By Julie Muhlstein Herald Columnist
Lois Lord Boydston lived in Denver. Before that, home was California. The elderly Snohomish native hadn’t lived in this area for decades.
Yet Boydston, who died more than a year ago in Denver at age 88, had deep roots in Snohomish. She was the granddaughter of Mitchell Lord, an early homesteader whose name and legacy live on in the Snohomish River Valley.
Today’s Lord Hill Regional Park, a Snohomish County park with miles of trails, is on land that Mitchell Lord began settling in 1879 when he bought 80 acres three miles southeast of Snohomish. A dairyman born in Quebec, Canada, he bought more land and raised horses, sheep, hogs, geese and chickens. Mitchell Lord died in 1921.
Lois’ father, Floyd Lord, was one of Mitchell Lord’s eight children. Floyd Lord and his wife, Mary Frances “Mamie” Hill Lord, stayed on to farm the land and raise their three children at the rural home overlooking the river valley.
“Snohomish will always have a very special place in our hearts. All our relatives are buried in the GAR Cemetery,” said Mary Anderson, one of Lois Boydston’s four children.
Boydston, who died Feb. 17, 2012, is not buried at the Grand Army of the Republic Cemetery on Riverview Road in Snohomish. But the cemetery will be the gathering place for a memorial ceremony in her honor at 10 a.m. Saturday.
“We are inviting anyone who remembers Mom,” said Anderson, 63, who lives in Reno, Nev.
Boydston is survived by her husband, Donald Boydston, and her children, Anderson, Monica Henson, Mark Boydston and Tom Boydston.
The siblings are scattered all over the country. Anderson and Henson live in Reno. “My brother Mark lives in Alaska, and my brother Tom lives in Malden, Massachusetts,” Anderson said. A cousin, she said, still lives on the land near Snohomish.
The family’s memories take them back to summer visits to the farm south of Snohomish. “We used to go up there every summer for vacations. The barn was there, and they still had a creamery and a root cellar,” Anderson said.
Anderson’s grandparents, Floyd and Mamie Lord, were prominent in the community. Floyd Lord was involved in Snohomish schools, Anderson said, and helped introduce more sports, science and math courses.
“Grandpa inherited the farm from his father and just kept farming. They had quite a business,” she said. “Mom would talk about how they would raise turkeys and geese for Christmas. They plucked all those feathers and saved the down for comforters. Grandma ran the creamery on their property. All this stuff they sold, and that would be her pocket money.”
Lois Lord, a 1942 graduate of Snohomish High School, attended Central Washington College of Education. She taught elementary school in Snohomish until she married at 21. “She didn’t teach there very long,” he daughter said.
As a girl, Lois had spent hours after school with her maternal grandparents, Hiram and Iva Hill, who lived on Cedar Street in the town of Snohomish. They had a foot-pump organ, and Lois learned to play.
She became an accomplished musician, and played the piano and organ at church when the family lived in California. Her husband’s career as a mechanical engineer took her far from Snohomish. Relocation and their travels took them to New Jersey, Los Angeles and the Bay Area, Guatemala, Belize and all over Europe.
Wherever her mother went, Anderson said, “she talked a lot about life on the farm, growing up at Lord’s Hill.”
Julie Muhlstein: 425-339-3460; firstname.lastname@example.org.
All who knew Lois Lord Boydston, who died Feb. 17, 2012, are welcome to attend a memorial ceremony in her honor at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Grand Army of the Republic Cemetery, 8601 Riverview Road, Snohomish.