Snohomish’s “founding father”, E.C. Ferguson arrived in 1855 with a small stock of goods for sale to the few settlers and remaining Native Americans (most of who had relocated to the Tulalip Reservation near Marysville). Ferguson became a prominent businessman and politician. He was joined by entrepreneurs, tradesmen and laborers attracted by the logging and milling opportunities and the river which provided transportation.
The City of Snohomish was founded in 1859 and incorporated in 1890 with a population of 1,995 which grew to 3,000 by 1895. Most of the homes and commercial buildings listed in the Historic Register were built by this generation. Agriculture development was encouraged by the railroad system and the introduction of electric lighting in 1889.
In the 1960’s there was a push to preserve the character and commercial viability of the city. The Historical Society (formed in 1969) made it a priority to ensure the rich collection of late 19th and early 20th century buildings stayed intact.
The historic business and residential center of the town constitutes the Snohomish Historic District, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
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