Stanwood’s Floyd Norgaard Cultural Center will be the Welcome Center for Camano Island’s Historic Sites tour March 25th and 26th.
Maps and information on the Island’s sites will be available at the Center between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. The entire complex, owned by the Stanwood Area Historical Society, will be open during this time, highlighting exhibits in the Pearson house and SAHS museums and including a new Veteran’s display in honor of the memorial being planned by the SAHS.
In addition the Floyd will feature historic and cultural organizations from the greater area which will provide information and crafts of their respective groups. These include book signings by local historians, Stanwood’s Park and Trails Commission, the League of Snohomish County Heritage Organizations, the Stanwood House, the Camano Quilter’s Guild, Josephine Caring Community as well as the Stillaguamish Tribe and Tulalip Tribes of Native Americans. Homemade soups and treats will also be available for sale before visitors begin their trek of the Island. Passports noting visits to the various sites will be available at the Floyd. The passports can also be dropped off at the Floyd for those participating in drawings for prizes.
The Floyd is easily accessible at 27108 102nd Ave NW (Market Street), two blocks off State Highway 532. A great day of exploring Camano Island begins with a preliminary visit to the Floyd in Stanwood.
One way to tell history is to feature historic places or buildings. Every place has a past and it is good to be reminded of it occasionally. The American Legion building on 88th Ave NW (north of Rite Aide) has an interesting story. Its unusual mission style stucco makes it very unique for the area. It was built in 1940 as the East Stanwood City Hall and civic center. It was planned with a large auditorium and annex for commercial club and smaller meetings, a council chamber, modern kitchen, fully equipped, a stage, men’s and women’s rest rooms, cloak rooms and an entrance lobby.
American Legion Post
The Legion Hall (former city hall) was built under the direction of the Works Progress Administration (W. P. A.) with a government allotment of $11,775 and a 30 mill levy furnishing the balance for a total of $19,176. For those who are not aware, this part of town was then called East Stanwood and was separately incorporated from Stanwood, which was the area north of the current Twin City Foods.
Juleen photograph of the East Stanwood Commercial Club that ran East Stanwood before it incorporated.
This building replaced the former two-story East Stanwood Commercial Club building on that site which burned in July of 1938. The fire was fought by both the East Stanwood and Stanwood fire departments. The late Harold Klett remembers being thrown from the roof of the hall when fighting the fire. The pressure of the hose he was carrying suddenly catapulted him off his feet and he was slightly injured.
This early Commercial Club building was built in 1920 to “function as a force in fostering a better and higher community spirit. It was to function as a social and recreational center to help knit the community in a more closely related spirit of cooperation. Hundreds in the community have attended dances given in the Yankee ballroom—the name given to the dance room.” (East Stanwood Sun, July 28, 1938) At that time there was much dissention in the community over the operation of the schools and other amenities and two years later East Stanwood, the area around the railroad depot, would incorporate as a separate town. Some of the early story of the Commercial Club is recounted in The Stanwood Story by Alice Essex (vol. 2, pp. 27-29, 32,44,46, 58, 60 & 84.)
In 1960, the two towns consolidated because of the need to pool funds for a sewage system and other public works. Two years later the City Hall building was sold to the American Legion for $10,500. The Hall is still an active community organization, known as the Frank Hancock Post No. 92 of the American Legion.
Updated from Stanwood Area Echoes #24 article published in 2003.