Looking Back: Revisiting the abandoned Edmonds burial grounds

“There was an old abandoned cemetery on the hill east of Ninth Ave., in the vicinity of Walnut Street.  It was overgrown with briars, salal, and small evergreens.  The few remaining markers were so weather-beaten, they were completely illegible.” Among the many memories she had of early Edmonds, Esther Amy Kingdon Knowles, in 1986, shared…

Looking Back: The story of Edmonds developer Zophar Lanning Howell III

The people who came to Edmonds when it was still a developing small town, came from various places and backgrounds.  Some had very little money and others were lucky to have a substantial bank roll. However, one thing they all seemed to have in common — hope for a good life in an evolving young…

Looking Back: 9/11—two decades ago

Twenty years ago, when American Airlines Flight No. 77 was hijacked by five terrorists and deliberately flown into the west side of the Pentagon military headquarters in Washington, D.C., one of the victims was 52-year-old Sgt. Major Larry Strickland, U.S. Army, who was looking forward to enjoying the leisure of retirement in a few days….

Looking Back: Remembering midget race cars of the past at Aurora Speed Bowl

During the early 1930s, as our nation struggled to survive the Great Depression, a new sport burst upon the scene, and oval tracks for midget car racing began appearing throughout the country.  During its early days, this unusual racing sport drew the interest and participation of backyard mechanics, and as one source said it was…

Looking Back: Taming a town while still having a good time in Edmonds

When the little village of Edmonds incorporated as a fourth-class town in August of 1890, even though there had been some hard times, the residents must have been filled with hope that the final decade of the 19th century would bring prosperity, growth and some needed culture to their community. Certainly, at 5 o’clock in…

Looking Back: Remembering March 29, 1973 – a day of return from Vietnam

The latest issue of the Veterans of Foreign Wars National Magazine reminded me that on Monday, March 29, our country will pay honor to the veterans of the Vietnam War, and we are requested to display our country’s flag on this special day of remembrance. Over 50 years ago, many of our young people were…

Looking Back: The history of a small baby spoon—a family treasure

Sometimes writing articles about history can be frustrating, controversial, and even boring. Right in the middle of putting together an article about a large lumber company, its long-time log agent, and the beginnings of Lynnwood and Edmonds, I experienced all three moods, so I decided to put this particular project aside for the time being,…

Looking Back: Shopping—the past and the present

Some changes in my own life inspired me to look at the history of shopping from a different perspective, and to realize that through the years, even though new technology has brought some cosmetic changes, the basics still pretty much remain the same—shopping from home is popular, convenient and sometimes a necessity. Until May of…

Looking Back: History of the waterways of South Snohomish County  

Recently, a reader commenting on my April 9, 2019 article, “Looking Back: South Snohomish County place names from the past,” asked how Shell Creek got its name? In my reply to the reader’s question, I reached back to some of my own memories from well over 80 years ago, when I was a child of Edmonds…

Looking Back: A tragic accident on a summer night in 1953

Shown above are some of the volunteer firefighters from Station No. 1, Snohomish County Fire Protection District No. 1, its home base located at Seattle Heights, three miles east of Edmonds. The men were standing beside one of the district’s fire trucks in front of Eisen’s Garage on the northeast corner of today’s 212th Street…

Looking Back: 1910 Snohomish County plat map inspires stories of local history

Discovering history sources Clues to historical stories can be found in records from many different, and even unusual sources. The idea for this column originated from a small portion of a 1910 Plat of Township 27 North, Range 4 East, Willamette Meridian, Snohomish County, Washington. The southwest Snohomish County landholders of 1910 shown on this…

Looking Back: A building fire in summer 1977 and some other Edmonds history

Publisher’s note: This story was originally posted on Saturday, Aug. 22. We are reposting it Aug. 24, along with a few others, so that they will appear in the next daily newsletter. Due to a technical glitch, that newsletter did not go out on Sunday, Aug. 23. Like me, some of you may have memories…

Looking Back: 102 years ago – 1918 and the Spanish Influenza Pandemic

In October of 1918, the world was still fighting WWI, and although the end of the hostilities was near, censorship of the news still remained.  Therefore, it was left to the non-combatant country of Spain to report that civilians in many places were becoming ill and dying at an alarming rate.  These circumstances gave rise…

Looking Back: Charles Robert (Bob) Lutton, Jr. — MIA, WWII

This year, Memorial Day will be observed on Monday, May 25.  However, because of the present health issues, there will be few, if any, gatherings of people for public ceremonies. Instead, I hope the day will be a quiet time, filled with personal reflections. In Edmonds, because it has been 75 years since the ending…

Looking Back: Katrina Bagley of Tulalip — a woman to remember

Much like the Biblical Job, during her lifetime, Katrina Bagley endured one loss after another. Through it all, she never faltered in her love of life, her church, nor her love for her family. While talking with three of her grandsons, I learned much about this indomitable lady and her enjoyment of life. With that…

Looking Back: Salish Crossing and the historic Edmonds High School portico

I was in Hawaii on vacation from the cold weather and snow of Anchorage, Alaska, and returned on March 5 to read from an earlier publication of My Edmonds News about the controversial decision by the Edmonds City Council to deny funding for an informational panel for the historic Edmonds High School portico, now located…

Looking Back: The final chapter of the Brackett story

In Seattle, on June 20, 1877, Etta Jones was 18 years old, still a teenager, when she married George Brackett, a 36-year-old man, twice her age. It must have been an overwhelming experience for her when the following year, along with baby George, she and her husband moved to a new home on their land…

Looking Back: Gwendolyn Shakespeare — a teacher forever remembered

Over 86 years ago, when I entered first grade in the Edmonds School District, I certainly never had any idea that so many years later I would still remember many of my school teachers. A few are remembered in special ways. My first four years were spent at Alderwood Manor Grade School, and there I…

Looking Back: Does anyone remember Pleasant View Hospital in Edmonds?

The Reporter was a newspaper established in August of 1949 and published in the community of Lynnwood — before the city’s 1959 incorporation. With its office located at the crossroads of State Highway 99 and 196th Street, the newspaper covered happenings in the Alderwood Manor, Lynnwood and Edmonds areas. Founded and edited by Seley Alvin…

Looking Back: Robert Earl Bonney — A local hero, veteran and Medal of Honor winner

What did former Edmonds and Alderwood Manor resident Robert Earl Bonney, and famed aviator Charles Lindbergh have in common? The answer: They were both awarded this country’s Medal of Honor for their heroic actions during peacetime. Chief Watertender Robert Earl Bonney, U.S. Navy, was honored for extraordinary heroism in saving the life of another crewman…

Looking Back: A history of garbage collection in early-day Edmonds, Part 3

Part 3 of historian Betty Gaeng’s series on the history of garbage collection in Edmonds.You can read Part 1 here and Part 2 here. Entering the second half of the 20th century, the Edmonds waterfront slowly began changing — especially with the closing of the last shingle mill in June of 1951. Another major change was…