Mayor Russell Wiita, Sultan
Table of Contents
4 Lake Stevens has reimagined itself through the ages.
10 City of Lake Stevens honors water tower history with new installation.
11 The history of the Grimm House transports you back to simpler times.
14 The spirit of community is alive and well at the Snohomish Carnegie Building, a beloved gathering space that was given a new lease on life after extensive renovations.
18 Send a shiver down your spine with some of the most famous ghost stories of Snohomish.
20 Sweater weather is here! Traditions old and new set the stage for fall and winter festivities in Snohomish.
24 Come along as we highlight the founders of Monroe and the parts of history still standing today.
28 Take a look back in time at two historical houses that still call Monroe home.
29 Follow along as we take you through the historical art locations around Monroe.
32 Discover the rich history through the evolution of transportation that shaped the Skykomish River Valley and the surrounding areas.
36 Learn how the tiny roadside attraction built in the 1960s, the Wayside Chapel, was restored to its former glory.
38 Bank to commerce, brothel to books, meat to mercantile, telegraphs to moonshine, and pharmacy to natural health. Take a peek at the progression of Main Street in Sultan.
Lake Stevens: From the Mill to Resorts, and BeyondBy Richard Porter
Imagine historical Lake Stevens.
Close your eyes and, for a moment, just forget about the city as it is today. Forget about Frontier Village, set aside the two major highways, and disregard the housing that surrounds the deepest lake in Snohomish County.
Sometimes we can forget that the world looked very different before the advent of automobiles and pavement. “Lake Stevens” of the early days... well, wasn’t really Lake Stevens as we know it today.
In the late 1800s, the Northern Pacific Railway line to the east of the lake generated a city called Hartford. This was the first large outpost in the area. Hartford, at the intersection of two key rail lines, was so prominent in the region that it warranted several mentions in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. (You may recognize the paved Northern Pacific track bed today as the Centennial Trail).
Lake Stevens, the city, didn’t appear on maps until the 1910s, several decades after Hartford was well established. The giant glacial lake is reportedly named after Governor Isaac Stevens. Stevens was a highly controversial leader of the Territory of Washington.
Hartford seems to have been a rough-and-tumble frontier town. It was the terminus for the rail line that ran out to the mining town of Monte Cristo, deep in the Cascade Mountains. An early map of Hartford shows town establishments such as a “saloon owned by Billie and Mattie Jones. Girlie room above & behind.” The settlement was balanced out by more genteel community assets like a blacksmith, a bicycle shop, churches, and a grocer. On a leisurely Sunday, Hartford folk would often take a milelong stroll along the boardwalk that led to Lake Stevens.
The Seattle Post-Intelligencer ran an article in 1898 about a new bike path that led from Hartford to Everett. Hartford bicyclists were elated to finally access the “big city” on two wheels. Bicycling was experiencing
something of a craze at the time. (As a bicyclist myself, I can testify that the ride from Lake Stevens to Everett is hilly and arduous -- how much more so when folks were zipping around on single-speed bicycles in Victorian skirts and wool trousers?)
The Lake Stevens area, proper, came
town and investors started building resort housing tracts on the shores of the lake.
Anyone who’s casually familiar with Snohomish County history has surely heard the Rucker name. Besides founding and platting the city of Everett -- where they built Rucker
the Big Four Inn, and amassed timber holdings. They were barons of industry, former pharmacists from Ohio, who came to the Pacific Northwest with an eye to make a fortune.
One facet of that fortune was the Rucker Mill, located on the shores of Lake Stevens. The mill processed over six million board feet of logs annually, a haul that came courtesy of the
Hulbert Lumber Co., operating out of Machias. The mill spawned its own company town, a cluster of buildings built in part on pilings above Kokanee Creek. The company town (still not referred to as Lake Stevens, per se) consisted of 250 employees who lived within walking distance of the mill. The mill also spawned a micro-economy of its own, as company towns can do. The Rucker Brothers opened their
own bank nearby and trains ran milled lumber to Everett for shipping.
For years there was a local legend that one of these trains lay submerged at the bottom of Lake Stevens. In 1995 a team of Navy Seal divers confirmed that it actually existed in the deep.
The Rucker Mill suffered two fires in the early twentieth century. After the second fire in 1925, the Rucker Brothers decided not to rebuild. The mill closed and most of the millworkers left town. The northern part of Lake Stevens, post-mill, was described by a resident of that era as a “wide spot in the road” -- relatively remote with no adjoining industry to drive the local economy.
Yet during the 1920s, on other shores of Lake Stevens, a new sort of business began to thrive. Lakeside vacation homes began to spring up and resorts drew crowds of summertime vacationers from the nearby cities of Everett and Snohomish.
Recreation spots with colorful names flourished. There were the Kansas Campground, William’s Park, Chautauqua Campground, Basslers Cove, Perso’s Resort, and the Ramble Inn Resort, among others. Tourists looking for a nip of illicit whiskey could visit the Bullfrog Inn, which sold bootleg booze... if you knew who to talk to.
Some of these resorts left a lasting mark on the city. Purple Pennant Road still runs perpendicular to the eastern shore of the lake. Purple Pennant Resort offered a roller skating rink, a baseball field, a two-person toboggan water slide, cabins, and boat storage on the lake.
But perhaps the greatest Lake Stevens resort was Lundeen Park. The Lundeen homestead on the north shore included a naturally-occurring 300-foot sandy beach next to a full orchard. Some sources indicate that Native Americans favored this part of the lake for catching and drying trout on racks.
When the Lundeen family regularly found folks lounging on their beach, they saw a business opportunity. They began to charge these
recreationists admission to their property. From there, the family’s resort business plan spiraled out into something epic.
The Lundeen Resort at its zenith boasted a dance pavilion built on piers over the lake with capacity for a thousand dancers. Gatsbyesque!
The resort also featured a tavern with a 60-foot bar and a dance floor, a 40,000-square-foot enclosed
swimming area stocked with pool toys, and a regulation-size baseball field with covered bleachers.
An existing menu from the Lundeen Resort lists delicacies such as “raw oysters” (30 cents) and “Hamburg
steak, Spanish” (50 cents). Wash it down with a 10-cent cup of coffee and you’ve got yourself a fine meal. At the height of its popularity in the 1920s, Lundeen Park was the social place to be on a Friday or Saturday night.
Today, you can drive along Lundeen Parkway, and still swim at Lundeen Park, which remains a popular play spot.
Finally, in the 1960s, Lake Stevens came to be a bona fide city. The incorporation of the city coincided with the advent of Frontier Village, a modern shopping complex next to Highway 9.
Lake Stevens developed over the next half century as a family-friendly bedroom community, a place that produced all-star athletes; savvy students; and world-famous action hero and comedian, actor Chris Pratt.
Today, Lake Stevens continues to develop but with a renewed interest in the old downtown on the northeast shore of the lake. The city places great effort into making downtown Lake Stevens walkable with easy public access to the waterfront and the seasonal farmers market.
Lake Stevens will always be a place where people want to stop, linger, and play awhile. Sometimes the best things never change.
“Lake Stevens: My Town” by Jim Mitchell
Lake Stevens -- Thumbnail History on Historylink.org
“Reminiscing... Lake Stevens The Early Years”, published by the Lake Stevens History Committee
Visit the Lake Stevens Historical Museum. 12301 North Lakeshore Drive. Operating hours are 1:00-4:00 p.m. on Thursdays.
Travel Back in Time at the Grimm House
The Grimm House, one of the oldest structures in Lake Stevens, was built around 1903 as one of several homes for the Rucker Mill’s middle management group. One of these was Paul Grimm, a master mechanic and millwright superintendent at the Mill.
Even though it had been vacant for a number of years, in 1988 Gayle and Anne Whitsell saw the run-down house as a unique opportunity to preserve a part of our past, providing present and future community members a tangible reminder of the town’s historic beginnings. The house, which was owned at that point by the town’s first mayor Bill Hawkins, was donated to the Lake Stevens Historical Society. Frank and Gary McDaniel bought the land next to the Historical Museum that was under construction
and waited patiently for the Society to raise the funds needed to move the building.
