Snohomish (sno-HOH’-mish) County is located in northwest Washington State, nestled between the sparkling blue waters of Puget Sound and the rugged, snow-capped peaks of the Cascade Mountains. Snohomish County begins 12 miles north of Seattle, a little under 100 miles south of Vancouver, and a short ferry ride away from the San Juan Islands or Olympic Peninsula, Snohomish County is ideally situated for exploring the entire Pacific Northwest.
We have some of the most spectacularly beautiful scenery in the United States, forest and mountain wildlife sanctuaries, unlimited opportunities for outdoor fun and artistic pursuits, and the best coffee west of Italy. Our economy is thriving thanks in large part to being the home of industry giant Boeing’s 747, 767, 777 and 787 Dreamliner assembly plant.
In 1889, William Morrice purchased the 100 acres which is now the site of Alderwood Mall, Lynnwood’s shopping experience. Only a few hardy pioneering families lived in this remote central part of South Snohomish County.
Early in the twentieth century, the area occupied by Lynnwood today was owned by the Puget Mill Company, a subsidiary of the San Francisco based Pope and Talbot Company. The company engaged in logging and by 1916, most of the big timber had been cut and Puget Mill was liable for taxes on 6,285 acres of unproductive land.
Back to the Land Days
Prior to World War One, there was a nationwide “back to the land” movement which promoted the creation of farms from the logged-off acreage. Puget Mill began selling five-acre “stump farms.” In 1917, the company developed a 30-acre poultry farm to demonstrate how a farmer might make a five-acre tract pay for itself as a marketing tool. The Demonstration Farm was conveniently located next to the Interurban Railway that ran between Seattle and Everett.
By the 1930′s, the remaining chicken farmers in the Alderwood Manor area were struggling to survive. Income from the sale of eggs and broilers was down at the Demonstration Farm, but despite these losses, the Puget Mill Company made a handy profit in land sales. Some five acre tracts were sold two or three times as buyers abandoned the Puget Mill contracts which carried an interest rate double the standard rate at the time. In 1933, the Puget Mill Company closed the Demonstration Farm, turning the central five acres over to Norm Collins who established the Washington Breeders Hatchery. The remaining 25 acres was subdivided into one-acre “ranchettes.”
By the end of World War II, Lynnwood emerged, a mile west of Alderwood Manor, as an assertive business district catering to the motoring public. By the mid-1950′s, growth dictated the need for municipal services such as fire prevention, sewers, policing and land use controls. This demand for services spurred an incorporation effort which resulted in the incorporation of Lynnwood as a city in 1959.
The city initially had a population of 6,000 people and billed itself as the “Hub City.” Development of Interstate 5 and Highway 405 brought further expansion and opportunity to the area. Lynnwood entered the 21st century with a population of 33,847. There are more than 2,500 businesses and the daytime population swells to over 150,000 with workers, shoppers and students. The city is continuing its evolution from forest land into a modern, thriving commercial and residential community. Check Lynnwood Washington State Tourism for information on where to go, what to do and how.
Lynnwood History Preservation
Devoted to preserving its history, in 1997, Lynnwood developed a Historical Commission that has since partnered with several private businesses in preservation efforts. Just east of I-5, locals and visitors can visit Heritage Park and experience a historical resource unparalleled elsewhere in South Snohomish County. The Interurban Trail once used by the Interurban railway is now a biking and walking trail. Convenient public transportation, affordable homeownership, diverse housing opportunities, and a solid infrastructure attract manufacturers, retailers, and homeowners to Lynnwood and will for years to come.
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