As we zip around in our automobiles it can be difficult to imagine the incredible things that occurred in our region long before civilization arrived. Imagine standing in the ancient Pleistocene Era 10,000 years ago in a green pasture where giant mastodons roamed and grazed. This was indeed Mastodon Country! Imagine standing on ground where proud natives carved canoes from old growth trees. Place yourself on the edge of a cozy little bay in the Pacific Northwest where Explorer Captain George Vancouver landed in 1792 and claimed the land for his King George of England — the same King George of the Revolutionary War. It all happened here — in and around Marysville, Everett, and Snohomish.
Visualize the first homesteads in the unsettled North Puget Sound Region, and think about what the first sawmill in the Northwest might have looked like. Indeed, they were right here in our area. Imagine some of the grandest old growth timber in the world– trees that are as big as the redwoods. Imagine a place with bustling logging camps, classic Old West style street facades, and stern-wheeler riverboats delivering supplies and the mail.
Then visualize monumental Indian treaties, the first missions and schools, the first ordained priest in the Washington Territory, and then visualize so many different types of steam locomotives that it is hard to keep track. Again, this is our history. When you drive down the interstate and see the sign “Steamboat Slough” its because at one time Steamboats actually came up the waterway to deliver the mail. When you drive out on the reservation you might not even conceive of the great Chief Pat Kanum that lived before Lincoln was President — and yet he lead his people through a temultious time when so much change was being forced upon he and his people.
Can you imagine thousands of acres of fresh strawberry fields, horse drawn school buses called “Kid Wagons,” and spirited dedicated pioneers who came and carved out a life from the virgin wilderness — a hardy breed that lived in a place that gave meaning to the word “Frontier.” Take a trip up to Jennings Park in Marysville, and you can see one of these homesteads, exactly the way it was built a hundred thirty years ago. Indeed this is the history of our region — albeit a very small chunk of that history. There is so much more. Our history is so often overlooked, and yet it is a fundamental part of who we are.
If you are interested in a video history documentary focusing on this area, click on the gray link below. Produced with cooperation of the Marysville Historical Society — it features tons of images from century old archival collections from several sources including the University of Montana Special Collections. The narration and music are outstanding and it is a great view for any area history buff.
In addition if you want see a trailer for this film documentary see video below: