Long before pioneers staked their claims on Edmonds' shores, the Snohomish tribe fished and gathered clams and native oysters. Founding Father George Brackett grew up working in the woods of Maine and New Brunswick, Canada. He moved to the Puget Sound region in 1869 or 1870. Seeing opportunity in the heavily-wooded area around Edmonds, he purchased 147 acres of waterfront timber in 1872 for $650! By 1876 he had built a home for his wife and young son near the waterfront. Then he began to build the town.
Other settlers trickled into the area-loggers, shingle sawyers and weavers, farmers and small businessmen.
In 1884 Edmonds opened its first post office, and in 1890 the City of Edmonds was incorporated. George Brackett became its first mayor.
During the early 1900s, shingle mills stretched all along the Edmonds waterfront. The number of mills grew rapidly thanks to the availability of quality red cedar nearby. In its heyday, there were ten mills along the waterfront, some cutting almost 20,000 shingles per year. Over time, as the big trees were cut down, mills closed and Edmonds' early character as a mill town faded. The last mill closed its doors in 1951.
Today, traces of the City's early days can be seen in many historical sites around the downtown or "bowl" area. The Edmonds Historical Museum is a great place to pick up a walking tour map. Housed in a 1910 Carnegie Library building, the Museum hosts entertaining and educational exhibits. Call 425-774-0900 or see www.historicedmonds.org for information. you can also visit the City's Historical Commission web pages to learn about how Edmonds works to conserve its historic resources.
Edmonds is a highly desirable place to visit. Charming main streets fan out from a central fountain. Promenade around the circle and you'll stroll past sidewalk cafes, art galleries, gift shops, antique shops and bookstores. Spend the day in this very walkable community, where people still greet in passing.
The city's proximity to Highway 99 and Interstate 5 makes it easy to find but hard to leave.