On June 19, 1996, the move occurred. With people cheering along the two-block route to the house’s new location, the mover eased the house from its 93-year-old place atop a knoll and headed south down Main Street; the move came off without a hitch.
The move cost the Historical Society about $6,000.
One of those on hand was Bob Grimm, who was born in the house in 1917, was raised there, and graduated from Lake Stevens High School in 1935. He was very pleased that the home would be preserved and was able to relay many details about the house that helped in its restoration, such as floor plan, color, and type of furnishings. It was
made to appear as it would have in the late 1920s or early 1930s.
Bob Grimm, Gayle Whitsell, and Ken Williams traveled to Olympia early in 1995 and worked to get the house placed on the State Register of Historic Places. State Historic Preservation Officer, Mary M. Thompson, informed then-mayor, Diana Hale, in February of 1995 that the report on the house had been reviewed and sent to the National Register Branch of the National Park Service in Washington, D.C., with a recommendation that it be listed in the National Register of Historic Places, which it was a short while later.
25 years after its first move, the Grimm House was on the move again to accommodate the new civic center and upgraded North Cove Park. The Grimm House was placed in its current location across from the Lake Stevens War Memorial, and adjacent to the plot that is slated to become a new Lake Stevens Historical Museum. The Grimm House provides an opportunity for the Lake Stevens Historical Society to showcase the history and many artifacts from Lake Steven’s past while they await the new museum. It is typically open when special events and the Farmers Market happen in North Cove Park.
This article is edited and adapted from postings by the Lake Stevens Historical Society. Please visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/ Lakestevenshistoricalmuseum.
Lake Stevens Water Tower: Recalling the Past with a Modern Twist
Lake Stevens’ original water tower was built in 1907 at the Rucker Brothers Mill. The Rucker Brothers Mill was once central to the town’s industry. The original tower provided water necessary to run the streampowered mill and to help with fire suppression, not for drinking. The water tower was torn down in 1947 by private landowners to make room for homesites and a post office.
The Lake Stevens Water Tower replica was designed and built by metal sculptor, Joe Powers, a local artist from Machias. In 2021,
the City of Lake Stevens put out the call for a sculpture designer. Powers was awarded the project and created the new art piece to celebrate the original tower that is a big part of Lake Stevens’ history. The 25-foot-tall water tower art piece is Powers’ take on the historic landmark, but with a modern twist. At night, the sky-blue panels at the top will light up from the inside. Lights will also shine down the tower’s silver-gray legs. After two years of hard work, a ribbon cutting was held in July 2023 at North Cove Park, the final home of the Lake Stevens Water Tower.
L AKE ST E V E NS
The Mill on Lake Stevens is a multi-use building located in the heart of Old Town Lake Stevens, at North Cove Park. As you walk around the beautiful building you will see many of these historical pieces built into the landscape.
The Lake Stevens Fire Ball
In 1994, an aerator was installed in the middle of Lake Stevens to improve lake quality. After removing the aerator system in 2016 and 2017, two city employees turned one of the leftover steel buoys into this work of art. You may see the Fire Ball lit during events and festivals at the Mill in downtown Lake Stevens.
Crescent Band Saw
In 1905, this Crescent band saw was a gamechanger, retrofitted to be powered by a Ford flat head engine and used at the Nordin Lumber Mill in Lake Stevens. Around 1920, some of the lumber that was cut with the band saw was used to build homes around Lake Stevens that still stand today.
STOP #3 Vaughan Drag Saw
Manufactured by the Harsch Machine Works of Portland, Oregon, the Vaughan drag saw came to the market in 1909. The Vaughan drag saw was the earliest of the relatively lightweight two-stroke cycle units to be marketed for use in the timber industry.
STOP #4 G & R Mill Pump
Since 1933, the Gorman-Rupp Company has been in operation, and created what they called, “the most simple self-priming pump ever developed”. This model is a heavy duty 40M, with a 25-30 horsepower Hercules 4-cylinder engine, weighing in at 1080 lbs. The pump was shipped from Mansfield, Ohio to Seattle, Washington in 1944.
STOP #5 Wagon Wheel
Lastly, stop at this wagon wheel replica which is a tribute to the past ways of travel.
Snohomish Carnegie Volunteers Reach an “Uncommon Goal”By Richard Porter
There once was a steel baron.
Born into poverty in Dunfermline, Scotland, a boy named Andrew Carnegie came to America at age twelve. He worked hard and made money. Andrew was a bootstrapper, the self-made American archetype. By the time he sold his steel company for $250,000 in 1901 (over $9 billion in today’s money) he was the wealthiest man in the world.
Having amassed a fortune, Andrew Carnegie wanted to give back to society. A lifelong literary enthusiast, the once-poor Scottish boy gave away his wealth, funding the construction of libraries worldwide. His libraries weren’t only for metropolitan cities either; they benefited small towns.
The steel baron had a few demands: all Carnegie libraries must have a stairway leading upward from street level to the main floor. This was symbolic, he insisted.
It was to represent the elevation of self-education, the ascendance of enlightenment.
Furthermore, the books in his libraries had to be accessible by the public in an open forum. In most libraries of the time, patrons would have to ask a librarian to fetch a book on their behalf. This was not in keeping with Carnegie’s philosophy. He wanted his public buildings to be truly public, with access to knowledge for all.
By the time Carnegie died in 1919 he had given away his fortune, having bankrolled 2,500 libraries worldwide, spending over $1.3 billion in today’s dollars. Over 800 of these buildings still stand today.
One of them is in Snohomish.
and attractive architectural features. The building is Prairie Style, a style popularized by Frank Lloyd Wright, and considered by some experts to be the first truly American style of architecture.
sought after during the American Arts and Crafts Movement at the turn of the twentieth century. These hand painted tiles now fetch about $2,500 apiece at auctions.
Oversized printer’s marks stand out boldly on the facade. These pictorial trademarks were once printed inside of books to identify publishing houses. The Snohomish Carnegie is emblazoned with printer’s marks that represent St. Albans Press (English), Gerard Leen (Dutch), Denys Janot (French) and William Caxton (English). Though not well-recognized today, these printer’s marks were once in vogue in architectural and textile motifs, as well as in wallpaper patterns as a sign of culture and cultivated literacy.
There once was a book club.
The Athenaeum Club of Snohomish, Washington was an all-female civic organization dedicated to reading and discussing academic matters. The Athenaeum Club read about Carnegie library grants and decided to apply for one. Members gathered their private book collection and worked in conjunction with the city to provide the land and staff needed to bring a Carnegie library to the small timber town by the river. The City secured a $10,000 grant and construction began.
While most Carnegie libraries are immediately identifiable from their distinct “bones,” the Snohomish Carnegie Library sports some unique
Van Briggle tiles encircle the building underneath the eaves. Van Briggle Pottery of Colorado Springs was the enterprise of Artus Van Briggle and his wife Anne. Their Art Nouveaustyle pottery and tile became highly
The Snohomish Carnegie was an elegant library with soft wood floors. Upon initial opening, its shelves were lined with books donated by the citizens of Snohomish. It was a
temple of literacy and democracy. And it looked, well... pretty darn good. There once was a volunteer.
Melody Clemons stood outside the Carnegie library in 2002 as the city held a public forum to discuss the future of the old building. The city’s new library was about to open and now the fate of the century-old edifice at the corner of Cedar Avenue and Pearl Street hung in the balance.
The Carnegie library wasn’t as elegant as it had once been. The soft fir was covered in carpet. Population growth prompted the addition of a library annex in 1968. The annex was hastily built to meet demand for more space but was aesthetically unpleasing at best. By 2002 the structure was leaking from the ceiling.
