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History of Snohomish County featured on Centennial Trail

 


Centennial Trail is more than a recreational facility.

The route played a significant role in north Snohomish County history, and those stories will be the topic of conversation Saturday, Sept. 10, when the Snohomish County Historic Preservation Commission presents the Centennial Trail History Walk, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The “History Walk” is more about learning Snohomish County’s past than about walking.

Indeed, it would take a long day of walking to visit the six sites with interactive exhibits of historic artifacts.

Activities are planned at Legion Park in Arlington, where the Arlington Arts Council’s Art in Legion Park is going on all weekend, and at the Whitehorse Trailhead, north of the Stillaguamish River. That’s where Index Historical Society and the Monte Cristo Preservation Association will provide a display about mining, rail and logging history, including the Monte Cristo mine.

At the Bryant Trailhead, Tulalip Tribes storyteller Michelle Myles will share her favorite stories in Lushootseed, the First People dialect of the Salishan language family. At the Nakashima Trailhead, members of the Stanwood Area Historical Society (SAHS) will tell the story of dairy farming in the Stanwood area with tools and historic photographs dating back to the early 1890s.

Farther south, at the Machias Trailhead, 1624 Virginia St., north of Snohomish, the Granite Falls Historical Society will show historic maps of the Northern Pacific Railway routes that make up the Centennial and Whitehorse trails and the Monte Cristo branch.

And finally, at the south terminal of the Centennial Trail in Snohomish, the at Pine and Maple streets will host a display of artifacts provided by the Monroe Historical Society.

It will be interesting to learn the stories behind the names of those streets in Arlington, Burke and Gilman, in that neighborhood near the river where Burke Avenue heads east and west instead of north and south like avenues are supposed to do.

Turns out, Thomas Burke and Daniel Gilman were the leaders of a group who started a rail connection between Seattle and the Canadian Pacific Railway, though they never got past Arlington, according to documents from the historic commission.

Ironically the streets named after them are north of Division Street, which means they were located in Haller City, not in Arlington at all.

It was, as legend has it, the railroad that caused the demise of Haller City. After management decided to locate a station uptown, away from the river, Arlington gained a foothold and Haller City disappeared.

While it might be possible for some to walk the 30 miles of the trail, it would take a lot longer than four hours.

At any rate, choose a portion and sample a little history of the communities around it and sample the Centennial Trail, that Snohomish County started developing in 1989 during the state’s centennial.

The rail trail is part of a developing regional trail network that will eventually connect to Bothell and Woodinville, Monroe, Everett and Skagit County.

More stories are available at centennialtrail.com; traillink.com/trail/snohomish-county-centennial-trail and at centennialtrail.com/past-forward/building-centennial-trail.

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