It happened 126 years ago: the Bracketts filed a plat that became Edmonds

Publishers note: This report on the founding of Edmonds (126 years ago) is from Thanks to Diane Hettrick for suggesting that we publish it.

On August 23, 1884, George and Etta Brackett file a plat for the first townsite in Edmonds. The plat includes provisions for a mill site, water, and parks.  It is the first plat filed in a spot that will grow to become the second largest city in Snohomish County.

George Brackett (Photo courtesy Edmonds-South Snohomish County Historical Society)

George Brackett (1841-1927), a Canadian-born logger, had arrived in Seattle in 1872 and shortly began exploring possible timber stands along Puget Sound.  In 1876 he acquired property along the shoreline and up the hill beyond in what would become the town of Edmonds.

From that beginning he sought to develop the small, growing community.  He expanded his own land holdings and encouraged others to come and do the same.  He was responsible for the first mill, an early wharf, and for starting a school system. After the town incorporated in 1890 he became the first mayor and served city council terms during much of his lifetime.

He was one of those persons instrumental in establishing streets and other aspects of the community infrastructure, and he encouraged the establishment of an automobile ferry route across Puget Sound from Edmonds.  Although he was not the only person to develop the town, he became generally acknowledged as the founder of Edmonds long before his death on December 27, 1927.

Etta Jones Brackett (b. 1859) was born in Minnesota; she moved west and married  George Brackett on June 20, 1877.  Her home was one of the first and largest in early Edmonds and as such was often a center for social gatherings and prayer meetings.  The couple had six children and divorced in bitter proceedings in the fall of 1905. She later married Edward Carpenter and moved to California.

George (1842-1927) and Etta Brackett on the porch of their home in Edmonds in the early 1900s. (Photo courtesy Edmonds-South Snohomish County Historical Society)
  1. Visit George Bracketts grave site at the Edmonds Memorial Cemetery on 100th and 15th (next to QFC) for another piece of the history. Walking Tour brochures are posted on the office/garage wall.

  2. Not surprised by the divorce as I’ve heard people say that not only was George a founding father, but he also fathered much of the early population. Same issue with another early pioneer, Samuel Holmes. His wife Anna and kids moved to the Sequim area having had enough of Samuel’s antics around town. Indeed, history can be entertaining!

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