Melody and other citizen activists lobbied the City to preserve the original library. After a series of meetings, the Snohomish City
Council appointed a group of these concerned citizens to the Snohomish Carnegie Preservation Committee. Their mandate was to find out if the old library could be restored for use as a public space.
In 2005, the committee formed a nonprofit called the Snohomish Carnegie Foundation (SCF). They worked for fifteen years to restore the building, raising capital for the project via two large grants from the Washington State Legislature and City funds. They even secured a FEMA grant to seismically retrofit the building, upgrade water and sewer lines, and add a new tiled roof.
Melody and the SCF volunteers contracted a Seattle-based vendor for the restoration work. BOLA Architects & Preservation worked to strip the facade, revealing the old tiles and printer’s marks. They rebuilt the grand entryway and brought the building up to code by adding another exit, bathrooms, and an ADA lift. They pulled up the carpet to reveal the old fir floors, sanded them down, and stained them an attractive dark walnut color.
And that old annex? It was demolished in about six hours.
Through truly random and benevolent circumstances, the SCF also received a donated vintage crystal chandelier that originally hung in the Everett Carnegie Library. During the Covid era, SCF volunteers masked up and had an all-day work party to
painstakingly clean the crystal European chandelier, valued at an estimated $45,000.
By 2020, the Carnegie Building was completely restored to the tune of over $2 million. The structure was now retrofitted with wifi, a big screen tv, and fresh paint. It was durable enough to last at least another 100 years.
In May 2021 the restored Snohomish Carnegie was again opened to the public for tours and event rentals. That year the building won the Valerie Sivinski Award, which honors outstanding restoration projects in Washington State.
The story of the Snohomish Carnegie is one of a city government partnering with a nonprofit organization to restore a civic asset for the community. Today, the Snohomish Carnegie can be rented for events at a reasonable rate, and even offers discounts for nonprofit organizations. It’s once again a hub for the community, hosting everything
from weddings to wine tastings, book launches and art galleries, and cultural celebrations like Holi.
Melody Clemons, Snohomish Carnegie Foundation president, is proud of her work. “There never was a moment when I thought it wouldn’t get done,” she says. Her eyes mist up a bit and she continues, “Every time I walk by, it’s an inspiration.”
who believed in societal edification through democratic access to information. It branded its stately institution with printer’s marks; making a declaration of their shared literary values.
Over a hundred years later, that same community came together to restore a public asset so that all would benefit from a common, aesthetically pleasing and historical place.
That’s a story worth telling.
There once was a community that banded together to collect books to create a library. It was a people
“Teamwork is the ability to work toward a common vision. It is the fuel that allows people to attain uncommon goals.” - AndrewCarnegie
A big thanks to volunteers Melody Clemons, Mac Bates, and Terry Lippincott for their time and knowledge. Seasonal tours of the Snohomish Carnegie are hosted by the Snohomish Carnegie Foundation on Thursdays between 3:00-7:00 p.m. 105 Cedar Avenue. Learn more about renting the Carnegie on the City of Snohomish website. Body
Whether you’re a diehard ghost chaser or just intrigued by historic haunts, the fall and winter seasons are a great time to check out some of Snohomish’s more notable haunted places.
One of the most famous haunted locations in Snohomish is the Oxford Saloon (913 First Street). Built in 1900, this former brothel turned bar is rumored to be haunted by the ghosts of its past inhabitants. Patrons have reported strange occurrences, such as unexplained whispers and objects moving on their own. During a 2007
visit to the Oxford by the Washington State Ghost Society, ghost hunters said they sensed a male entity on the main floor and in a basement storage room. The back of the menu provides a brief history of the establishment and the area.
Another eerie spot is the Blackman House Museum (118 Avenue B), a Victorian mansion built in 1878. Visitors have claimed to hear disembodied voices, footsteps, and have felt a ghostly presence in certain rooms. Some believe that the spirits of the Blackman family, who once resided there, still linger
within the walls of this historic home. Today, the building is home to the Snohomish Historical Society, which is worth a visit even if you don’t encounter any spirits.
Built in 1909 and lovingly restored from 2020-2021, the Snohomish Carnegie Building (105 Cedar Avenue) is one of 32 Carnegie libraries left in the state. Residents, former library patrons, and some city staff report hearing footsteps or seeing someone peering through the windows. It is believed that the building is haunted by Catherine McMurchy, who served as a librarian there from 1923 to
1939. Some believed she haunted the library because she was buried without a tombstone, an error later corrected when a tombstone that reads “Cherished Snohomish Librarian” was erected at her burial site. Despite those efforts, mysterious sounds and unpredictable issues with modern amenities – such as the elevator and technology systems –continue to plague the Snohomish Carnegie Building.
So, next time you’re in Snohomish, take a stroll through historic downtown. These haunted places are sure to send shivers down your spine on a chilly evening.
Sweater Weather Fun in Snohomish
Snohomish makes magic out of every season! Fall and winter are perfect for cozying up with friends and family, whether in the afternoon glow of the valley or nighttime twinkle of downtown. With a lively events scene, Snohomish has a little something for everyone.
FALL IN LOVE WITH SNOHOMISH
Agritourism is big in the Snohomish River Valley. Farms, some of which have been in the same family for generations, have been repurposed for all kinds of events. Pick your own produce – corn, apples, fall squash, pumpkins, and gourds – at Bailey
Family Farm (www.baileyveg.com) through October. The pumpkin patch at Craven Farm (www.cravenfarm. com) was named the best of Snohomish County in 2022 by Daily Herald readers, but that’s not all for you to enjoy – fire pits and barn rooms are available for rent as well. At Swans Trail Farms (www.swanstrailfarms. com), get lost in Washington history – literally! The Washington State Corn Maze is fun and educational.
Bob’s Corn & Pumpkin Farm (www. bobscorn.com) boasts a wide variety of activities during their fall festival, such as hayrides, corn mazes, and gem mining. Looking for something a little more low-key? Check out the country store, open every day through October. Fall is also a busy time for Thomas Family Farm (www. thomasfamilyfarm.com), which has
something for everyone – watch live sports in the barn, chill out in the beer garden, or try your luck at zombie paintball. You can also get plenty of scares in at Stocker Farms (www. stockerfarms.com), which goes from quaint to terrifying as soon as the sun goes down. They don’t call it “Stalker Farms” for nothing!
Hours, activities, and prices vary – so check online before planning your perfect fall day in Snohomish.
SNOHOMISH SPARKLES THIS WINTER
Sure, it’s cliché, but we’ll say it: Snohomish is like something out of a Christmas movie. The Space 802 Holiday Festival (802 First Street, December 1 – 2), is the newest holiday event in town. Grab seasonal favorites like roasted chestnuts or hot cocoa and peruse the makers market in search of the perfect gift for that special someone. Beer and spirits served out of a vintage trailer add that antique touch Snohomish is so well-known for.
Winterfest 2023: Miracle on First Street (305 Cedar Avenue, December 8 – 10) is fun for the whole family. Get in the holiday spirit by checking out the igloo village or singing along with carolers. A wine walk through historic downtown Snohomish is another great opportunity to get some shopping done.
In town for Thanksgiving? Join us at the Snohomish Carnegie (305 Cedar Avenue) on Friday, November 24 for
Snohomish Sparkles – the annual tree lighting. Snohomish is at its best when the community comes together, and what better time than the holidays? Watch in awe as the city’s Christmas
tree lights up for the first time and be there when Santa arrives for pictures. The weather may be cold, but your heart will warm right up after a cheery night in Snohomish.
SNOHO M I S H
See Snohomish in a new light as you wander our historic downtown in search of public art and historic landmarks. This walk, about a half a mile in length, is a great way to stretch your legs. Grab some good coffee and some good company and see what makes downtown so special.
STOP #2: American Legion Mural
1201 First Street
Painted by Monroe artist David Hose, this 10-foot-tall, 30-foot-long war memorial mural includes six scenes dating from World War I to Iraq and Afghanistan.
