THE FIRST LAWYER IN TOWN, Eldridge Morse, and the first doctor, Albert Folsom, initiated the organization of the Atheneum Society, and produced a hand-written newsletter, The Shillalah, Devoted to Art, Science, Literature and General News. This effort led to their publication of our first newspaper, The Northern Star in 1876, but businesses didnâ€™t have to wait until then to place an ad.
Thanks once again to Ann Tuohy for transcribing an ad for the Riverside Hotel (the three-story white building in the center), from a hand-written business directory issue of the Shillalah (circa 1874), which I am including in its entirety with only the spelling updated, but wtih the tongue-in-cheek firmly in place.
Riverside Hotel. By Frank Mathews, lately proprietor of the Iceburg House, North Pole. This house has been fitted up in princely style with all the modern and ancient improvements. Guests have the privilege of being eaten by the landlord or of eating themselves. A large number new 0 nails have just been purchased from John Hilton, and sincerely driven in all the rooms, so that any number of patrons can be accommodated with a place to sleep on short notice. Those preferring light airy rooms can be accommodated on the new side walk, on the west side of the hotel, lately erected by the celebrated architect and builder, Mr. Ward, of Jersey City, Forks of the Snoqualmie. There is a fine bar attached to the house, and the best evidence of the superior quality of the liquors furnished to customers may be found in the fact that the former proprietor and the present landlord are both still living, and are liable to linger along quite awhile longer. A spacious hall may be found in the 3rd story where the light-fantastic toe and ponderous heel often smite the floor at the same time. A beautiful zoological garden and pleasure ground are adjacent to the building and free to all the guests, here is the finest collection of old hens, chickens, roosters, mice, rats, hogs, pigs, puppies, dogs & bears ever before kept in any hotel in Washington Territory.
By 1892 Snohomish boasted of its first four-star hotel, the Penobscot, at First Street and Avenue B, so we are not sure how this building was being used when Anders Beer Wilse captured this informative image. Ads in the newspapers of the 1890s list Fergusonâ€™s Blue Eagle Tavern, west of the hotel building, as â€œFergusonâ€™s old store,â€ and it seems that other merchants were using it for selling overstock.
Albert Folsom passed away in 1885 and so missed the expansion of Snohomishâ€™s riverfront with the coming of the steamships. Morse retired to a farm outside of Snohomish to grow vegetables that he sold in town until his death in 1914.
ABOUT THE PHOTOGRAPHS:
Eastside Riverfront circa 1885. A prized image captured by Gilbert Horton, Snohomish’s own pioneer photographer. Far left is the Ferguson Cottage, built in 1859 and still standing; next in line is Ferguson’s famous Blue Eagle Tavern; then the two story Riverside Hotel and behind it is the Sinclair store and first home.
[Photo courtesy Snohomish County History Museum]
Another pictorial gem showing the eastern end of early Snohomish’s riverfront captured by the Norwegian photographer Anders Beer Wilse. Barely included on the left is the Ferguson Cottage next to two unidentified buildings, then the two story Blue Eagle Tavern with a new addition, and the Riverside Hotel building is still standing. The age of the steam ship is in full bloom showing two ships double parked at the Jackson Wharf, only the stern-wheeler Florence Henry is identified. And that’s Maple Street meeting the river on the right.
[Photo courtesy Museum of History and Industry, Wise No.11007]
Cady Landing, 2009. The eastern end of Snohomish’s downtown riverfront as it appears today. The Ferguson Cottage stands out on the left, sporting a recent coat of white paint, and Cady Landing at the end of Maple Street is on the right.