Learn more about Lynnwood’s past at History and Heritage Days — next one July 9

The Lynnwood-Alderwood Manor Heritage Association at Heritage Park in Lynnwood. (Photo courtesy of Lynnwood-Alderwood Manor Heritage Association Facebook page)

As a girl, City of Lynnwood History and Heritage Board Member Cheri Ryan always loved hearing stories about the Lynnwood and Alderwood area, where she grew up. Now a Lynnwood-Alderwood Manor Heritage Association volunteer, she’s been telling the same stories to visitors at Heritage Park for the past 20 years.

The association first began in 1991, but it didn’t officially open its museum doors to the public at Heritage Park until June 2006. The mission of the association and museum is “to develop a sense of history and culture of Lynnwood, Alderwood Manor and surrounding communities through preservation, interpretation, education, outreach, research and fellowship.”

Having just celebrated the museum’s 16th birthday, Ryan and the other volunteers in Heritage Park are more eager than ever to share their knowledge of the history of the bustling town residents now call Lynnwood.

In the late 1800s, Alderwood – now Lynnwood – was heavily forested and being logged by the Puget Mill Company. When all that remained were stumps, the company discussed what should be done with the hundreds of acres that could no longer be used for logging.

Through these discussions arose the Alderwood Manor Demonstration Farm, which stood roughly where Land Rover Seattle is today, between Poplar Way and I-5. The Puget Mill Company decided to divide its deforested property into five-acre plots and use the demonstration farm to show families what their lives could be like if they moved to the area.

Through the town’s Interurban trolley system, which has now been replaced by portions of I-5 and the Interurban Trail, families came to the area to look at plots of land. Once they built a home, families learned how to raise dozens of chickens.

From this, Alderwood became the second-highest egg-producing town in the U.S. in the 1920s.

Lynnwood has come a long way in the past 100 years, but Ryan believes everyone should know the history of what the city used to be.

“This town has a story, just like everyone who comes through our doors does,” she said. “And they’re all valuable, they’re all important and they help us remember where we came from.”

To preserve Alderwood’s farming history before the urban growth of the city overtook it, the Lynnwood-Alderwood Manor Heritage Association worked hard to save some of the buildings that used to be part of the original farms.

While visiting Heritage Park, you can see the Humble House, the Superintendent’s Cottage and Water Tower, the Wickers Building and one of the Interurban Trolley Cars. These buildings were moved from various sites in Alderwood and brought to the park to be cared for and preserved.

“Over two-thirds of these sites at the park are all original,” Ryan said. “We’re so glad we can make our home here.”

The museum has a visual display for what Alderwood used to look like in comparison to Lynnwood’s present day. (Photo by Lauren Reichenbach)

Ryan said the association not only teaches visitors about the city’s past, it also has hundreds of archived letters and photographs to help distant relatives or historians uncover what they may be looking for. 

While the museum is only open Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m., visitors are encouraged to take a self-guided walking tour during park hours, from dawn to dusk.

In addition, the association is hosting two History and Heritage Days this summer – with the next two scheduled on July 9 and Aug. 13. Volunteers will be available to give tours of the museum, there will be activities for kids and families and the Interurban Trolley Car will be open for tours – two of the few days it’s open all year. 

Anyone interested in learning more about Lynnwood’s history or archives can call 425-775-4694 or email info@alderwood.org.

The Lynnwood-Alderwood Manor Heritage Association Museum is located at 19903 Poplar Way in Lynnwood.

–By Lauren Reichenbach

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