STOP #1: “Cadyville”
1411 First Street
This mural by Daniel Porter uses perspective to transport the viewer down the old Snohomish Railroad next to the iron foundry.
STOP #3: Avenue C Mural
1200 First Street
The Avenue C Mural is maintained by the Historic Downtown Snohomish Association and changes every year. What’s next for the mural? You’ll have to stop by to find out!
STOP #4: Rolling Pin Woman
101 Union Avenue
Designed and crafted by local artist Jesse Purdom of Pacific Metal Arts, she’s 12 feet of solid metal woman – and kinetic! Watch her roll her pin across the table.
“Construction of a Skid Road in the 80s”
116 Union Avenue
Swing by Snohomish City Hall on Tuesday or Wednesday to check out this 1940 mural depicting early logging in Snohomish. The mural was created by Lance Wood Hart, an accomplished landscape and portrait artist, when the building was a post office.
STOP #6: The Log
205 Cedar Avenue
This 12-foot, 5-inch diameter log is from a Douglas fir felled in 1940. The tree was estimated to be 620 years old when it was cut down.
Monroe: The Spirit of a Community
Preface: The City of Monroe comprises two former settlements of Park Place and Tye City. In 1902 they unified under the moniker of “Monroe” (population 325) in a nod to the fifth president of the United States. When I talk about Monroe in this article, I’m referring to the modern municipal area as a whole.By Richard Porter
The town of Monroe, Washington has always been home to resourceful, community-minded folk.
It began with the native Snohomish tribes who stewarded this river valley. They cultivated the prairie by setting strategic fires and cutting wood. This cultivation opened up the land, creating space in the forest so that hazelnuts and assorted berries could thrive for easy foraging.
This river valley was special to the tribes. They called the area at the confluence of the Skykomish and Snoqualmie “squa’lxo” or “the meeting of two rivers.” Early immigrants heard this name as Tualco, which remains the name of the lush farmland on the south side of town.
Monroe is a town that’s exceptional among other towns in the Skykomish Valley in that its existence wasn’t the result of a wild speculative boom. The growth of the city has been a gradual transition from logging and homesteading to a farming economy, then from agriculture to a bedroom community. The history books don’t tell of money grabs, but rather networks of mutual aid among its residents.
The following are historical examples of the mutual aid support in Monroe.
THE LEWIS STREET BRIDGE
In the beginning, the Tualco Valley was separated from Tye City, cut off by the Snohomish River. The Pattinson Ferry connected the southern part of the city to the northern part, hence the name for the current Ferry Street downtown. This was an inconvenient solution at best for farmers and many complained about paying a high fare for basic transportation.
In 1893 the city signed a contract to build a bridge across the Skykomish. This was hard work -- men broke up stone from the hillside near High Rock and hauled it across the valley in sleds. Throughout two years of hard labor and the Panic of 1893, crews toiled over the rolling waters, often without pay and despite a weak economy. These workers banded together, contributing communal meals to their fellow workmen. All ate, and all worked. Together, the workmen finished the first Lewis Street Bridge in 1895: a wood and steel structure 300 feet long and 20 feet high. The
grand opening took the form of a community gala. Workers laid fine lumber over the planks of the main span and waxed the wood. They hung evergreen garlands and lanterns from the superstructure. A dancefloor!
The party was complete with several barrels of beer and boxing matches.
They say that many hands make light work. But when it came to early infrastructure, even large labor crews
had their work cut out for them. Only through a unified vision and dedication was the first of several Lewis Street Bridges built.
COUNTY FARM AND HOSPITAL
In 1893 the Snohomish County government established the County Farm and Hospital. Locally known as the Poor Farm, this beacon of social aid was built on the western edge of town, just south of where the Evergreen State Fairgrounds now stands. During an economic depression, the property provided land for people to cultivate crops to feed themselves and others in exchange for room and board. Today the EvergreenHealth Hospital stands in its place, still providing aid for community members.
ABOUT THAT SMOKESTACK...
In 1908 the Monroe Commercial Club saw an opportunity to take advantage of Monroe’s lush farmlands in order to benefit the town.
The Commercial Club united local dairy farmers and raised six thousand dollars to buy land. They built the Carnation Condensery, and a two-story factory 110 feet wide and 220 feet long. The plant processed milk from 5,000 local cows, shipping 26 carloads of condensed milk every month by rail.
A towering concrete smokestack went up in 1919. It was 150 feet tall and 11 feet in diameter. The smokestack remains the only standing part of the factory after the plant spontaneously combusted in 1944.
Today the smokestack towers as a city icon, catching the eyes of motorists on State Route 2.
THE UNIVERSITY OF ANOTHER CHANCE
In 1907 construction began on the Washington State Reformatory. Inmates literally built a prison of their own, made out of locally harvested timber. They used mud from the nearby river to turn out 15,000 bricks a day. It took them three years to complete the sprawling hilltop complex and a stately superintendent’s mansion.
The reformatory was intended as a place for inmates to be literally reformed through hard labor, including work on the “Honor Farm” in Tualco Valley. Prison officials dubbed the facility “The University of Another Chance,” and the community wanted to provide the prisoners with positive social interaction. Community members joined inmates to enjoy musicals, dramas, and sports. Baseball games played between free community members and inmates were a common Sunday occurrence.
Johnny Cash visited the reformatory on June 25, 1971. He dedicated the song “Man in Black” to the inmates. Monroe’s own “Folsom Prison Blues.”
Completed in 1910, the reformatory is the second oldest prison in the state.
TURNING LETTUCE INTO PUBLIC ART
Modern Monroe residents know the Fryelands as a suburban neighborhood with cul-de-sacs and tract housing. The area is named after Charles Frye, who operated a large lettuce farm on the land.
Over 100 years ago, field hands planted and harvested 110 acres of produce here, cultivating and shipping 45,000
crates of iced lettuce annually. These were sent by rail to markets as far east as New York and Boston.
Charles Frye and company trenched, drained, leveled and seeded a 300acre tract just west of Monroe. He built a $65,000 ice plant that produced 50 tons of ice a day. Frye continually worked to expand his business.
Charles Frye wasn’t without a kindly streak himself. When he died in 1940, he bequeathed his private collection of 252 paintings to the public. The Frye Art Museum opened to all with free admission in 1952 on Seattle’s First Hill. It’s still open today.
“ABUNDANCE, NOT SCARCITY.”
One final story of historic mutual aid comes from the Washington State Guidebook, courtesy of the Federal Writers’ Project (FWP). The guidebook is a rare and out of print gem: a snapshot of Washington State in granular detail, as produced by federally-employed writers during the Great Depression.
The entry for Monroe mentions the Self-Help Co-operative of Monroe. During lean times, co-op owners banded together to run a cannery, a woodyard, and distributing agency. These allied workers labored for the benefit of all under the following principles: “The present depression is one of abundance, not scarcity” and “God created the natural wealth of the earth for all men, not of a few.”
COMMUNITY IN THE ERA OF VHS
I grew up in Monroe in the 1990s. I suppose this era is also considered history now -- a time of dial-up internet and Jerry Seinfeld’s chunky white shoes.
What I remember from that time is the spirit of mutual aid. Monroe was a place of Kiwanis car washes, church bake sales for good causes, singing carols at the nursing home, and little league fundraisers.
This resourcefulness and cooperation is the natural outcome of living on the edge of what was once a frontier.
This is the through-line that sustained the town for over a century and a half, from homesteaders to lettuce pickers and from workers on the poor farm to community-minded suburbanites. This is the very essence of Monroe.
“Early Monroe” by Dexter Taylor, “The Frye Lettuce Farm” and “Early Park Place 1890-1935” by Bill Wojciechowski
Visit the Monroe Historical Society & Museum on Wednesdays and Saturdays between 12:00-3:00 p.m. 207 East Main Street.
