7. First School House

Stages of History 1st Schoolhouse plaque


Bronze icons represent the bell tower on the top of the first school house, along with representative education items: open books, a school bell, an apple for the teacher, a pencil, an old-fashioned slate, and a report card. The binoculars reference the World War II observation tower that later occupied the site.

Edmonds’ first school opened in 1884 and served six students. It was held in Edmonds founding father George Brackett’s feed barn, on the corner of 3rd Ave. N. and Edmonds St. Children were expected to help support their families by working at home or in the local mills. As a result, the school operated only three months of the year.

Edmonds was riding an economic boom, and a short three years later, the need for a dedicated building was apparent. A one-room schoolhouse was built on the little knoll between 3rd and 4th Ave. N, just north of Main St., approximately on this site. Just two years later, the student body doubled and more space was needed. Once again, the venerable George Brackett took action, donating a parcel of land at 7th Ave N and Main St for a new schoolhouse.

The Edmonds Elementary School was built on the 7th Ave N and Main St location in the 1920s and operated as an elementary school until 1972. The building was acquired by the City of Edmonds and was converted to a multi-use recreational and cultural center, named after the 40-year career Edmonds Elementary teacher, and later its principal, Frances Anderson.

WWII Observation Tower

In March 1943, an air raid tower was constructed near the old school site using donated materials and volunteer labor. Volunteers kept watch in the observation tower for invasion from the west during the early years of World War II.