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Marysville, Tulalip share rich history


The City of Marysville, Marysville School District, and the Tulalip Tribes are proud to present our monthly joint column. This month we highlight the shared history of the Marysville-Tulalip community. The Hibulb Cultural Center and Natural History Preserve has brought great attention to our rich cultural history since opening in 2011, and with the opening of the Marysville Museum in 2017, we thought it valuable to feature a bit of our local history together.

City of Marysville

Submitted by Connie Mennie

City of Marysville

Dec. 23 was the birthday of James Comeford, the founder of Marysville. We value the shared history of the Marysville-Tulalip community and the important people and events that helped shape this special place we call home.

Mr. Comeford, born in Ireland, moved to this area in 1872 with his wife, Maria. For six years they lived at Tulalip, traveling the waterways and working with 18 logging camps. In 1878, Mr. Comeford paid $450 for 1,280 acres of land that later became Marysville, first building a store with living quarters and a small dock. Mrs. Comeford taught school in her home and Mr. Comeford opened a post office. The first saw mill opened in 1887 and railroad tracks came through town in 1889, attracting many newcomers. In 1891, Mr. Comeford incorporated the town and Mark Swinnerton was elected its first mayor. Logging was the primary industry.

Marysville celebrated its 125th birthday in 2016. Today Marysville is the second-largest city in Snohomish County and home to more than 66,000 residents. As our community continues to grow and change, we appreciate even more the work of the Marysville Historical Society, which is putting the finishing touches on a new historical museum set to open early next year. For more information please visit the museum website at

Marysville School District

Submitted by Emily Wicks

Marysville School District

Although the Marysville School District was officially established in 1887, we would be remiss if we neglected to discuss the first unofficial mission school established in 1857 by two Catholic priests. That school was moved to Mission Beach at Tulalip Bay in 1863 and later became known as an “Indian School.” The school was later taken over by the government in 1905, half a century after the Point Elliot Treaty was signed, establishing the Tulalip Reservation.

Meanwhile, the first official school in the district was the one taught by Mary Comeford out of her home in 1887. The first educational building in Marysville was built in 1889 on the corner of Beach Ave and 4th Street; a one-room facility known as the Lyceum Building.

In 1894, Marysville built a new brick and wood frame school on 7th street called the Lincoln Building. It taught students in grades 1 through 8, while the high school students attended school in Snohomish. The Lyceum Building then became Marysville’s municipal center.

The first high school was built in 1907 on 10th street between Cedar and Beach Ave, and the first bussing experience Marysville students had was in 1910 when they road to school on the “Kids’ Wagon” or as some called it, “The Hilton Transfer”. In 1916, they changed the name of to “Kid Trucks” until all-metal buses were purchased in 1931.

While Sunnyside, Shoultes and Kellogg Marsh are a few of the oldest schools in the Marysville School District, they were housed in several buildings at different locations overtime. Many things have happened in the years since they were first built. If you are interested in learning more about the history of Marysville schools, visit There you will find a timeline, photos and other interesting documents.

Tulalip Tribes

Submitted by Francesca Hillery

Tulalip Tribes Office of Public Affairs

The Hibulb Cultural Center and Natural History Preserve is the result of a longstanding dream of the Tulalip people to honor our history and culture here in the Puget Sound. Our mission is twofold: to be a “living museum” where our membership can learn about their history and participate in cultural activities and classes, and to share our story with visitors from surrounding communities, the region and beyond.

Since opening in August of 2011 the Center proudly continues to fulfill that mission.

Tribal members are offered opportunities to rediscover their rich cultural traditions. Whether it is learning the ancient art of weaving, or how to harvest and prepare traditional plants and foods, our priority is to keep the cultural fires burning for future generations by providing a vibrant space for our membership to practice culture.

The Hibulb Cultural Center and Natural History Preserve welcome our friends and neighbors to visit and learn about our history and culture.

We offer an engaging line-up of events throughout the calendar year that are open to the general public. The Tulalip Film Festival, history lectures, poetry readings, visiting artists, children’s story hour, and crafts workshops are just some of the events available to our visitors and are included in the price of admission.

The permanent exhibit tells the story of our journey as Tulalip people. Interactive displays introduce visitors to our sacred relationship to cedar and salmon, our Longhouse culture, and a historic perspective of our cultural survival and political sovereignty. These stories are told in Lushootseed, our first language, and in English.

We welcome and encourage school groups to tour our permanent and temporary exhibits, our longhouse, the Canoe Hall, and other displays on art, language, and ancestral values. Our 50-acre Natural History Preserve is filled with an abundance of natural features and habitats. Salmon bearing streams, estuary wetlands, and patches of mature cedar, fir, and hemlock stands represent one part of the cultural legacy of the Tulalip Tribes.

Contact Information

Visit for more information or in person at 6410 23rd Avenue NE Tulalip, WA 98271. The Hibulb Cultural Center is open to the public Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. For further questions call 360.716.2600.

Upcoming events and classes:  

Wednesday, Dec. 21: 5 p.m., Weaving Gathering, held at HCC Classroom 1

Open forum for those interested to bring your weaving material and work on your projects, a time to visit, share, build skills, and complete your beautiful woven art.

This event is included in the cost of admission.

Thursday, Jan. 5: 6 p.m., Poetry Series with Kandy Orr, Poet, held at HCC Longhouse Room

Her poetry, followed by open-mic poetry. This event is free since held on the first Thursday of the month.

Saturday, Jan. 7: 1 p.m., Storytelling Series, held at HCC Library

Storytellers are invited for an open-mic forum to share, encourage, preserve, and strengthen traditional storytelling. Contact Lois Landgrebe for any questions at 425-280-1623. This event is included in the cost of admission.

Wednesday, Jan. 11: 5 p.m., Workshops with Krista Moser - Free Motion Quilting, held at HCC Classroom 1

Some sewing experience required. Bring your sewing machine and fabric. Limited space available. Scheduled to appear. This event is included in the cost of admission.


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