Snohomish Snowstorms

You may blame me for the “Thanksgiving Snowstorm” last month. I was wishing hard for snow in order to do a repeat photograph of this month’s wonderful historic image from Bob Bickford.

The image dates from around 1935; capturing Bickford Motors used car lot on First Street under several feet of snow. This location is currently a parking lot for the American Legion Post and, of course, it was quite empty on the morning of November 22nd, even with only a few inches of snow.

Lawrence Bickford and is partner Paul Reed moved their newly acquired Ford Dealership to the west end of First Street in 1934. The showroom was across the street in the east half of the Brunswick Building. The Moehring Shoe Company, founded by Charles Moehring in 1888, was next door, currently home to Snohomish Bicycles.

The Shell station at the west end of the car lot was part of Bickford’s one-stop business plan as well. This corner site was first developed as a hotel in early Snohomish. A photographer’s studio was across the street with its telltale north-facing window built into the roof. Today, it’s the site of the Visitor’s Center with Chuck’s Seafood Grotto in the former gas station.

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1105 1st Street, 1920s

So if you didn’t like the Fords in those days, you would simply walk a block to Poier Motors at 1105 First Street to check out the Chevrolets. There is no building there now because it collapsed in the 1940s nearly killing an employee. Charles Poier and sons moved their operation to Second Street between Avenues B and C where they built the existing large structure featuring the multi-arched roof. But it was not until the 1960s that the collapsed showroom, along with adjacent storefronts, all condemned, were demolished and Kla Ha Ya Park was created with volunteer labor.

The Historical Society’s photo archives have several excellent images of First Street buried under the great snowfall of 1916 when Lot Wilbur’s home made gauge measured over 40 inches of snow. Please consider this fair warning that we may get what I wish for again.

Along with wishes for a happy holiday, I must add a reminder that I am always on the outlook for historic images, with or without a story to go with them. Also, an invitation to the 5th annual Solstice Candlelight Walk on Snohomish’s Riverfront Trail, Tuesday, 12/21/10!
Follow this link for photos and details.

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ABOUT THE PHOTOGRAPHS:

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Then: Bickford Motors, ca. 1935 (Click to enlarge)

Reed & Bickford Motors moved to the Brunswick Building on the north side of 1st in 1934, then established a used car lot and service station across the street. Lawrence Bickford became the sole owner of the Ford dealership by buying out his partner Paul Reed in 1936. The family owned business, currently located on Bickford Avenue, north of town, celebrated its 75th Anniversary last year with the addition of the 4th generation to its management team.

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Now: American Legion parking lot, 2010 (Click to enlarge)

Before this site was a parking lot for cars, it held railroad box cars for the Milwaukee Road when the Legion building served as the depot from 1911 to 1930. The writer of this column hopes that one day the site will boast of handsome storefronts as it once did in the 1890s when the Legion building was built and next door was the First National Bank of Snohomish.

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Published December 22, 2010 in the Snohomish County Tribune

4 thoughts on “Snohomish Snowstorms

  1. Bob & Pat Knight

    Thank you for sharing this past and recent photographic story with your delightful narrative. We assume that Santa knew that you had been very good (?).

    Wishing you and Karena the most merry of Christmas time. We are escaping to Florida for a few week in order to have Christmas with our daughter, Mary, and her family.

  2. warner Post author

    Thanks Bob. A tip of the hat to you both for all you do for the community; and sending wishes right back at you for a safe and happy escape.

  3. Louise Lindgren

    You were a pretty cute kid, Warner. Thanks for these latest photos and for all the others you have shared through this site during the year. You are really doing a great service for all of us who are interested in the history of the county! Louise L.

  4. warner Post author

    Thanks Louise — sometime wonder if the site should be expanded to county wide ; but then, I would need yours and David’s help.

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