Video: LET ‘ER BOOM: 125 Years Later!

Snohomish’s newspaper “The Eye” followed the progress of the track laying crews as they moved north toward Snohomish preparing the way for the arrival of the Seattle, Lake Shore and Eastern Railroad. It was an exciting time, as it is again with the revival of the dormant rail corridor, especially between Snohomish and Woodinville with the formation of the Eastside TRailway Alliance earlier this year.

“Let’er Boom Again!” a headline might read today, if newspapers were keeping its eye on what’s happening in the community these days.

A weekend of events celebrating the 125th Anniversary of the Lake Shore Road, September 14 & 15, 2013, intends to draw attention to the regional benefits of reviving rail service south of Snohomish. The community party hopes to make news!

  • Saturday, September 14th, a Symposium of Speakers, a Musical Interlude and a Free Lunch will be held at AngelArmsWorks, 230 Avenue B in Historic Downtown Snohomish — doors open at 9a for this FREE event!
    Follow this link to learn more and to save your place.
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  • Sunday, September 15th, the celebrations begin at 11a in both Woodinville & Snohomish!
  • Download an Official Schedule of Events.
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    Featured is a special VIP caboose departing from Woodinville, north bound to Snohomish, at noon — following proclamations and remarks at 11:30. Included aboard the historic, sure to be swaying, caboose ride will be Snohomish Mayor, Karen Guzak, Woodinville City Council-member, Les Rubstello, and State Representative Luis Moscoso among others.

    The Pacific Railcar Operators will be running small rail cars, called Speeders, along the picturesque rail route between Woodinville and Snohomish as well. Barely to mention live music, food, even mini train rides for the kids!

    Three years ago, a rail operator promised the return of the Dinner Train, this time running between Woodinville and Snohomish, a promise that created quite a town buzz which reminded me of the newspaper accounts from the 1880s, and I wrote this story “Rails Over the River” about the arrival of the first train into Snohomish on September 19, 1888 — the event we are celebrating this September — and the forming of the Eastside TRailway Alliance with its goal of creating an even better excursion train.

    Let ‘er Boom Again — 125 Years Later!

    Do You Know This Former Snohomish Business?

    snohomish then and now image

    Can you identify the former Snohomish business that used these boilers, or even the men pictured? And what was the company’s famous name when it abandoned the boiler still standing?

    Please comment below with your guess; and watch for the story with more pictures next month.

    On another subject under the heading: “Local Boys Make Good”The Wired!Band won the International Blues Challenge 2012 in Memphis earlier this month. Kevin, Keith, and Rick played their way to first place in a contest of some 100 bands — Congrats all around.

    I had the good fortune of seeing their first two performances in the quarterfinals but had to move on to New Orleans for the first parade of the Mardis Gras celebration. You are invited to view my blog of the grand trip, but here is the direct link to short clips from their first performance on February 1st.

    “This Place Matters”

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    This Place Matters: March with the Mayor 2011
    A good time was had by all who turned out Saturday, July 23rd to help carry this important message to the great turn-out by the parade fans of Snohomish.

    Hope you will join us next year; in the meantime, please follow this link to the National Trust for Historic Preservation website to learn all about the “This Place Matters” campaign.

    And use our new tab “This Place Matters” to view pictures from the past two years of parades.

    The Great Fire of 1911

    Disastrous Fire Visited Snohomish Tuesday read the headline in Friday’s issue of the Snohomish County Tribune. Old news by then, but the subhead led the reader to the facts they were looking for, Thirty-five Business Places Wiped Out – Total Loss $150,000.

    The fire broke out in the basement of a restaurant on the south side of First between avenues B and C, referred to as Block 2 in those days. The entire bunch of buildings were flimsy structures, all frame buildings, the paper noted in its June 2, 1911 issue. The buildings were built on poles, some 10 to 20 feet long in order to bring the structure up to street grade from the riverbank below. Looking down on Kla Ha Ya Park from First Street today, will make this situation clear.

    In thirty minutes after the fire was discovered it had leaped across the street to the old Blackman building in which were located the Post Office, the Penobscot Hotel and other business places, which burst into flames so rapidly that the hotel guests barely had time to escape by the rear entrance, many of them losing all their baggage, reported the Tribune.

    Not a breath of wind was stirring [otherwise] the entire business portion of the city would have been wiped out. Heroic efforts on the part of our splendid volunteer fire department kept the flames confined, the hometown paper boasts, that it was hot where they were working may be judged from the fact that part of their fire hose was burned in two while in use.

    No deaths or even serious injuries were reported. One rumor on the street as reported in the paper was that three intoxicated men sleeping over the Owl saloon were burned to death; later it was found they had left before the fire.

    This is just a hint of the kind of detail David Dilgard includes in his slideshow talk about the dramatic event, and he will be giving his presentation – Marking 100 Years Since the Great Fire of 1911 — at the Upper Case Books at 611 Second Street on Thursday, May 26th at 6:30pm – but I suggest you show up at 6 for an espresso and a seat. David is co-founder of the Northwest Room at the Everett Public Library and his popular slideshow talks are always free.

    Published in the Snohomish County Tribune, May 18, 2011.

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    The photographer William Douglas came to Snohomish with the intention of capturing the Wiseman airplane flight on May 7th, the subject of our past two articles. However, Douglas was still in town when the fire broke out early on the morning of May 30, 1911, and captured the dramatic images that accompany this story.

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    Thanks to all who showed up for David’s slideshow talk at Upper Case Books. An overflow turnout had store owner Lorraine and her employee TJ scrambling for chairs.

    Raise a Glass to the Memory of E. C. Ferguson

    You are invited to the inaugural celebration of E. C. Ferguson Day, Sunday, November 14, 4p, at Fred’s Rivertown Ale House (1114 First, Historic Downtown Snohomish).

    November 14th is the day that Ferguson was awarded a license to operate his Blue Eagle Saloon — the first saloon of Snohomish — in 1864. For new readers of this page, E. C. Ferguson is considered the founder of Snohomish City in 1859.

    To help us honor this occasion will be historian David Dilgard with the Everett Public Library, speaking to the more colorful aspects of old Ferg’s reputation. And to help us celebrate will be Tim Noah, founder/director of Snohomish’s Thumbnail Theater, who is working on an original song for the occasion. (There is no cover charge or suggested contribution for this event.)

    Cady Landing, 1885, the Blue Eagle Saloon is left of center
    You may learn more about this image HERE.