Lynnwood University: Learning about the city’s past, present and future

MyNNNBy David Pan/Lynnwood Today editor

Cena Conteh would have felt right at home in the Lynnwood of the past.

Conteh grew up in California and was used to having animals, such as chickens, as part of her life.

So it came as somewhat of a surprise to Conteh and no doubt many of the other Lynnwood University participants that Lynnwood was initially developed as a place to raise chickens as part of an egg farm.

“It’s hard to believe,” Conteh said.

Lynnwood’s economic past, present and future was the main topic in week four of Lynnwood University.

The city got its name as a result of a combination of names. “Lynn” was the wife of the developer and “wood” came from the wood manufacturing taking place in
Alderwood.

Originally, the center of town was Highway 99 and 196th Street Southwest. That began to shift eastward when Interstate 5 was constructed.

Before the highways were built, people from Seattle used to take boats or trains to get to Lynnwood, where some people would stay in their cabins.

Conteh enjoyed hearing about the history of Lynnwood and in particular some of the historical spots, such as the clock store and gas station on Highway 99.

“It’s interesting to see that there is a history to the city,” she said.

The city is currently working to develop a new city center located in and around the Lynnwood Convention Center, Interstate 5, 44th Avenue West and 196th Street Southwest.

“We don’t have a center of town,” Conteh said.

The goal is to draw new businesses to Lynnwood and for the city to become known as a place where people come to work at good jobs.

The other part of the week four program focused on community development. The speakers encouraged citizen participation.

“The city council makes decisions with the help of the community,” Conteh said.

She was impressed that officials told the audience that “we need you to come to the meetings to see what’s going on. … The city council likes to hear from the people.

“It’s OK to voice your opinion. They are inviting us as a community to learn more about the city.”

Lynnwood Today is following Cena and Peter Conteh as they learn more about their city government in Lynnwood University.

 

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