Looking Back: Lynnwood’s Peter Schreiber and Scriber Lake

Schreiber’s cabin at Scriber Lake. Source: Terri Schreiber Warren.

 The beginning 

Maintained in a natural setting, Lynnwood’s Scriber Lake Park is one of the city’s most nature-oriented parks, and today just as it must have been in earlier times, this tranquil and typical bog-like lake is home to a variety of wild bird life. Originally known as Schreiber’s Lake, it was named for Lynnwood pioneer Peter Schreiber. The lake is located on the northeastern portion of what was his 160-acre homestead. Selecting the land of his choice in 1888 and receiving his patent to that land in 1891, he joined a handful of others to become one of the earliest residents of today’s Lynnwood. Even though circumstances later made it necessary for him to live and work elsewhere, because of the lake, he is remembered.

Peter Schreiber’s story provides a small glimpse into some of the history of both Lynnwood and Edmonds.  His is a bittersweet story of hopeful expectations, a marriage, children and tragedy.

The photo of the cabin shown with this story has been furnished by Terri Schreiber Warren, the great-granddaughter of Peter Schreiber and his wife Lavina. This rustic log home was located on a small knoll west of the lake’s shore. The location would have been approximately where Lynnwood’s Big Lots store is today — 5710 196th St. S.W. Peter Schreiber’s Lake is located about four miles east of Edmonds.

Unlike the configuration of most homesteads, Peter Schreiber chose a long narrow strip of land. Today, his 160 acres are bounded on the north by 196th Street and extend from 52nd Avenue West across Highway 99 to 68th Avenue West — with the southern border near today’s 200th Street Southwest. In our time, Lynnwood’s Scriber Lake Park — as well as many businesses and other buildings at or near the Crossroads — are located on what was originally Peter Schreiber’s homestead property.

Shown in front of the cabin in this circa 1890-family photo are (left to right): Edmonds resident Amelia Nichols Roscoe (Mrs. C. T. Roscoe), mother-in-law of Peter Schreiber — Lavina Roscoe Schreiber, wife of Peter Schreiber and daughter of C. T. and Amelia Roscoe — Peter Schreiber himself — and Lavina Schreiber’s two sisters, Emma Roscoe Heberlein and Almyra Rae Roscoe, both of Edmonds. Seated in front of the two sisters is Peter Schreiber’s older brother Christian B. Schreiber, also of Edmonds. The person behind the camera is not mentioned, but may have been Peter Schreiber’s father-in-law, C. T. (Christopher Theophile) Roscoe.  C. T. Roscoe became the Edmonds city treasurer in 1890, a town marshal, and then a one-term mayor—1895-1896. The lean-to shown on the right in the photo, was occupied by yet another important and very necessary member of the Schreiber family — their milk cow.

The Peter and Lavina Schreiber story

Peter Septimus Schreiber was born Sept. 6, 1859 in Denmark, the son of Henry Reinhardt Schreiber and Maria Kirstine Lindholm.  Baptized at Mygdal, Hjorring, Denmark on Nov. 25, 1859, Peter Schreiber was a native of Frederikshavn, Denmark.

Peter Schreiber, his older brother Christian B. Schreiber, and possibly a sister Ida Henriette, left Denmark and traveled to America in 1882. The two brothers settled in Edmonds in 1888, and that same year, Peter Schreiber filed his homestead claim at the Seattle Land Office. Denmark church records show that their sister Ida Henriette Schreiber was born July 5, 1862 and confirmed in Thisted, Denmark on April 25, 1877. However, no further records were discovered for Ida Henriette Schreiber.

On April 2, 1890, Peter Schreiber married 23-year-old Lavina Roscoe. Lavina Roscoe was born Nov. 1, 1866 in Churubusco, Clinton County, New York, the daughter of C. T. Roscoe and Emilie Nichols. The Roscoe family left New York and became residents of Edmonds about 1888.

Peter Schreiber and his two children, Marie Amelia
and Carl—circa 1902. Source: Terri Schreiber Warren.

After building his cabin and improving the land, Peter Schreiber was issued his land patent to the 160 acres on Aug. 4, 1891. By that time the family had increased in size. Peter and Lavina Schreiber’s first child, a daughter, Marie Amelia Schreiber, was born June 30, 1891 at the Roscoe home in Edmonds.

A second child, a son, Carl Schreiber, was born to the couple on March 27, 1895. Although, the infant’s birth return gave his name as Harry Reinhardt Schreiber, his name was later changed to Carl Frederick Schreiber. A few days following the birth of their son, tragedy struck the family. On April 5, 1895, in Edmonds, 28-year-old Lavina Schreiber died from complications of childbirth. She was buried at the IOOF Cemetery in south Edmonds — her grave is one of the oldest at what is now Edmonds Memorial Cemetery.

After his wife’s death, Peter Schreiber and the children left their lakeside cabin and settled in Edmonds.  Peter Schreiber did eventually establish a home in town with his brother Christian. However, his work took him out of town much of the time. According to the 1900 and 1910 federal census records, Peter Schreiber’s children lived with their Roscoe grandparents.

In our time, the C. T. Roscoe family home located on the southwest corner of Fourth Avenue North and Bell Street is one of the more attractive and well-cared for pioneer homes in Edmonds.  Next door to the south, is the former home of Reuben Roscoe, the son of C. T. and Emilie Roscoe. The Reuben Roscoe house, which had been moved from its original location, is also one of Edmonds’ well-preserved historic homes.

The former C. T. Roscoe home in the summer of 2018. (Photo by Betty Lou Gaeng)

Peter Schreiber’s work, his hope, and the final days

Old record books in Everett show that Peter Schreiber, sometime after his wife’s death, became interested in gold mining in the Wallace River Basin, just north of the mining town of Index, Snohomish County. It was reported that he did not own the mines, and worked them alone. Although others probably put up most of the money, he did have an interest. The numerous mines shown in the records were: Comet, Meteor, Buffalo, Baltimore and New York. As well as, Marie, Almyra, Emma, Minnie, Julie, Ida (all relatives). Also, there were Dagmar, Maud, Margarette and Helen.  Peter Schreiber spent many years working the mines — the first date was shown as 1898, and the last was in 1911, shortly before his illness and death. Even after years of hard work, he evidently never found a rich claim.

When not prospecting at the mines, Peter Schreiber became interested in the affairs of the town of Edmonds, and as early as 1890, he served two terms on the town council. About 1908, he served as street commissioner.

Later, after Peter Schreiber’s death, a relative revealed that Peter Schreiber often expressed his homesickness for his old home in Denmark, and of his hope to visit his birth home one day.

He was looking forward to the completion of the Panama Canal so he could sail home that way.

His daughter Marie said that her father planned on taking her with him when he returned to his old home in Denmark. It was not to be — Peter Schreiber succumbed to cancer at Swedish Hospital in Seattle on Aug. 29, 1913, just about a week before his 54th birthday.

By the year 1910, most of Peter Schreiber’s 160 acres of homestead land had been sold either to private investors or for delinquent and unpaid taxes to the highest bidder at the Snohomish County Courthouse in Everett.

As mentioned earlier, this was a family afflicted with tragedy.  Peter Schreiber’s older brother Christian also became a victim of the same type of cancer as his brother. Having witnessed his brother’s suffering and painful death, on March 16, 1922, at the age of 67, Christian Schreiber took his own life.

The two brothers always remained close during their lifetimes, and now rest next to each other at Edmonds Memorial Cemetery.

Peter and Lavina Schreiber’s two children  

Marie Amelia Schreiber, the first-born child of Peter and Lavina Schreiber, was raised by her Roscoe grandparents and attended school in Edmonds. In 1912, she married Lyle H. Proctor, the son of Dan and Maritta Proctor. Two children were born to Marie and her husband Lyle: Josephine Proctor, who died as a 3-day-old infant in 1917, and Lyla Proctor Tallmadge (1918-1988).

Marie Schreiber Proctor died Oct. 13, 1943 at the age of 52. Her husband Lyle Proctor died in 1950 at the age of 61. The Proctors and their two offspring are buried at Edmonds Memorial Cemetery.

According to the federal census records, son Carl Frederick Schreiber was enumerated as living with his Roscoe grandparents. However, it is a Schreiber family tradition that in 1902, at the age of 7, he worked at the Edmonds Livery — his job, to feed the logging oxen and clean the stalls, in exchange for his room and board. In our day, this sounds terribly cruel. However, in earlier times it was not uncommon for young boys to apprentice in a trade in such a manner.

In 1921, Carl Schreiber married Gladys Ethel Morehouse of Portland, Ore., and they had two children. The family lived in Bremerton, Wash., where Carl worked at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard. Carl Schreiber died at Bremerton in 1965 and his wife Gladys in 1986. They are both buried at Miller-Woodlawn Memorial Park in Bremerton.

— By Betty Lou Gaeng

Betty Gaeng is a former long-time resident of Lynnwood and Edmonds, coming to the area in 1933. Although now living in Anchorage, she occasionally writes about the history and the people of both early-day Lynnwood and Edmonds.


  1. Do you know anything about the old man named Charlie who lived in a cabin 1 block from the lake, toward 200th?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Real first and last names — as well as city of residence — are required for all commenters.
This is so we can verify your identity before approving your comment.

By commenting here you agree to abide by our Code of Conduct. Please read our code at the bottom of this page before commenting.