Farm fields in the foreground were once a boggy wetland in the early days and the barn in the distance originally belonged to Mr. Terry. This local landmark was located on the west side of Sunrise Drive and collapsed in 1978. Photograph taken in 1974 by Howard Hansen, Stanwood News photographer
The commercial triangle of land bordered by North Camano Drive, Sunrise Drive, and S. R. 532 became known as Terry’s Corner for William Terry. Terry owned the farm at the intersection of North Camano Drive and Sunrise Drive since 1929. Prior to that it was known as MacEacheran’s Corner. MacEacheran was the local doctor who owned the farm there in 1912 on North Camano Drive. (In the map below, this was the Fay Miller property just out of the photo in the aerial view.)
According to early accounts the lowland farm fields south of Terry’s Corner had once been a peat bog of cranberries with a small slough draining into it. It was diked by early homesteaders. Wagon roads replaced the skid roads as the surrounding area was cleared of trees in hopes that could eventually be farmed. Early accounts also said the bog was burned and stumps dynamited to create the farm fields that are still productively cultivated.
In 1918 Aubrey Nelson bought the land that is still cultivated south of S. R. 532. It had been an early logging camp employing 40-50 men operated by Alfred Leque. The farm fields on had to be cleared of the peat bogs that were said to have cranberries. Eventually after years of burning and removal of the peat and stumps, the fields were cleared and workable.
S. R. 532 was dedicated in October 1969 bypassing many indirect curves and intersections from I – 5 through Stanwood ending at Terry’s Corner. This bypass created a more direct access to the south part of the Island. It had to cross the bog that was probably pretty impassable so a significant berm or levee was built to raise it across the wetland. For those us who drive past this view every day, we still can note the wild rose, cherry, salmonberry and thicket of other native plants that now include the blackberry and other invasives, but so far we have not found cranberries.
An Internet search for cranberry bog pictures (Vaccinum oxycoccos) what this area might have looked like originally.
By B.Lezius – Own work, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=8798492
Stay tuned for part 2
Early accounts of the history of this area were published in our newsletter Stanwood Area Echoes no. 18: “LIvingston Bay, Camano Island 1862 – 1920” and “Profile of an Early Settler on Camano Island” by Elizabeth Nelson. Copies are available by request, click Contact Us.
Happy Thanksgiving !
Sixty years ago, the Williams Turkey Farm was among the few agricultural businesses on the Island. It is remembered by many local residents, please send us your stories of this or any local Camano Island or Stanwood business!
100 years ago (1917) young local resident Edward S. Christiansen, a resourceful young techie of his day, was discovered eavesdropping on official radio messages using a wireless [radio]. This was near the end of World War I and the military was understandably concerned.
Officials from the Puget Sound Navy shipyard sent the Snohomish County Sheriff to Camano Island to investigate. They found Edward’s wireless radio set and antenna in a tree near Triangle Cove. Read the article below for more details.
Edward lived to the age of 92 as a farmer, plumber and mechanic on Camano Island. He left school after the 6th grade. He apparently never married and lived his whole life on Camano Island. His name was actually spelled “Christiansen” according to records. He was born in September 1897 in Ballard, WA and died April 1989 on Camano Island.
And if anyone has anything to add to this please contact SAHS.
Seattle Times article retrieved using Seattle Public Library cardholder access to the Historical Seattle Times Database – sincere thanks to SPL.org for this service!
We are speculating but assume this sign probably was made for Hwy 99 promoting Stanwood and East Stanwood, [more below]
This photograph was among several photographs donated by Shirley Danielson probably used in the Stanwood NEWs. We haven’t yet found an article documenting this effort in community development. For those new to the community, Stanwood and East Stanwood were once two towns who had a healthy rivalry but occasionally came together for a common purpose such as promotion of the area. The name of the local food processing company, Twin City Foods references this historic era and retains its historic name. For more on the story, find copies of the Stanwood Story by Alice Essex, check with us for copies and more information. Click here for an online article. Please Contact us if you know more about the folks who might be in the photograph or anything about the occasion.
Update – the photograph was published in the June 3 1948 issue of the Twin City News :
“…sign personally built and painted by members of the Junior Chamber of Commerce at the farmhome of Arne Lervik….and erected on the west side of Highway 99 just south of the Heichel Bros garage at Davis Corner. Photo by F. Templeton…..members shown are Bob Seabury and Lee Bloom, Dean Sill, Calvin Templeton, Oscar Hansen, Fred Tiffany, and Herman Baalson, Ray Ronnestad and Arne Lervick….”
One hundred years ago in Stanwood the “Stanwood Tidings” (the local newspaper) compiled a special Issue featuring the Achievements in this community by local businesses and institutions. At this time the first world war was changing the face of Europe and in Everett four men died in the Everett Masscre in a labor riot blamed on the I. W.W.
Wisconsin Timber Co. that became Clough Lumber Co., 1923 then Hamilton Lumber.
Railroad tracks along the wharf to load timber & sawdust onto steamers or barges. Giant burner used to generate power for electric company in early years. It was located along Stillaguamish River waterfront and Irvine Slough. Photographer : John T. Wagness. [see the book “Stanwood Story”, v. 2, p. 4, 22, 32, 38 for the rest of the story]
In Stanwood, business was booming. Both The Stanwood Lumber Company and the Wisconsin Timber companies (opened Dec 1916) dominated the waterfront.
The community near the depot referred to as East Stanwood had formed a Commercial Club and would soon incorporate in 1922 as a separate town. Streets were being paved with bricks and the Pacific Highway was just being built.