Looking back: Tugboats on Puget Sound

Tugboat Cyrus Walker

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 & Girls Club, 19719 – 24th Ave. W., Lynnwood

At 10 a.m. there will be coffee and a short meeting for the election of the AMHA Board. 11 a.m. – Program with Chuck Fowler. Noon – Potluck.  Bring a dish and join the friendly folks of AMHA. For more information call AMHA at 425-775-4694.

Chuck Fowler is a noted maritime historian who has authored three books “Tall Ships,” “Tugboats,” and “Patrol and Rescue Boats on Puget Sound.  He is currently writing his fourth book “Maritime Olympia and South Puget Sound.”  Fowler is past president of the Puget Sound Maritime Historical Society in Seattle, and was the founding coordinator of the Pacific Northwest Maritime Heritage of maritime organizations in Washington, Oregon and British Columbia. He was presented the 2014 Robert Grey Medal by the Washington State Historical Society. Fowler’s books will be available for purchase at the conclusion of his talk.

Even though Lynnwood is a landlocked city and not along the shores of Puget Sound, the historic tugboat Cyrus Walker (shown here) in a round-about way has a connection to early-day Alderwood Manor prior to its Lynnwood incorporation. In the late 1860s Cyrus Walker, the namesake of the old tugboat, was the first to receive patents on the 6517.79 acres of land which in 1917 became the Planned Community of Alderwood Manor.

Cyrus Walker, long considered Mr. Puget Mill, had a plan to tie up as much forest-land as possible for Puget Mill Company’s mill at Port Gamble. He knew the lumber from the forested land would one day be needed at their mill. His object was “To make hay while the sun shown.” Once the forests were gone the company opened the land for settlement in 1917 and the people called the “Little Landers” came.  Walker died in 1913 and did not live to see the happenings after the giant trees were gone.

Alderwood Manor, the core of our Lynnwood, was the result of Cyrus Walker’s business acumen on behalf of Puget Mill Company. Visit Alderwood Manor Heritage Society’s Resource Center located at Lynnwood’s Heritage Park on Poplar Way, and learn the history of Puget Mill Company’s “Little Landers” and the history of Alderwood Manor.

– By Betty Lou Gaeng

A long-time resident of Lynnwood, Betty Lou Gaeng is a genealogist, historian, researcher and writer who is active in volunteer work for Lynnwood’s Heritage Park Partners Advisory Committee and the Alderwood Manor Heritage Association at Heritage Park. She is also a member of the League of Snohomish County Heritage Organizations (LOSCHO) and the South County Historical Society and Museum. Gaeng is the author of two books: “Etched in Stone,” which is the history of the Edmonds Museum memorial monument, and “Chirouse” about a Catholic missionary priest who came from France to Washington Territory in 1847 and became a father figure and friend to the Puget Sound area’s Native people.

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