The citizens of Everett are anxiously awaiting word from the Everett School District as to whether it will accept the Everett Museum of History’s $2 million offer on the Longfellow School, or demolish it to build parking spaces. Longfellow was built in 1911. Few people today can visualize what life was like then.
By 1911 Everett had grown from a forest to 25,000 people in barely 20 years. A few hundred primitive cars drove on primitive roads; fire engines were still drawn by horse. You could get to Seattle by ferry or the new electric Interurban railway. Everett had just become a “dry” city, and 41 saloons and liquor stores were closed. Nearly the entire coastline on both the river and bay sides was lined with mills. A millworker made about $100 a month, enough to buy a simple house and support a family. Nearly everyone belonged to a church, a lodge, and a union, and there were many of all three. Mayor Roland Hartley welcomed President Taft to town, and the legendary Enoch Bagshaw began coaching football for the newly-built Everett High.
This is but a glimpse of the heritage that this building, and the museum that would occupy it, would preserve and display. It would be the pride of the city. The museum has a huge collection of artifacts waiting for a place to show them. It would take some work to restore, but the project has many supporters. Please don’t let this gem be reduced to white lines on asphalt.
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