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 August, we’ll revisit 1973.
On Friday, Aug. 3, 1973, the Edmonds South Snohomish County Historical Society opened the doors to its new museum. The Edmonds Museum, located in the former Carnegie Library in Downtown Edmonds, remains a vital part of the community today.
The grand opening in 1973 drew a crowd of more than 200 people, many of which were longtime residents of the area. The historical society was established several months prior by a small group led by Douglas Egan. In December 1972 a steering committee met at the Yesteryear Restaurant in Edmonds, now Claire’s Pantry, and agreed to form the historical society. Harve Harrison, then Mayor, was contacted about using the old library building for a museum. At that time, the building was being used by several volunteer groups as well as the city’s Parks and Recreation Department. A case was made to the City Council that the building was in need of some care and the newly formed historical society was the group to do it. The historical society walked away with a unanimous Council vote in their favor.
The building was constructed in 1910 with a $5,000 grant from Andrew Carnegie Foundation. It served not only as a library, but the lower floor housed Edmonds’ City Hall, council chambers, the water department, police department, and city jail cells for 50 years. To accommodate rapid population growth and need for a larger City Hall and library, these functions were moved to Edmonds Civic Center in 1962. The building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.
This Saturday, Aug. 3, 2013, the museum will celebrate its 40th birthday at the Edmonds Museum Summer Market. Volunteers will be handing out candy bars to the first 1,500 people to stop by the museum’s sale booth (located on the front lawn of the museum). Additionally, Edmonds’ pioneer George Brackett, portrayed by John Hartquist of Driftwood Players, will be performing on the museum steps at 11 a.m. This is one birthday celebration you won’t want to miss!