This Month in Edmonds History: Looking back (even further) into the past

    Downtown Edmonds at 5th and Main, looking west, in 1912.

    My Edmonds News is proud to present a monthly look at Edmonds history, straight from the archives of the Edmonds Historical Museum. For the month of March, we’ll revisit 1890 by way of 1912.

    A March 22, 1912, article published in the Edmonds Tribune-Review stepped back in time when it examined the leading editorial from an 1890 issue of a newspaper called the Edmonds Chronicle. This was an exciting time for Edmonds; the town was incorporated in 1890 and the railroad was on its way. By the end of 1891, trains were running regularly between Seattle and Bellingham, and growth and opportunity awaited settlers at every stop.  Part of the 1890 editorial is printed here:

    The experience of the past few weeks have made clear as noonday to all who have become cognizant of the facts, that a great era of prosperity has dawned upon Edmonds. The instincts of trade lead to the seeking out of the most advantageous natural conditions and possible combinations exceed those of other sections. It is the natural course of commercial enterprise to preempt these advantages. It is in the interest of themselves that people inhabiting sections of country where natural advantages obtain realize the possibilities of their heritage, and by an amalgamation of their forces gather the substantial advantages that accrue therefrom. By this process have come all great commercial, political and other sectional successes. It is not hard now that we are able to see, what are the conditions which combine to trust greatness and wealth upon our city. Edmonds has the unquestioned advantage of being on the shortest radiating line to the Sound country; not only has our city the best of location, but her resources can not be overestimated—timber and farming land adjoining the city being of the very best. That our city has a general grand future, there is no dispute. Nothing on the face of the earth can retard Edmonds’ growth.

    The editorial goes on to tell of the arrival of the railroad: “On to Edmonds” is the first line. With the Great Northern surveyors hard at work on the line, the editor writes in his heading: “Great Rejoicing Throughout the City,” and then, “The Railroad Will Probably Enter the City From the Northeast.” The hope and anticipation of early Edmonds is seen in this writing, and is later echoed in the 1912 article.

    “How wonderfully is history repeating itself,” states the March 1912 story. “How wonderfully is that indomitable spirit which ruled the pioneers of the Princess City being reincarnated.” The article goes on to pose a question to the citizens of Edmonds: “Can we read of the heroic work done by those folks in time and rest on our oars now? A trolley line was almost unheard of then, much less dreamed of as an asset. Today we have one of the best lines west of the Rocky Mountains three miles to the east of us.  Today we are on the verge of the movement which means that one equally as good is coming through the heart of our city. That the things we dreamed of came true, we know. In this great age of rapid development and the resistless march of progress we do not need to dream. The things spoken of then are realities now. We have but to take care of the result of that development. Our country is rapidly being settled. The great forests which then covered all the country about here so densely that much was absolutely impenetrable are gone, and in their place now comes the home, the field, the orchard. The heritage of years bequeathed to us is pregnant with opportunity. It comes but once. Shall we let it pass?”

    One hundred years have passed since the article was written in 1912.  How wonderfully is history repeating itself?


    One Reply to “This Month in Edmonds History: Looking back (even further) into the past”

    1. This is a great new feature for MyEdmondsNews! I would like to encourage my fellow Edmonds residents to consider becoming members of the Edmonds Historical
      Museum. The Rosabel Semon Guild is another way to help our Museum and save more of our local history. The Guild meets on the third Tuesday at 11 am inside the Museum.


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