Honoring Remarkable Women in Women’s History Month – Join us for the Spring Tea

Clara J. Stanwood Pearson, 1849 - 1910

Clara J. Stanwood Pearson, 1849 – 1910

The namesake of Stanwood is Clara Stanwood Pearson, wife of D. O. Pearson, Stanwood’s founding mayor.   Clara Stanwood’s birthday was March 18th, 1849.  She was born in Lowell, Massachusetts and left her home state of Massachusetts and all she knew to join D. O. Pearson and his family on Whidbey Island.
For more of her story, click here.

To see and hear more wonderful stories, don’t miss our annual Spring Tea & Vintage Fashion Exhibit featuring many new stories of women’s remarkable contributions to our local history and community.

Seeking Photographs of Mayors

Francis Giard, First Mayor of East Stanwood, 1922 - 1931

Francis Giard, First Mayor of East Stanwood, 1922 – 1931

The City of Stanwood is planning to create a gallery of portrait type photographs of the Mayors of Stanwood and East Stanwood to be on “permanent” display at City Hall.  They have asked us for their help.  The City has some photographs of recent mayors but some past mayors are missing.  And we (SAHS collections) have a few to add.

D. O. Pearson, First Mayor of Stanwood, 1903 - 1905, 1912-1915

D. O. Pearson, First Mayor of Stanwood, 1903 – 1905, 1912-1915





But to complete the gallery, we are taking the unusual step in asking the public to help us locate copies of portrait type of photographs from this list (pdf).

Can you help?
Contact us.
Here is small group of photographs of past mayors in the SAHS collections.

Musical Traditions

The Camano Island Cornet Band was one of the popular local bands that played community even95_107_01camanoislandbandpostcardts.  Judging by the style of photo and other details, they played around 1910.

These bandsmen pictured in this special photographic postcard are Lester Nelson, Arthur Einarsen, Harold Knutsen, Oscar Bodine, Ernest Einarsen, Sophus Borreson, Levi Thompson, Olaf Knutsen, Carl Land, Pete Wold and T.W. Magelssen.  They are perhaps not unlike the current South End String Band scheduled to play Feb 7th at the Floyd.

Not much is known about them, so if you have information about them, please let us know! The names were listed in the “Stanwood Story” by Alice Essex, v. 2 p. 100



Christmas presents 1938

90_29_17_550wChristmas toys were a bit different in 1938 – these presents were collected and repaired for poor children in Stanwood and the surrounding area.  The men in the photograph are Phillip Olsen, Hugo Fischer, Tom Hendershot, Harold Benjamin and Lawrence Stovner.

Imagine Stanwood 1886

Imagine yourself on a slow – moving steamboat plying the waters of Puget Sound and as you are passing through the South Pass of the Stillaguamish River you look out to see the cluster of buildings in the banner photograph (above).  This photograph was adapted for our new SAHS website banner and is an edited digital copy of one of the earliest photographs of Stanwood taken by Gilbert Horton from his Palace Floating Gallery.   Horton was among a few itinerant photographers who was taking photographs in early Washington State at the time.  (Read more about Horton here on Historylink…)HortonSig

The photograph was taken in 1886 showing the waterfront and wharf with its earliest commercial buildings.   At this time the main channel of the Stillaguamish River flowed past what is now Stanwood’s historic waterfront (occupied currently by Twin City Foods and several other businesses).   This was before the railroad came through in 1891 and when almost all transportation took place by steamboats.

This view shows the Stanwood Store owned by D. O. Pearson from South Pass, a branch of the Stillaguamish River that emptied into the shallow Port Susan.   Steamboats and other shallow bottomed boats could navigate the Stillaguamish River’s West or South Passes on a high tide all the way up to Florence, another growing community upriver.  Over the last century (after cleared log jams and several floods) the main channel of the river slowly diverted itself directly south through what was historically known as Hatt Slough to Port Susan.

The photograph was later published in the 1906 “The Illustrated History Skagit and Snohomish County“, a subscription biography and history proudly honoring successful farmers and businessmen who could afford to have their biographies featured as prominent pioneers in this 1000+ page publication.

Cabinet card photograph of Stanwood when Washington was still a Territory

Cabinet card photograph of Stanwood when Washington was still a Territory. It was taken about 10 years after D.O. Pearson established his store and built the wharf. The mill at Utsalady on Camano Island was still a major economic force in the area but settlers were slowly displacing the Stillaguamish Indians who lived on this delta for centuries.

–Karen Prasse, SAHS volunteer






Thank you to our donors!

floyd Norgaard Cultural Center south wall repairs

Completed repairs to side wall of the Floyd Norgaard Cultural Center just in time for winter.

New siding being added to south wall of the Floyd Norgaard Cultural Center

New siding being added to south wall of the Floyd Norgaard Cultural Center

Thanks to our donors, we have reached our goal for the first phase of our Capital Fund project for repairing the south wall of the Floyd Norgaard Cultural Center. In addition to many individual and family donors including event attendees, Thanks to the Snohomish County Community Heritage Grant reimbursement funds awarded by the Snohomish County Historical Commission and by Snohomish County Commissioners.

Photograph of siding repair on Floyd Norgaard Cultural Center

This photograph was taken 7/16/2014. Note the slanted fir (?) sheathing that was common. The false crown on the top was added in the 1940s(?) when the original gable roof was removed.


This was the September view of the progress of the project.  Fisher Construction of Burlington is the contractor.