Looking Back: 50 years ago — February 1965

Rose Clare Menalo, from the 1965  Meadowdale High yearbook
Rose Clare Menalo, from the 1965 Meadowdale High yearbook

Fifty years ago this month on Feb. 3, one of the major events taking place was the opening of Interstate 5 from Seattle to Everett.

Two o’clock ceremonies at the Northeast 145th Street Interchange in Seattle included the U.S. color guard from Fort Lawton and the Queen Anne high school band. Following was an address by Gov. Dan Evans, and then Miss Rose Clare Menalo, a senior at Meadowdale High School and 1965 Miss Sno-King, cut the ribbon to open the freeway.

Although motorists were allowed to enter the freeway at noon to attend the ceremonies, no through traffic was allowed until the conclusion of the ribbon-cutting ceremonies.

We were told that the 19.7 miles of this super highway with its six-lanes would cut 22 minutes from rush hour traffic between Seattle and Everett and save motorists an estimated 84 cents in gasoline and tire expense for a one-way trip. Personally, my own thoughts as I headed to work from Edmonds to Seattle the next day was: Where did all these cars come from?

The second February event took place on the 11th when Lynnwood and Mountlake Terrace welcomed a new neighboring city as Brier incorporated. To this day, Mayor Bob Colinas says: Brier still has that country feel to it.

This will be a year of celebration for Brier, and the mayor and his assistant are working on discovering more of the city’s history. They welcome input from anyone in the way of photos or information.

By Betty Lou Gaeng

A long-time resident of Lynnwood, Betty Lou Gaeng is a genealogist, historian, researcher and writer who is active in volunteer work for Lynnwood’s Heritage Park Partners Advisory Committee and the Alderwood Manor Heritage Association at Heritage Park. She is also a member of the League of Snohomish County Heritage Organizations (LOSCHO) and the South County Historical Society and Museum. Gaeng is the author of two books: “Etched in Stone,” which is the history of the Edmonds Museum memorial monument, and “Chirouse” about a Catholic missionary priest who came from France to Washington Territory in 1847 and became a father figure and friend to the Puget Sound area’s Native people.

2 Replies to “Looking Back: 50 years ago — February 1965”

  1. If memory serves me correctly, the original name of the city was to be Shasta Park but was changed because it seemed too “ritzy” for the area. Also, I also believe that state law then required any school districts which had property in the same city had to be merged, and the Northshore School District gave some of its territory to the Edmonds School District so that the two could remain separate.

    Again … that’s IF my memory serves me correctly (and that’s a big IF).


  2. I remember my dad was an estimator for Sprague’s Landscaping, located in Lynnwood, who did all of the hydro-seeding along the sides of the freeway. He took me for a ride on the freeway before it opened. Certainly was impressive back then!


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