Looking Back: Robert Earl Bonney — A local hero, veteran and Medal of Honor winner

What did former Edmonds and Alderwood Manor resident Robert Earl Bonney, and famed aviator Charles Lindbergh have in common? The answer: They were both awarded this country’s Medal of Honor for their heroic actions during peacetime. Chief Watertender Robert Earl Bonney, U.S. Navy, was honored for extraordinary heroism in saving the life of another crewman…

Looking forward to new life for historic Lynnwood building

In my Looking Back column last September, I wrote of my own concern for the future of one of the last historic buildings still remaining in Lynnwood. Thus, for me, it was wonderful to see that this building, as shown here, now seems to have a new purpose in life. Also, diversity in Lynnwood is taking another…

Looking Back: The birth and evolution of Highway 99 in south Snohomish County, part 2

Part 2 of 2. You can read Part 1 here. Prohibition and a new highway make strange bedfellows The stretch of highway between Seattle Heights and the King/Snohomish line became home to several roadhouses besides McKenzie’s Bungalow Inn mentioned earlier. The most well-known were the doomed Blakewood Inn at Seattle Heights; The Ranch, one-half mile…

Looking Back: The birth and evolution of Highway 99 in south Snohomish County

Part 1 of 2. Most new highways open with a ceremony, including a ribbon cutting and some speeches by dignitaries — maybe even a brass band. However, the opening of Pacific Highway (Highway 99 or SR99) at the Snohomish/King County line was different. At the county line, the highway to Everett opened sometime very early…

Looking Back: Remembering the old Edmonds/Pre-Lynnwood Road and Reed Lake

Another bit of Lynnwood’s history is fading away forever—almost covered over by a whole lot of dirt. Change is happening on the south side of the 7300 block of SR524/196th Street Southwest. Large machines are moving tons of dirt to cover over what was the last visible vestige of a bit of Lynnwood’s past —…

Looking back: A new beginning for a historic veterans memorial monument

Looking Forward to a new and final home. Just in time to celebrate its 70th anniversary, the South Snohomish County veterans memorial monument has found a new home. This memorial had its beginning in the spring of 1948. With its move this month from downtown Edmonds, the memorial monument is now located at the Edmonds…

Looking back: The story of Riley Hall, pioneer of Lynnwood

In the early days before the pioneers arrived, the land which is now the bustling city of Lynnwood was a forest of evergreen trees dominated by the stately giants—the Douglas firs, aromatic cedars, as well as the hemlock trees. Mixed in and overshadowed by the huge trees were the scrubby alders. No rivers ran through…

Looking Back: Growing up as a child of the Great Depression

Having been born in January of 1927, over 90 years ago, I am definitely a child of the Great Depression. What follows are some of my own memories of that never-to-be-forgotten decade—the 1930s. I was 2 years old in 1929 when this country’s economy collapsed. Banks and businesses closed their doors. Once-wealthy men who were…

Looking back: Remembering the Sears of my childhood

A few days ago, I walked down to Alderwood Mall and took a picture of the last vestige of Lynnwood’s former Sears store. Yes, it is closed now, and a lot of the history of our community is gone. A few months ago, when I heard that our Sears store would be closing and the…

Looking back: Full circle

The two words “full circle” very appropriately describe my life. In the year 2003, I went back to my roots and moved into Lynnwood’s new Alderwood Court apartments—westward and up the hill from the Alderwood mall. With that move, I arrived full circle. When I was a young child, the road in front of Alderwood…

Looking Back: Remembering longtime MIA Carl Bernard Trager

With the approach of this year’s Veterans’ Day it is time to remember another one of our South Snohomish County young people who died in defense of this country. Carl Trager was killed in action and has been an MIA for over 71 years. Even though our country never forgets its MIAs and the search…

