The Ken Baxter Community Center 2020

In the shadow of Marysville’s iconic water tower, a small unassuming building has stood witness to history for over half a century. Originally built in 1949 as an upgraded City Hall this basic structure would go on to serve three generations of Marysville residents. When the Ken Baxter center was built Marysville’s city limits were still the same as the day it was incorporated in 1891. As the city grew, the building grew with it. Originally a combined city hall, library, and police department, exponential growth brought many changes to the building in the decades that followed its construction. Eventually…


For a historian, old photographs are a critical part life. Photos from the past offer unique insight into events and people of a bygone era, and can be incomparable resources when doing research. Historians don’t just look at photos though, they dissect every little detail to paint a larger picture. One photo can be the key to unlocking a generation of stories. Often times historians, and I myself am guilty of this, look past the people in the photos while scouring for clues, and forget that everyone single person in the image had a name, a family and a story…


Painting depicting the Inauguration of President William Henry Harrison

On the morning of March 4th, 1841 the ninth President of the United States took the oath of office at the East Portico of the Capitol building in Washington D.C. It was a miserable day, the rain was unrelenting and the temperature struggled to get out of the forties, well below the average for that time of year. Despite the rain and cold, the new President, William Henry Harrison chose to not wear a coat while taking the oath, and delivering his inaugural address. The address that had been shortened by fellow Whig politician Daniel Webster was still over two…


When future President Calvin Coolidge informed his wife Grace that he had been selected as the running mate to 1920 Republican nominee for President Warren Harding, she responded “You’re not going to take it, are you?” This wasn’t a resounding endorsement in her husbands bid for the second highest office in the United States, but throughout history those that have been offered, or held the office of Vice President have continually expressed their boredom, and in some cases outright disdain for the office. John Adams, our nation’s first Vice President wrote to his wife that “My country has in its…


On September 1st, 1939 Hitler and his Nazi forces crossed the border into Poland. This invasion of their neighbor to the east cemented suspicion of Hitler’s evil intentions, and gave the world their first glimpse at the cutting edge war machine the Germans had been quietly building for the better part of the 1930s. No amount of preparation could have saved the Polish forces. They were outnumbered, and most of their weaponry was World War I era machinery. Many historians have recounted stories of Polish cavalry forces charging, what they believed to be dummy tanks. While this story is not…


The corner of Front Street and Ash Ave 1890

The image of Main Street America is something that is familiar to everyone. Even those who grew up or live in large cities that don’t have a small-town feel understand the sentiment that is expressed when authors refer to “Main Street.” Cities across the country and in Snohomish County not only have these corridors that are teeming with commercial activity but many also still carry that name, Main Street. This image of Main Street includes small businesses, community gatherings, and friendly faces. Everything out of a Hallmark movie. That being said many of them fit this bill, there are Main…


Throughout history, the magnitude of certain events on the life of a person or a place sometimes goes unappreciated in the moment. Events that are seen as turning points in the timeline of history today, in many cases were not given a second thought while they were unfolding. While hindsight is 2020, it is impossible to know what will one day be written in a textbook, and what will be relegated to the garbage bin of humanity. The accession of Arthur Brown to the position of Mayor of Marysville on August 19th, 1937 is the former. While it is not…


In today’s increasingly “hard science” focused society, the general opinion surrounding Historians and Historical Societies is one of boredom and dust, lots of dust. This couldn’t be further from the truth. At the Marysville Historical Society and Museum, when we receive a new artifact or make a discovery that was previously a mystery, there is a feeling of excitement and a recommitment to the preservation of the past. The most exciting, and rewarding part of this organization, however, is when we are able to help answer someone’s question, often about their family roots. Not only does this information help that…


Map of the first two Marysville annexations

For the first sixty years of Marysville’s history, the small town stayed within its original 1891 borders. These borders were Ebey Slough to Grove Street running north to south, and Ash Street to Liberty Street (47th Ave) running east to west. In the 1950s, along with the rest of the nation, Marysville’s growth took off. People were moving into town, and the city began providing services of a modern municipality. These changes and upgrades were commenced under the leadership of Mayor G.A. Dudley (Mayor from 1952–1960), and one of the most lasting impacts he had was expanding Marysville’s borders for…


Mayor Dudley and Governor Al Rosellini

In construction, it is important to lay a solid foundation before beginning to build any structure. This foundation is sometimes not visible, and this can lead to its underappreciation. Mayor G.A. Dudley’s first term laid that foundation. Remodeling the city’s waterworks system, fixing transportation issues, and addressing fire concerns among citizens. Because of this, his second term which ran from June 1956 to June 1960, could begin the process of building things in Marysville that were visible, and able to be used and appreciated by the citizens. …

Peter Condyles

I believe that history can build community. To that end, I write about local history. The places, events, and people that have been forgotten.

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