By Jim Underhill
Our Edmonds history really does take us all around the town — from the waterfront, up the hills to places called Holmes Corner, Seaview, Firdale Village and Lake Ballinger. Neighborhoods with their own stories, that makes Edmonds our kind of town.
Even our portion of Highway 99, which provides many goods and services, also presents interesting history. Yes, the Highway has those old motels, but why are they there? Why was Highway 99 built, and how did this benefit the city through improved transit, annexations and business development? Answers can be found for these questions, but some of our history leaves us only with questions.
A case in point is the famous Highway 99 roadhouse called The Ranch Roadhouse. As Highway 99 was constructed, many new businesses popped up to serve the traveling public. This included the small motels we see today, but also places like the Ranch Roadhouse, where folks could order a meal and possibly an overnight stay.
And this Roadhouse was an establishment well known by local law enforcement. It was described as being “notorious” due to gambling and liquor raids. This was during the 1930s, but by the next decade it had cleaned up its act and billed itself a dining and dancing resort, for the local community.
The location of the Ranch Roadhouse (as described in the Museum of History and Industry catalog) was “near the corner of Highway 99 and 220th Street.” But the exact location is not certain. So if anyone knows where this place was located, and has any other information about it, please post details in the comments section below.