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Preserving Part of Monroe’s History
Two historical homes known as the “Buck Houses” have been part of the community for more than 120 years. These historical houses were built by a Civil War
veteran named Siralpha Abel Buck, who had one of the first saw and shingle mills on the Skykomish River. Buck Island is named after him, and he started one of the first water systems in Monroe. These houses currently reside on Ann Street and are some of the oldest houses still standing in Monroe.
Fun Fact: The land on Ann Street is owned by a developer who is willing to let these houses go for free, to anyone able to move the houses to another location. Contact the Historical Society if you, or anyone you know, is interested in this rare opportunity.
Other sculptures and monuments within the city include:
• American Legion Memorial Beneath the flagpole at Lake Tye Park
• Guardian of the Mountain Pass
By Milo White and Jay Bowen
SE corner of Main and Lewis Streets, Monroe, WA
• Kaci at the Bat NE Corner of Synthetic Turf Field at Lake Tye Park
• Storm Patterns
By Gloria Bornstein Lake Tye Park, Monroe WA
• Wagner Swifts
By Kevin Edwin Pettelle
NW corner of Main and Lewis Streets, Monroe WA
Honoring Art Throughout Monroe
Monroe boasts unique art and sculptures throughout the city. In one particular instance, you will quite literally see engraved history on the tiles scaling the museum wall located at the Historical Society Museum.
Aimed at beautifying Monroe’s downtown business district in a unique way, the Tile Project used original art created by 5th grade students from the Monroe School District and was funded with sponsorships and donations from local families and businesses. The effort was spearheaded by Sky Valley Artists Guild member Bob Fairfax,
who tasked the students with creating art that captured the elements of the area’s rural landscape.
Students handmade the clay tiles during the 1993 – 1994 school year and Fairfax personally fired them in a kiln. Then, Fairfax and other members of the Sky Valley Artists Guild, an art advocacy nonprofit that operated in Monroe at the time, used buckets of grout and affixed nearly 400 6-inch by 6-inch clay tiles to the lower wall of the museum, which also happens to be the original Monroe City Hall. The project was completed in time for the Monroe Fair Days Parade on August 27, 1994.
MONR O E
Step into the past on Historic Main Street, where we compare current to historical views. For a more extensive tour, stop by the Monroe Historical Society to pick up a Self-Guided Historic Walking Tour flyer.
STOP #2: West Main Street
As you leave Monroe Historical Society & Museum, pause and look West towards the flagpole. Then: 1920 Main Street
STOP #1: 207 East Main Street
Then: This two-story brick building built in 1908 was the original City Hall and home to the town’s Police and Fire Department. Now: Monroe Historical Society & Museum calls this historical building home.
Main Street looking East. Check out the condensery smokestack still standing in the background. Then: 1910 with a parade marching down the center of the street.
STOP #4: East Main Street & Lewis Street Intersection
As you safely cross Lewis Street, pause, and look East. Then: The cross section of Lewis and Main was once a dirt road.
STOP #6: 126 West Main Street
Then: This historical photo shows the original Stephens Hospital built in 1903. It served as a hospital until 1939 when it was converted to apartments by Dr. Allison. Now: Today, the building is known as the Allison Apartments.
STOP #5: West Main Street
As you are walking East on Main Street pause before crossing Blakeley Street to compare the view. Then: 1920
STOP #7: West Main Street, West Fremont Street & South Blakeley Street
Then: This 1925 view showcases the unique, triangle shaped Hallan Building. Now: Still actively used today by retailers and shoppers.
STOP #8: Main Street Flag Pole
As you come to the end of Main Street stop and look East for a closeup of the flagpole in the center of Main Street looking East. Then: In 1918 the 155’ tall flagpole was installed at the West end of downtown Monroe in the center of Main Street.
Rivers, Rail, & Roads: The Shaping of the Sky Valley
Acknowledging Our Roots, Embracing the FutureBy Richard Porter
As we delve into the history of this Pacific Northwest River valley, it’s essential to begin by acknowledging the land and the Snohomish and Skykomish Peoples, who have stewarded this valley for generations. Their deep and intimate cultivation of the terrain and sustainable practices have helped maintain the landscape and waterways we love and appreciate today.
We pay homage to their legacy and their vital role in shaping the history of the Upper Sky Valley.
NAVIGATING THE WATERS - THE ROLE OF RIVERS IN SHAPING THE VALLEY’S HISTORY
For centuries, the Skykomish and Sultan rivers served as a lifeline and a transportation thruway for native communities. It sustained their way of life by providing salmon and facilitated tribal trade and communication. However, as the Skykomish River Valley began to fill with modern settlement and industry, the area’s relative isolation posed challenges for residents seeking to connect with the broader world.
The landscape of the 1800s was impressive in its raw grandeur. In early Sultan, the evergreen trees were so thick and tall that residents had to light lamps at 3 p.m. every evening. The Sultan River had yet to be dammed for a reservoir. It roared with water during the rainy months. Early accounts tell us that salmon runs so thick that residents could practically walk across the river on the backs of fish. Nature provided ample food; it was a wild land of abundance.
A turning point came with the innovative harnessing of the river’s power for transportation. Steamboats ferried building supplies and food to Sultan from Snohomish through the Snohomish and Skykomish Rivers. This riversas-roadways development marked a pivotal moment in the valley’s history, driving settlement, economic growth, and cultural exchange.
The salmon and waterways today play an integral part in the recreation and beauty surrounding the area,
from kayaking, fishing, and outdoor adventures. The riverway yields peace as you experience the Osprey, Eagles, Fish, and wildlife thriving along the riverways. Follow Susie’s
Trail along the Sultan River and envision what it might have been like all those years ago.
FORGING AHEAD - THE IRON GOAT ERA AND THE ARRIVAL OF RAILROADS
Then, the Iron Goat came to town. In the late 1800s, the Great Northern Railroad was a powerful agent of change in this once-remote valley. The name “Iron Goat” refers to the insignia of the Great Northern: a sturdylooking mountain goat symbolic of the power and mountainside agility of the locomotives that charged through the forests.
The railways brought in workers, both as track layers and in the form of the loggers and millers needed to generate raw building materials. Sultan and Gold Bar became basecamps for the men who built the railways, transforming these communities into self-sustaining economies. Pool halls, grocers, schools, and railway depots sprung up from these riverside encampments. Some of this historic infrastructure exists today, inviting visitors to glimpse old timber buildings constructed of lath and plaster, handhewn floorboards, and brick facades.
With the advent of railroads, these pioneers of progress carved through the forests and mountains, physically connecting the Skykomish River Valley to the outside world, especially to the markets of the eastern U.S. This era brought about an industrial and agricultural boom, permanently reshaping the region.
The historic train depot in Skykomish remains an architectural memorial to this age of the rails, telling its tale of the past. Today, visitors to the Great Northern and Cascade Railroad Museum in Skykomish (101 5th St N, Skykomish, WA 98288) can step back in time, experiencing the excitement
of the railroad era through guided tours of the depot and a ride on a functional model train.
Train-curious tourists can also walk the Iron Goat Trail. The trailhead is located off State Route 2, right before Stevens Pass. The gentle 5.5-mile path guides hikers through the history of the local railway system. Signage tells the story of the locomotives and the rugged men who worked them, and a vintage caboose in pristine condition gives viewers a clear vision of the transportation of yesteryear.
The Iron Goat Trail also reveals the tragic past of the Wellington train disaster. Now a ghost town,
the remote outpost of Wellington, Washington, was the site of a lethal avalanche. Today, visitors can walk among the snow sheds, which are all left of the now-vanished Great Northern railroad line in this neck of the woods.
PAVING PATHWAYS - THE EVOLUTION OF SKY VALLEY ROADS
Modern roads were the last form of connective transportation in the Skykomish River Valley. Today, State Route 2 acts as the region’s backbone, ushering motorists on a smooth path that gently winds between the bluegreen Skykomish River and towering peaks shrouded in snow and mist. Drivers can also glimpse rusted, riverspanning railroad trestles -- some abandoned, some still in use. Cruising along 60 miles per hour on smooth asphalt, it’s easy to appreciate easy access to the valley’s treasures.
