Monroe steam stack will be decoratively painted

MONROE — The steam stack at the old Carnation milk condensery on U.S. 2 is set to get a new look.

The Monroe Chamber of Commerce held an election to choose one of four images to be painted onto the 150-foot tower. They decided on a scene that includes Mount Index, the Skykomish River and evergreen trees.

Una Wirkebau-Hartt said she wondered why the steamstack wasn’t painted when she took a the job as the chamber’s executive director earlier this year. She reached out to the Monroe Historical Society for help narrowing down the designs put to the vote. She envisioned the steam stack showcasing the city’s past.

“The point is to start conversations and get people talking about Monroe,” Wirkebau-Hartt said.

Monroe’s Carnation plant burned down in the 1940s. The city’s steam stack and one other are the last standing remnants of the milk company in Washington, she continued.

Carnation’s steam stack in Mount Vernon has also been painted. Wirkebau-Hartt has enlisted the same painter, Jose Cardona, of Mount Vernon, to do the work in Monroe. Artist Ester McLatchy, also of Mount Vernon, is lined up to convert the image from paper to the steam stack.

“That’s not a skill everyone has,” Wirkebau-Hartt said.

Wirkebau-Hartt has been reviewing the condensery’s local history with records from 1908 to 1921. Wirkebau-Hartt also contacted the plant owner’s great-great-great grandson. He is planning to come to the ribbon cutting for the newly painted steam stack. That event is expected to take place at the end of September.

The steam stack is set to be power-washed before painting begins, probably the second week of September.

In the future, Wirkebau-Hartt hopes to have historic photos and information about the history of the stack, the carnation plant and Monroe.

Amy Nile: 425-339-3192; anile@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @AmyNileReports.

More in Local News

Finalists for EdCC presidency holding campus meetings

A search committee reviewed 19 applicants and recommended three finalists to the Board of Trustees.

Herald photos of the week

A weekly collection of The Herald’s top images by staff photographers and… Continue reading

Everett coaches reaching out to teens about dating violence

Free training focuses on a known strength of coaches: Being positive role models.

Suspected drunk driver crash in Bothell sends two to hospital

The man suspected of causing the Saturday afternoon collision was not injured.

Election results for Snohomish County school districts

Updated 2/16: Here are the returns for Tuesday’s special election ballot measures.

Scattered power outages around region after gusty Saturday

Up to 2 inches of snow could fall in some lowland areas of Snohomish County, forecasters said.

School levies still passing in 3 districts after latest tally

In the initial count, ballot measures in Lake Stevens, Marysville and Snohomish had been losing.

Power outages hit north Snohomish County as snow covers area

There was no timeline for when PUD crews expected to restore power for 5,800 customers.

What to do when you get pulled over

Don’t forget to be considerate so officers will know you are not a threat to their safety.

Most Read