Historic Everett’s annual calendars have featured airplanes, old cars, vintage homes, schools, even brothels. For 2018, the topic picked by the preservation group was a must.
“We only get one of these quasquicentennials, there’s one chance to do this,” said Jack O’Donnell, a local historian and member of Historic Everett’s board of directors.
It’s true, 2018 will bring Everett’s quasquicentennial — the 125th anniversary of the city. Everett was incorporated May 4, 1893.
“City of Everett 125th Anniversary Edition” is the title of the new calendar. Like nearly a dozen past calenders created by the nonprofit, it’s packed with photos and information about city founders. We learn about Henry Hewitt Jr., the Tacoma lumberman dubbed “the father of Everett,” and why streets are named Colby, Hoyt and Rockefeller.
Images from the past bring struggles to life. The page for March shows the Swalwell Cottage, which remains at 2712 Pine St. In the calendar text, O’Donnell wrote that it’s “quite possibly the oldest standing house in Everett.” Key players in the development of the Riverside area, the Swalwell brothers are shown with horses on a logged-off site that became Pine Street.
“It’s a storybook of the city’s history,” said David Chrisman, the calendar’s designer and a board member with Historic Everett. “It tells us where we’ve come from.”
There are scenes still familiar to those who routinely drive around Everett. The 1892 Pioneer Building, at 2814 Rucker Ave., is now the home of Manor Hardware & Construction Supply, just south of Goldfinch Brothers Inc.
Those who have eaten at Buck’s American Cafe have been in the historic Swalwell Building. Designed by architects Charles Hove and August Heide, it cost $30,000 when it was built of red brick, with copper cornices, in 1892.
Some structures are long gone. The most showy building in Everett’s early days was Providence Hospital, built in 1891 as the original Monte Cristo Hotel. A turreted wonder, the hotel was named for the mining boom town, now a ghost town, in the mountains east of Everett.
The hotel was purchased by the Sisters of Providence, but after construction of a new hospital it was torn down in 1925. “It always fascinated me, that old Monte Cristo Hotel,” O’Donnell said. “It’s not quite in the league of the Coronado in San Diego, but it approaches that kind of thing.”
A book published by the Everett Historical Commission for the city’s centennial in 1993, “Centennial Structures: Everett’s 100-Year-Old Buildings,” is among sources used for the calendar. O’Donnell was also helped by “Everett Past and Present: A Centennial History of Everett, Washington,” a book written by his brother, Larry O’Donnell.
Also cited is “Buildings of Early Everett: A Pictorial Survey of the Architecture of the Everett Boom, 1891-1894.” It was published in 1994 by David Dilgard, a historian at the Everett Public Library who retired last year.
Research Dilgard did with Margaret Riddle, another retired Everett Public Library historian, was indispensable in creating the calendar, O’Donnell said. And the library’s current history specialists, Lisa Labovitch and Mindy Van Wingen, helped with pictures.
Chrisman, who has worked on many of the calendars, said he hears from people who have collected them for years.
With Everett’s 125th anniversary coming in May, Sarah Reyes, a city spokeswoman, said commemoration ideas are in the planning stage. “We’re going to try and make it a multi-department thing,” she said, adding that events could be spread out over a month.
O’Donnell well remembers the centennial. In 1993, he was chairman of the Everett Historical Commission. The opening of what’s now the Everett Performing Arts Center was a highlight of centennial events.
Part of the theater project was the creation of a brick walk, with names of people who donated to the centennial celebration. Those bricks were destroyed when the city created its Wetmore Theater Plaza in 2012. The names are preserved in the city’s Wall Street building.
O’Donnell said the calendar project sharpened his knowledge of his hometown’s early days. “It was an important time, at the very beginning,” he said. The approach of Everett’s 125th birthday is a reminder of how quickly years sneak past, especially to those who easily recall the centennial.
“Nothing surprised me more than that — 25 years, it is just amazing,” O’Donnell said.
Julie Muhlstein: 425-339-3460; jmuhlstein@herald net.com.
Historic Everett’s 2018 calendar, “City of Everett 125th Anniversary Edition,” is available for $20 (cash or check) at these Everett businesses: J. Matheson Gifts, 2615 Colby Ave.; Peak Health & Fitness, 2902 Rucker Ave.; Lamoureux Real Estate, 1904 Wetmore Ave.; Choux Choux Bakery, 2900 Grand Ave. Information: http://historiceverett.org
The Edmonds Historic Preservation Commission has produced the “Edmonds 2018 Historic Calendar” featuring photos of the 1950s. Free copies available at the Edmonds Historical Museum, 118 Fifth Ave. N. Information: www.historicedmonds.org