Everett is about to take a long look back. It was 125 years ago this month, May 4, 1893, that the city was incorporated.
To celebrate, the city plans a family-friendly 125th anniversary party. “Everett: A Story Worth Telling” is scheduled for 10 a.m.-1 p.m. June 2 at Everett Station. With music, an obstacle course, scavenger hunts, bus tours of historic sites, a touch-a-truck area, pets to adopt and more, the free event is the first of several programs planned for the quasquicentennial.
Also, the Everett Public Library is accepting postcards for a time capsule marking the 125th anniversary. The cards, in English and Spanish, are available at the Main Library and Evergreen Branch. People are asked to send messages 50 years into the future by sharing stories, poems or drawings about favorite Everett places or what the city’s future might be.
The time capsule will be sealed during a public celebration at 2 p.m. Aug. 19 in the Main Library auditorium.
“We’re planning to archive it in the sub-basement at the library,” said Mindy Van Wingen, the library’s assistant director. The plan is to open the capsule in 2068 to see how Everett imagined its future. “I’ll be a little old lady,” Van Wingen said.
Library page Vanessa Peirano did the translation for the postcards in Spanish. “That’s part of the future of Everett we’d love to share,” Van Wingen said. Cards received so far include one from a child whose favorite local places are the library and Funko.
By the time Everett became a city in 1893, the peninsula bordered by Port Gardner and the Snohomish River was a bustling place. Land originally inhabited by Native American tribes had been relinquished to the United States with the 1855 Treaty of Point Elliott. By 1876, Dennis Brigham had a cabin on the waterfront.
In 1890, brothers Wyatt and Bethel Rucker, out from Ohio, filed a plat for the bayside area. Also that year, Henry Hewitt Jr. and Charles Colby made their plans for an industrial city. They decided to name it after investor Colby’s teenage son — Everett. They formed the Everett Land Company, which bought much of the Ruckers’ land.
In June 1893, passengers could ride the Great Northern Railway to and from Everett over Stevens Pass for the first time.
Some of what was already built by 1893 remains in Everett today.
Andee Vaughan, 36, lives in the Swalwell Cottage. According to the Historic Everett group, it’s “quite possibly the oldest standing house in Everett.” Built the winter of 1891-92, the house at 2712 Pine St. is on the National Register of Historic Places.
The one-and-a-half-story cottage “combined elements of the Stick and Shingle Styles,” said its 1978 nomination form for the Historic Register. Designed by Everett architect Frederick Sexton, it was the home of Alfred Swalwell, the third of George Swalwell’s seven sons. The family had settled in what is now Everett’s Riverside area in 1889.
The house once looked east across Pine Street at Monroe School. Everett’s first brick school, also a Sexton design, was torn down in the 1960s.
Vaughan, who shares the house with another renter, will soon graduate from the University of Washington School of Nursing. She commutes to work at Seattle’s Harborview Medical Center.
According to Snohomish County property records, the Swalwell Cottage is owned by Sarah Ison and Robert Stone. “Sarah is a trauma nurse. She’s been fixing it up,” said Vaughan, who has lived in the old house about a year.
From the front porch, Vaughan sees the same view of snow-capped Cascades the Swalwells would have seen 125 years ago.
Van Wingen wonders what people will predict about Everett’s future. She found amusing forecasts in an Everett Herald article dated Dec. 24, 1891. “Christmas Eve Fifty Years Off,” the headline said. “It is Christmas Eve, and the year is 1941,” the writer imagined in the 1891 story. In truth, December 1941 is known for just one event, the attack on Pearl Harbor — impossible to foresee in the late 1800s.
“Broadway is jammed,” the fantasy story said. There are “electric and cable cars, and overhead there fairly fly the elevated railroad trains.” There’s this description, too, of The Herald building envisioned by the writer in 1891: “The newspaper home is fifteen stories high and contains 750 offices.”
How delightful it is to look forward — while looking back.
Julie Muhsltein: 425-339-3460; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Everett celebrates 125th anniversary
June 2: Everett’s 125th anniversary celebration, “Everett: A Story Worth Telling,” is scheduled for 10 a.m.-1 p.m. June 2 at Everett Station, 3201 Smith Ave. Among partners for the city’s free event are the Everett YMCA, Everett Museum of History, Imagine Children’s Museum, and the Everett AquaSox. There will be photo booths, face painting, historical tours, touch-a-truck area, pets to adopt, food trucks and music.
June 24: Storytellers from the Tulalip Tribes will share songs and stories to honor the native heritage of the land where Everett was built at a public event 2-3:30 p.m. June 24, Everett Public Library Auditorium, 2702 Hoyt Ave.
July 22: Local historian Jack O’Donnell will explore Everett’s boomtown beginnings through photos and stories 2-3:30 p.m. July 22, Everett Public Library Auditorium. Co-sponsored by Historic Everett and Everett Museum of History.
The Everett Public Library invites the public to contribute to a time capsule celebrating the 125th anniversary. The time capsule, to be opened in 50 years, will be sealed at a celebration at 2 p.m. Aug. 19 in the Main Library auditorium. Time capsule entry forms, in English and Spanish, available until Aug. 19 at the Main Library and the Evergreen Branch, 9512 Evergreen Way.