The Ferguson Mansion, circa 1900

The Snohomish School District’s Maple Avenue Campus is located on the former grounds of the Ferguson Farm.

Soon, construction will begin on the new Aquatic Center on this site for an anticipated opening of fall 2013, and best as I can tell, the competition pool will be located in between where Ferguson’s barn and the mansion once stood.

Bruce Ferguson, Ferguson Farm mapBruce Ferguson, great grandson to E. C., is pointing out where the Ferguson mansion was located, just south of the Maple Avenue Campus and up on a rise where an apartment complex now stands at 514 Maple Avenue. Bruce remembers exploring the mansion’s foundation with his brother Gary. The large barn to the north was still standing during his childhood. “It had a concrete floor,” claims Bruce, still impressed after all these years. Ferguson Creek, now called Swifty Creek, ran above ground in those days, directly in front of the home. There were two wooden bridges built for cars crossing the creek to the estate. Asked about the “water tank,” Bruce pointed out where concrete footings were removed for the new trail, near the Soccer Dome. He expressed his hope to the trail designers that the footings might remain with an interpretative sign indicating the location of the railroad water tank that serviced the steam engines beginning in 1888.

For readers new to Snohomish, E. C. Ferguson is often referred to as the “the father of Snohomish.” It’s my hope that some part of the new Aquatic Center will carry the Ferguson name. Judging by this historic photograph from the Ferguson Family album, the entire family were avid swimmers.

"The Bathers, 1900" Ferguson Family Album

The School Board’s decision to go ahead with the Aquatic Center at this site followed a February 7, 2012, vote by the Snohomish City Council to approve an Interlocal Agreement between the city and school district to provide the water and sewer to operate the facility at the Maple Avenue Campus. (The city paid for these same utilities at the Hal Moe Pool during its many years of operation.)

In return, residents of Snohomish will receive discounted use fees for what promises to be a must use facility with various water features for every family member. My granddaughters and I are particularly looking forward to the water slide that protrudes at the top of the structure and ‘S’ curves its way down outside of the building, then re-enters the structure — dropping us off into the ground level pool inside!

How does the “Ivie Ferguson Water Slide” sound to you? Let’s let the School Board Members know that we would like to see this fantastic facility honor the founding family of Snohomish.

Now and TomorrowMaple Avenue Campus: Now and Tomorrow

Please follow this link to contact School Board Members; and/or leave a comment of support below.

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Published in the Snohomish County Tribune, April 18, 2012.