Featured fitness activity: Walking tour of Edmonds
Did you know Edmonds once had an opera house? If you follow the Edmonds Historical Museum’s 2.5 mile walking tour, your sixth stop will be at the Masonic Temple, 515 Dayton, which was once Edmonds Opera House. The building, before its 1944 sale to Masonic Lodge #165, was the site of public dances, theatrical shows and even some bowling.
Checking out the aging structure, along with the other 18 stops on the historical tour, add up to the first My Edmonds News featured fitness and wellness activity for 2013. We have one piece of advice as you follow the map getting fit and soaking up olde times: keep a camera in hand. You can email your favorite shots to us and add to the ongoing history of Edmonds. Of course, you receive extra points for any ghosts you capture. Here’s the complete tour, courtesy of the museum:
Park and walk to the Edmonds Historical Museum at 115 5th Ave. North.
1: 118 5th Avenue North: Carnegie Library A $5,000 gift from Andrew Carnegie was received in 1910 to build a new library building. It opened in 1911. Of the original 1,681 Carnegie libraries built, only 271 remain intact, of which Edmonds is one. This building is typical of all Carnegie Libraries: entered by a stairway “leading upward to the halls of knowledge.” Note the beautiful handset Tiffany glass in the transom and fan shaped window over the main entrance. This building was placed on the National Register of Historic Buildings in 1973 and currently houses the Edmonds-South Snohomish County Historical Society collection.
2: 5th and Main Street: Leyda Building Built by former Edmonds Mayor Fred Fortner in 1924, the multi-retail complex with upstairs apartments has been a cornerstone of downtown businesses. Dewey and Cecelia Leyda bought the building in the mid-1940′s and completed a major facelift project in 1985 through an Edmonds Main Streets program for downtown renovation.
3: 542 Main Street: I.O.O.F. Hall (Reliable Floor Covering) Built in 1891 for the Independent Order of Oddfellows, the lower floor was used as a community hall. Church members would meet here while their edifices were being built. Political rallies and road shows were held here, and the first motion picture was shown at this site in 1909.
4: 700 Main Street: Edmonds Grade School (Frances Anderson Center) In 1891 the Edmonds grade school was built on this site. Originally a three-story Victorian frame schoolhouse, it served school children until it was replaced by the current concrete structure in 1928. In 1972 the school closed its doors for the last time due to decreasing enrollment in the downtown area. It reopened in 1979 as the Frances Anderson Center, named in honor of long time teacher and principal of the district.
5: 601 Dayton Street: First Congregational Church (American Legion Hall) The first organized church in Edmonds, this edifice was built in 1888 and served the congregation until sold to the Frank Freese Post of the American Legion. The steeple was removed, and there is some debate as to whether the building was rotated a quarter turn. The church parsonage at 610 Dayton Street was built in 1902 and is now privately owned.
6: 515 Dayton Street: Edmonds Opera House (Masonic Temple) Built on the site of the old Socialist Hall, the Opera House offered public dances, productions of early melodramas, traveling theater productions and served as bowling alley and motion picture house. It was sold to the Masonic Lodge #165 in 1944.
7: Dayton and 5th Avenue: Yost Garage (Old Milltown) Allen Yost started the first automobile agency in Edmonds, a Ford agency housed in this building which he built in 1913. Yost Garage housed the Suburban Transportation System, serving Richmond Beach and Seattle. In 1973 the Yost Garage was remodeled into this arcade of shops while still preserving much of the original interior.
8: 130 5th Avenue South: Methodist Church Site The Hughes Memorial Methodist Church stood on this corner for 37 years before it was demolished in 1961 to make way for a drugstore and supermarket. Unique in its Spanish mission architecture, the congregation included many of Edmonds pioneer families.
9: Main Street between 4th and 5th Avenue: Beeson Building This all concrete structure was built by F.R. Beeson in 1909 after a fire had leveled the entire block. It was the biggest permanent building in town at that time. A large apartment upstairs was home to Mr. and Mrs. Beeson after moving out of their home just around the corner on the north side of Main Street. Their home is now the Beeson House Antiques, 118 4th Avenue North.
10: Southwest corner of 4th Avenue and Main Street: Fourth and Main Building Really three buildings, this historic block has been the site of three major businesses. On the east end, the first Bank of Edmonds was built in 1907. The west end was built by W.A. Schumacher in 1890 and sold to E. Heberlein in 1908 where he moved his already established hardware business. In 1907 the Bank contracted for a new building between, to be occupied by William Kingdon’s general merchandise store, now serving as Rosa Mundi’s Antiques.
11: Main Street and Railroad Ave.: Ferry Dock/Brackett’s Landing and shingle mill sites The landing site of George Brackett in 1870. Since those early days when Brackett’s family and a few other pioneer families settled in this lush forested amphitheater, it has been the heart of Edmonds. Water, rail and highways converge here. This site also commemorates the role of the shingle mills in the history of Edmonds. The number of mills grew rapidly because of the availability of quality timber close at hand, unlimited source of water power, and good transportation. At the height of the shingle industry, mills stretched along the Edmonds waterfront.
12: 120 Edmonds Street: The Wells House Built in 1891 by Arthur Mowat on one of the original lots platted by George and Etta Brackett. This house is one of the oldest still standing in Edmonds and has been well cared for throughout the years.
13: Second and Bell Street: The Bishop Hotel This grand and elegant hotel was built in 1890. Also known as the Stevens, Olympic View Hotel and Olympic View Apartments, it was torn down in 1975 to make way for the existing condominiums.
14: 233 Third Avenue North: Brackett’s Feed Barn / First School Site The first classes of the Edmonds School District #15 were held in a feed barn owned by George Brackett. Six students attended classes here. The barn was torn down in 1964 after years of neglect.
15: 410 4th Avenue North: Edmonds High School The cornerstone for the new high school was laid on November 30, 1909. It served as the only high school until 1957 when the new high school was built. From then until 1975 it was the junior high. The building has been completely remodeled and now serves as the Edmonds Center for the Arts.
16: 216 4th Avenue North: The Thompson House Built in 1904 and originally located at 203 4th Avenue North, this house is a classic example of the late Victorian style home. It was moved to its current location in 1996 by Darrell Marmion to save it from demolition. It is currently being restored in preparation for its 100th birthday.
17: 4th and Bell Street: First Baptist Church The Baptist Church is the oldest church remaining in downtown Edmonds. Built in 1909 on donated land at 6th and Hebe Way, it was moved to its present site in 1929. This beautiful little church is a wonderful example of architecture typically found in New England.
18: 115 3rd Avenue North: Chestnut House Built in the late 1890′s by Peter Becklund, this historic house has had many owners. Throughout its life it has been lovingly maintained and is a handsome building in our downtown.
19: 401 Main Street: Princess Theater Constructed in this location in 1923, the Princess Theatre brought entertainment to a new level in Edmonds. Operating today under the name Edmonds Theater, the Art Deco building seats more than 250 people and shows first-run films daily, and is one of the last independently-owned, single screen movie theaters in Washington.
From the theater, walk back to 118 5th Ave. N. For an added workout, walk up the central staircase to the museum doors.