The evolution of local byways has been a testament to human ingenuity.
State Route 2 began as little more than mucky road segments between nascent municipalities. Deforested Pacific Northwest soil quickly turned to mud, making traveling hard for motor vehicles. George Startup (for whom the town of Startup is named) formed a coalition in the early 20th century to improve these road segments. His advocacy resulted in a smoother, well-maintained roadway that prefigured the modern interstate.
Overcoming multiple river crossings and a mountain pass, State Route 2 bridged gaps and facilitated movement between Sultan, Startup, Gold Bar, and beyond. Today, the highway runs over 2,000 miles east to St. Ignace, Michigan, providing a route for interstate commerce and sightseeing.
State Route 2 played a vital role in shaping the modern Sky Valley society and economy we know today. Tourists now have the opportunity to embark on a historical road trip, tracing past pathways and discovering the charm of local towns along the way. Enjoy a road trip! Experience roadside attractions like Espresso Chalet (home of Bigfoot), farm stands, the Reptile Zoo, Wayside Chapel, and Bridal Veil Falls. Or pull off at one of many trailheads or forest roads for hiking opportunities. Take Reiter Road to experience a piece of the old highway winding its way along the Reiter Foothills Forest, Skykomish River, and coming to the base of the Index Town wall. Take a trek through
the forest to a pristine waterfall, a historic fire lookout, or a glacial lake that offers an inspiring glimpse into the natural beauty of the Skykomish River Valley.
THIS IS OUR STORY - THE VALUE OF CULTURAL CONTINUITY
The journey of this Pacific Northwest river valley from historical isolation to modern integration is a story of resilience, innovation, and growth.
We gain valuable insights into building a sustainable future by commemorating the Snohomish people and learning from their relationship with the rivers and land. Heritage tourist destinations like the Great Northern & Cascade Railway Museum in Skykomish or the logging contests at the Sultan Shindig act as a bridge between the past and present. They allow us to celebrate our collective history of logging, fishing, and railroads while discovering how these values and rituals translate into the modern world, creating the cultural continuity that is the cornerstone of our community.
Touch the Index Town Wall. Watch salmon in the shallows. Photograph the iconic river trestles. Breath in the air and listen to the rush of the waters. This is our story.
One thing remains the same: the Skykomish River Valley is always inspiring to explore.
Bringing History Forward— The Wayside Chapel
The tiny Wayside Chapel on highway 2 was built and dedicated on October 12, 1962 by New Hope Fellowship on land donated by Mrs. Hilkeline, the same year that Seattle was hosting the World’s Fair. Since that time weary travelers have taken advantage of the invitation to “Pause, Rest and Worship.” It’s been the center of various important moments including weddings, vow renewals, and proposals. Many families have begun their annual summer road trip
with a stop by the Chapel to ask for “Safe Journeys”. Everyone is welcome!
The little chapel was definitely showing age and wear when local folks stepped up to give it a facelift.
It all began when an elder from the New Hope Fellowship Church decided to remove and restore the pews and pulpit. Then an Eagle Scout candidate named Michael Durkee designed an improvement plan at the exact same time Gold Bar resident Curtis Kimble began a fundraising campaign to save
the building. None of them knew about the other plans. Many say that it was all part of a divine plan they were destined to play a role in. One thing was for sure, they were determined to do what they could to complete the renovation of this regional landmark.
At first, the renovation only included new paint, windows and a sign repair. Over time, through the support of several local businesses, over 100 donations were received and several other locals offered labor and expertise.
Some of the repairs included a new concrete foundation, new flooring, electrical upgrades, refinished pews, paint inside and out, trimming of a 125’ tree, a new asphalt parking lot will be put in, new highway sign, gutters installed, the door restored and even a birdhouse repainted! One by-chance opportunity was when the old steeple, thought to be lost several years ago, was found by a passer-by who said he had been saving it since it blew off in a storm. It has since been repaired and reattached to the building once again. The Wayside Chapel stands proudly waiting to welcome you and to wish you Health, Happiness and Safe Journeys.
Shifts in Time – Main Street in Sultan
Many of the towns along the Stevens Pass Greenway have reminders of the years when the first prospectors arrived along the rivers in search of gold and iron ore seams. Sultan was no exception
to this. When John Nailor arrived in the Native American fishing village along the Sultan River at the end of the 19th century, he quickly realized that the lumber and mining trades would be established in the area.
Many buildings from that initial boom town from 1892-1910 are long gone, but a few remain on Main Street in Sultan, reminding locals and visitors of our town’s history.
The oldest of these is 401 Main Street; this two-story building was built in 1892, originally possibly a house of ill repute, with a saloon downstairs and ladies in the small apartments upstairs, moved to its current location and had one-story additions added in 1896 by Wagner. The building became a mercantile, general store, and meat market. Wagner boasted a covered walkway and passages between the stores to keep you from getting wet and walking in the mud when shopping—an early version of a
shopping complex or megastore. The additional buildings are now part of the live music stage at Kiss the Sky Books and the Flat Iron Gallery (403406 Main Street). During the building renovation, Jim Tinney, the owner of Kiss the Sky Books, took the structure to its bones, finding reminders of its origins. From stage coach schedules, a five-dollar gold coin, one-inch thick rough-sawn douglas fir under the lathe and plaster, evidence of speakeasy, secret passageways, and the original floors with the pocking from the cork boots commonly worn by loggers then. Now, a book, coffee, and live music venue, murals cover the walls, and the paint doesn’t stay on the 120-year-old siding. If you catch him on the right day, Jim will happily share images of the treasures and restoration process.
Next door, The Flat Iron Gallery is a beloved gift shop owned by Susan Greene, a local icon. The shop has everything from towels, furniture, gifts, baby blankets, hats, and gloves. They host customer appreciation
days during the holidays and become holiday central for the Sky Valley.
The village and town grew from the turn of the 19th century to the 20th century. The bank, telegraph office,
hotels, and schools came with the river steamboats and the establishment of roads. In 1905, Sultan became a city named after a local native leader, “Chief T’sulted,” nicknamed by the locals as Sultan John.
The Sky Valley Chamber offices and Visitor Information Center, at 320 Main Street, was the first bank in the Sky Valley. Operating as a bank until the late 1980s, the bank had some history of note. In 1927, it was the site of the only law enforcement officer ever killed in the line of duty in Sultan. Marshal Percy Brewster had apprehended Edward Sickles on suspicion of bank
robbery when a shootout on Main Street broke out, killing Marshal Brewster. The bank became a local cooperative bank during the great depression, keeping farms and locals from losing all. Eventually, it became a Seafirst bank. In 2005,
the Sky Valley Chamber and the City of Sultan established the Visitor Information Center.
Renovations began on the building by filling the dirt-floored back room initially used for parking the horsedrawn fire wagon. That allowed
the construction of a ramp and an accessible restroom. The scars of where the vault had been removed years prior are visible in the brick painted over, windows were redone, and hundreds of hours of work poured into creating the space you see today. One of the renovation’s highlights was the installation of a model railroad that runs around the ceiling, crossing the trestle over the porch and back inside.
The Visitor Information Center welcomes hundreds of guests annually and features information from all over Washington State. Stop by to hear local historical stories, pick up a free hiking guide and other information about all the fantastic Sky Valley’s excellent outdoor recreational
opportunities, and learn about the nationally recognized Cascade Loop Scenic Byway.
Two doors west at 310 Main Street, the old brick telegraph building has been lovingly restored to brick and iron. It boasts the tasting room of Curtson Distillery, a small-batch distiller of whiskey-style specialty spirits. This telegraph office once was the lifeblood of communication for the Sky Valley; even when phones were established in the area, the only one in town was at the doctor’s office. Outside, Curtson honors the original ironwork with its fencing and offers more seating on the patio for guests and whiskey aficionados. Robert and Malinda are excellent hosts. Robert will happily talk about his unique patented process for his Umbers.