Looking back: Lynnwood’s Heritage Park and its beginning

A few years ago as volunteers for Sno-Isle Genealogical Society at Heritage Park’s Humble House, Bob Welling and I walked the grounds of the park as we interviewed Mary (Humble) Wickstrum. Heritage Park is part of what was the Humble’s family home and farm from 1934 until shortly before the City of Lynnwood acquired 2.82…

Looking Back: Reuben Hunter and an early-day mystery

Over 70 years before there was a City of Lynnwood, and even before Alderwood Manor, a few pioneer families were living on land that is now part of Lynnwood. They were the homesteaders, and three of the most well-remembered family names were Hunter, Breed and Morrice. Without a doubt, the most interesting of these was…

Looking Back: 50 years ago — February 1965

Fifty years ago this month on Feb. 3, one of the major events taking place was the opening of Interstate 5 from Seattle to Everett. Two o’clock ceremonies at the Northeast 145th Street Interchange in Seattle included the U.S. color guard from Fort Lawton and the Queen Anne high school band. Following was an address by…

Looking back: A joining of the past and the electronic age

For many people microfilm and microfiche may appear too antiquated to even bother with anymore. Especially, since it may seem as if everything that is important from the past in the way of books and other written material has now been digitized and is available to all. However, if you are a historian, a writer,…

Looking Back: The 1870 federal census and yet another genealogy pitfall

A very puzzling roadblock came to light with the 1870 decennial federal census when I was gathering information while writing the book Chirouse, I could find no listing for Tulalip in Snohomish County. At this same time, I was also researching the history of the pioneering Spithill family. I ran into the identical problem in…

Looking Back: Genealogy and booby traps

In 1790 the first decennial United States federal census had its beginnings with a simple purpose — to count people. The main objective was to determine the number of representatives to Congress from each state. The framers of the Constitution did not have genealogy in mind when they called for the enumeration of residents of…

Looking Back: My father Walter Deebach and WWI

While attending the very impressive Veterans Day ceremony held by Lynnwood Post 1040, Veterans of Foreign Wars, on Nov. 11, I could not help but remember my father and how much his service in the military during WWI had impacted his life. Within a few months of our move to Alderwood Manor in 1933, my…

Looking back: Rollin and Robert Border – Together forever

As another Veterans Day approaches, it is that special time to remember and honor the men and woman who have served our country in the armed forces during war and peace. This Veterans Day “Looking Back” highlights two young brothers Rollin and Robert Border, who grew up on Poplar Way in what was once Alderwood…

Looking back: Tugboats on Puget Sound

If you have ever been enthralled by the many tugboats that ply the waters of our Puget Sound, and wondered about their history, join the members of Lynnwood’s Alderwood Manor Heritage Association (AMHA) as Olympia resident and author Chuck Fowler tells us about his book Tugboats of Puget Sound. Date: Saturday, Oct. 25 Place: Alderwood Boys…

Looking back: Gertie Perrin’s Perrinville

When Carl Perrin returned to their comfortable home in downtown Edmonds and told his wife Gertie they had just become owners of a few acres of land a few miles northeast and they were moving. Gertie’s comeback to him was “If I am moving to the sticks, then I am starting me a town.” True…

Looking back: Old Settlers Picnic

It was a beautiful sunshine and blue-sky day on Sunday, Aug. 10, when a group of diehard old settlers of south Snohomish County gathered at Edmonds City Park to celebrate a gathering that had its beginning 115 years ago. Through the years the numbers have declined — less than 40 people attended this year.  We all…

Looking back: Make-believe and castles

This summer on a trip to Denver with my daughter, I had the chance to recall a magical make-believe time from my childhood. Most of the children of the 1930s Great Depression era didn’t have much in the way of entertainment. This was a time long before television. Although, a few families had radios, many…

Looking back at Wilcox Park

With the opening of Lynnwood’s Farmers Market at Wilcox Park on June 12, I could not help but think that Charlie Olson would be pleased. Wilcox Park, a community park where people of all ages can picnic and play was once the home of Charlie Olson’s Countryside Dairy, and was located in what was known…