The building at 309 Main Street was built in 1909 to house the drugstore. It has returned to its original medical roots and is the current home of the Cascade Health Clinic. Still boasting its beautiful architectural details, the current building owners brought the exterior back to its original glory with shingles, scallops, and an awning reminiscent of the originals. The second story features apartments that have been updated but restored honoring the past.
Downtown Sultan is one of the many stops along the Stevens Pass Greenway to get off the Highway to explore. We look forward to welcoming you!
Sultan Rail Stop Mural
This mural by David Hose of the American Light Studio, created in 2005, is inspired by the trains that cross the Sky Valley. Located on the 4th Street side of the Sky Valley Visitor Center.
Nestled in Travelers Park, the mural “Freedom Rock” pictures a local logger and veteran, Sam Wold, that lived in Sultan. His saw shop at the bottom of Sultan-Basin Road hosted many patriotic murals. At the time of the painting of the mural, Sam was the most highly decorated member of the Tulalip Tribe. He served in the U.S. Army with the 70th Infantry Division Trail Blazers.”
The late fall light sparkles off of the still water of Spada Lake. Later in the season the road does get snow, but early in the fall it’s a must-see spot.
STOP #4 Rail Bridge in Index
Capture the contrast of nature versus manmade beauty over the blue Skykomish River in Index.
STOP #5 Skykomish River, Index
Listen to the rush of water, watch the pools of light and water as they work their way past the houses and cabins along the river. Watch the eagles and fish along the shores.
STOP #6 Train Cars Skykomish
The sound of the train horns echo through the valleys as the Trains make their way long the Great Northern Railways crossing the mountains. There are plenty of peekaboo views to capture these industrial engines along the Stevens Pass greenway.
STOP #7 Deception Falls
After a fall rain the water rushes through the Deception Falls area, splashing on the catwalks. This humble stop off of the highway outside of Skykomish is a real hidden gem.
Restaurants with Roots
Francisco’s • 1915 Hartford Drive, Lake Stevens
Francisco’s offers Mexican-style Northwest fare in an upscale casual dining environment. The current building is where the post office, a meat market, drug store, and barbershop used to reside, over the top of the lake outflow creek, which you can view through the glass floor.
Andy’s Fish House • 1229 1st Street, Snohomish
A Snohomish staple, Andy’s Fish House is the first thing you see on your way into town across the Avenue D bridge spanning the Snohomish River. Andy took over the family business from his father and continued their tradition of serving up the freshest seafood around. Keep an eye out for Andy, who you might catch fishing on the Snohomish River with his grandfather’s fishing rod.
Jeno’s Restaurant & Lounge • 123 East Main Street, Monroe
Established in 1970, this Italian Cuisine is not only a long-time staple in Monroe, it is a true throwback. Filled with regulars and locals, it keeps busy for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. For the longest time, it remained a cash-only establishment. Only recently have they started accepting card payment.
UPPER SKY VALLEY
Whistling Post Saloon • 116 East Railroad Ave, Skykomish
Whistling Post in Skykomish is a landmark stop. It was initially named the Olympia when it opened in 1897. The Whistling Post is a phoenix rising from the ashes of fires, rebuilt after being damaged in 1904, 1970 and again in 2013. Much of the original building is gone, but the spirit of the place is strong. It was known as the Maple Leaf Confectionery, a card room, and a dance hall during prohibition. It reverted to a saloon in 1933 and was renamed the Whistling Post, aptly named for the train whistles that echo through the station.
UPPER SKY VALLEY
Zeke’s Drive In • 43918 U.S. Rte 2, Gold Bar
Zeke’s Drive In opened in 1968 just East of Gold Bar on Highway 2. For the past 55 years, their family has provided a treasured stop for delicious food and arguably the best milkshakes in the region! The original owner, Earl B. Wells “Zeke”, sold to his Great Niece, Dawnell Cashman, and her husband, Michael, in 1987. Michael and Dawnell sold to their daughter, Jennifer Cashman, in 2014, keeping it all in the family.
Doc’s Riverside Taphouse • 1423 South Machias Road, Lake Stevens
Originally opened in the 1920’s as Young’s Place, Doc’s Riverside Taphouse has operated under various names including the Pilchuck Yacht Club. This dive bar features over 20 taps and rotating food trucks on site. It is located on the bank of the Pilchuck River in the Machias area, just east of Lake Stevens.
The Old Inn Tavern • 502 3rd Street, Snohomish Downtown isn’t the only historic part of Snohomish! The Old Inn Tavern is the oldest bar in town, having been built in 1898 at the end of the Union Pacific Railroad to serve railroad workers. This classic American dive bar is a favorite among locals, including – purportedly – a ghost by the name of Theodore Joseph.
Keg-N-Cue • 202 South Lewis Street, Monroe
A rooted establishment since 1972, this fun and friendly tavern may be called a ‘Dive Bar’, but it has it all. A full food menu of bar food classics, karaoke, live music, fun themed days such as Wing Wednesday, Taco Tuesday and more! No shortage of entertainment here: take your pick at arcade games, pool, shuffleboard, or pull tabs.
UPPER SKY VALLEY
Loggers Bar & Grill • 215 Main Street, Sultan
The Loggers Bar boasts one-half of the “oldest bar in the West”. Legend has it that the bar made its way up the West Coast in the late 1800s. This gorgeous historic wood and glass bar is undoubtedly a conversation starter. The current owner, Kevin Walker, and his team spent much of the last winter cleaning and revamping the historic bar and bringing it back to its former glory. It reopened in February 2023, starting a new chapter to this local bar. Loggers Bar and Grill is a 21+ establishment serving drinks, live music, and entertainment year-round.
UPPER SKY VALLEY
Bubba’s Road House • 31702 U.S. Rte 2, Sultan 20 years of larger-than-life food and beverage, Bubbas features BBQ, burgers, and sandwiches. The dinner bell brings steaks, homemade fried chicken, seafood, and more. Check out the daily specials! Evening festivities with drinks flowing, live music, and karaoke. Bubba and Shelley, the proprietors, support many local causes through the SOS MC, hosting fundraisers for kids in the Sky Valley area.
The Mansion Inn Lake Stevens 1513 Mitchell Road, Lake Stevens, WA (425) 610-4746
Treehouse Place at Deer Ridge 19922 4th Street SE, Snohomish, WA (425) 224-3033
Snohomish Inn 323 2nd Street, Snohomish, WA (360) 568-2208
Evergreen Inn & Suites
19103 U.S. Rte 2, Monroe, WA (360) 863-1901
Best Western Sky Valley Inn
19233 U.S. Rte 2, Monroe, WA (360) 794-3111
Fairgrounds Inn 18950 U.S. Rte 2, Monroe, WA (360) 794-5401
The Grayson B&B 20302 N High Rock Road, Monroe, WA (360) 330-9491 firstname.lastname@example.org
Evergreen RV Park 14390 Cascade View Drive SE, Monroe, WA (360) 805-6700 or (360) 388-6600
Falling Water Gardens Glamping 17516 U.S. Rte 2, Monroe, WA (360) 863-1400
Mountain Views Treehouse Joint 14308 Reiner Road, Monroe, WA Tracy@mountainviewsbb.com
Thunderbird RV & Camping Resort 26702 Ben Howard Road, Monroe, WA (360) 794-4030
A Cabin on the Sky 800 Ave A, Index, WA (360) 793-0100 email@example.com
Cascadia Inn 210 E Railroad Ave, Skykomish, WA (360) 677-2030
Bush House Inn 308 5th Street, Index WA (425) 298-7642
The Wallace Falls Lodge 14424 Wallace Lake Road, Gold Bar, WA (206) 408-8170
Dutch Cup Motel 101 Dutch Cup Lane, Sultan WA, (800) 844-0488
Nighthawk Cottage 7621 Rustic Way, Sultan, WA (360) 793-2777
Treeline Vacation Rentals Multiple Properties throughout Sky Valley (206) 735-3231
Scan the QR codes to find full event calendars & more!Monroe Snohomish Sky Valley Lake Stevens Evergreen Fair Park
THIRD WEEKEND IN NOVEMBER – MONROE
Monroe’s Mistletoe Market
SATURDAYS IN OCTOBER –MONROE
Join the YMCA at Rotary Field in Monroe for Miracle League baseball 9:00 a.m.2:00 p.m. This program is adapted to be inclusive, stress free, and non-competitive, designed for individuals that require additional assistance to play. Everyone hits, everyone runs the bases, and everyone gets home!
EARLY TO MID-OCTOBER –UPPER SKY
Sky Valley Farm Festival
Don’t miss out on this unique opportunity to visit the local farms and farmers in the Sky Valley. Visit with the farmers at the different locations and learn about what it takes to farm flowers, veggies, harvest honey, make wine, and raise animals. This free-entry family event offers some unique activities: ride the hay wagons between the farms, pet a calf, use an apple slingshot, u-pick pumpkins off the vine, walk the 1/2acre mini corn maze, and so much more! www.skyvalleychamber.com
THIRD SATURDAY IN OCTOBER – LAKE STEVENS
Shop small, eat local, and support your farmers at the Lake Stevens Harvest Market from 11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. at North Cove Park.
THIRD SUNDAY IN OCTOBER –SNOHOMISH
Snohomish River Run
An annual tradition put on by the Snohomish Running Company, the Snohomish River Run features a full day of races – a 5k, 10k, half and full marathon –along the scenic Snohomish River. www.snohomishriverrun.com
LAST SATURDAY IN OCTOBER –SNOHOMISH
Fall Into Snohomish
New for 2023, this fall festival in historic downtown Snohomish offers marketplacestyle events and activities for the whole family and concludes with the 10th annual zombie walk.
FIRST WEEKEND IN NOVEMBER – MONROE
The Great Junk Hunt
One of the top markets in Washington and voted top traveling vintage market in the USA, you won’t want to miss this hunt! The venue will be packed full of vendors selling farmhouse, industrial, re-purposed, handmade, and home décor, vintage items, and more. Grab a cocktail and enjoy live music as you browse the aisles.
SECOND WEEKEND IN NOVEMBER
Oddmall: Emporium of the Weird Craft Show
The best of the Pacific Northwest Artists, Crafters, Authors, Illustrators, and purveyors of unusual things – open to all with free admission!
MID-NOVEMBER – SKY VALLEY
Skykomish Holiday Market
Located in the Maloney General Store in historic Skykomish, come browse and shop the handcrafted wares by local artisans.
Shop 45+ vendors with both handmade and direct sales items. Shop local and sip/eat from local food trucks and a coffee cart. This event is a fundraiser for SonShine Preschool and offers special raffles for Friday night only fun! Located at 17922 149 Street SE, this event runs Friday 6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. and Saturday 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
SATURDAY AFTER THANKSGIVING – SNOHOMISH Snohomish Sparkles
The City of Snohomish’s annual tree lighting takes place at the Snohomish Carnegie, which also welcomes Santa Claus for free photos.
SUNDAY AFTER THANKSGIVING – MONROE
Light Up Monroe
Ring in the season at the city’s annual tree lighting. Santa & Mrs. Claus will be joining the community for a lighted car parade, cocoa, cookies, carols and more!
DECEMBER – LAKE STEVENS
The Lights of Lake Stevens
The Greater Lake Stevens Chamber of Commerce organizes the annual Lights of Lake Stevens Holiday Lights & Display Contest. Residents enter the contest in November, a map is produced, and the public is invited to view the displays and vote for their favorite.
FIRST WEEKEND IN DECEMBER – SKY VALLEY
Ho-Ho-Holiday Market Tour
Gather your shopping buddies and join us for the Ho-Ho-Holiday Market Tour. This two-day event winds through the picturesque Sky Valley, exploring our 7+ tour locations and 70+ artists, craftsmen, and local businesses.
FIRST WEEKEND IN DECEMBER – SULTAN
Tree Lighting & Lighted Parade
Join the Lighted Parade! Deck out your truck and trailer, tractors, side-bysides, golfcarts, or your commuter car. Participation is free and we welcome all floats, choirs, groups, and clubs to participate. Staging at the High School, the parade kicks off at 5:00 p.m. and wraps through the streets of Downtown Sultan, ending at the gazebo at the River Park Pavilion for the tree lighting. Santa will be at the pavilion handing out goodie bags and taking photos.
FIRST WEEKEND IN DECEMBER – MONROE
Pickin’ @ The Barn Holiday Vintage & Artisan Market
Find one-of-a-kind gifts for everyone on your holiday list. Unique vintage, artisan, and boutique goods curated by handpicked vendors. Delicious sips, bites, and live music.
FIRST WEEKEND IN DECEMBER – SNOHOMISH
Space 802 Holiday Festival
New for 2023, this event is a one-stop shop for your favorite winter activities. Warm up with some hot cocoa (or beer, or spirits) and get some holiday shopping in at the Makers Market. www.space802.com
FIRST SATURDAY IN DECEMBER – LAKE STEVENS
Holiday Maker Fair
The Annual Holiday Maker Fair put on by the Lake Stevens School District is located at Cavalero MidHigh from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Admission to the fair is a can of food or monetary donation to the Lake Stevens Community Food Bank. All proceeds from the fair support the district’s volunteer and employee recognition programs. www.lkstevens.wednet.edu
FIRST SATURDAY IN DECEMBER – LAKE STEVENS
City of Lake Stevens annual Winterfest will be held from 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. at North Cove Park. Join the community for the annual tree-lighting, live holiday music, and more. Plus, get your hands on the limited-edition City ornament. www.lakestevenswa.gov
SECOND WEEKEND IN DECEMBER – MONROE
Artisans Holiday Fair
Shop this free event for locally made and curated products from over 150 vendors. Grab some food and drinks and listen to live entertainment as you shop. www.artisansholidayfair.com
SECOND WEEKEND IN DECEMBER –SNOHOMISH
Winterfest: Miracle on First Street Holiday weekends hit different in Snohomish. Winterfest features a variety of events, including a wine walk, caroling, and igloo village. www.historicdowntownsnohomish.org
THIRD THURSDAY IN DECEMBER – SNOHOMISH
Winter Solstice Walk
Enjoy a festive stroll along the Snohomish River Trail, lit up with lanterns for the shortest day of the year. www.historicdowntownsnohomish.org
FIRST SATURDAY IN MARCH –SNOHOMISH
Snohomish Wine Festival
Celebrate the Snohomish wine scene at this rapidly growing event. Do some tastings and take some wine home with you, but don’t delay – some varieties sell out fast! www.snohomishchamber.org
SATURDAY BEFORE EASTER –SNOHOMISH
Snohomish Easter Parade
Did you know that Snohomish is home to the only Easter Parade in the state? Families flock to historic downtown Snohomish to see the floats and participate in the bonnet contest. www.snohomishchamber.org
SATURDAYS APRIL-JUNE –MONROE
Join the YMCA at Rotary Field in Monroe for Miracle League baseball 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. This program is adapted to be inclusive, stress free, and non-competitive, designed for individuals that require additional assistance to play. Everyone hits, everyone runs the bases, and everyone gets home!
The Sky & Sno Adventure Guide is published by Colibri Northwest for the City of Lake Stevens, the City of Snohomish, the City of Monroe, and the Sky Valley Chamber of Commerce.
Publisher Peter Philips, Colibri Northwest (206) 284-8285
Advertising Sales Katie Higgins, Colibri Northwest (206) 914-4248
Writer Richard Porter
Jake Campbell, Nichole Gaertner, Chris Hendricks, Mark Klein, Annette Pitts