Category Archives: Historical Places

Giving Tuesday Nov 27th, 2018

Floyd Norgaard Cultural Center July 2017

Floyd Norgaard Cultural Center July 2017

The Floyd Norgaard Cultural Center in 2004

The Floyd Norgaard Cultural Center is one of the oldest historic buildings in Stanwood, established as a public hall in 1902.  Its success as a community center over the last decade is attributed to the many volunteers and donors over the last years.  This year’s planned maintenance includes refinishing the hardwood floors (after many dancing feet and thousands of visitors) the repair of the North wall and ultimately re-roofing and repainting.

Read more details here and you can stop by from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Tuesday, November 27 to learn more.
Your contribution will be added to the funds accumulated with donations, grants and many volunteer work hours for this project.  Please help now by clicking on the Giving Tuesday link below.  Or Contact Us



Irvine, Thompson, Sons of Norway Hall History

Sons of Norway Hall 2018.

Sonner Av Norge or Sons of Norway Hall 2018; Fritjov Lodge, #17 – Organized April 24th, 1910. Building dedicated in 1914.

Sons of Norway Hall, dedicated in 1914.

Cropped from a street view of Main Street in 1917 showing the two story Thompson Hall moved across the street by the Sons of Norway and converted to their hall.

Cropped from a street view of Main Street in 1917 the two story Thompson Hall has been moved across the street by the Sons of Norway and converted to their hall.

The Sons of Norway Hall has a long history in Stanwood. Its members were vital to the local culture as singers, musicians as well as business and religious leaders and Stillaguamish Valley farmers.

The hall building was originally located across the street west of the “Stanwood House” which was Thompson’s residence.
According to Gustav Joergenson (in his “History of the Twin Cities” article series)  “Mr. Irvine’s new hall and warehouse was built on the North side of Irvine Slough during 1889-90” and used by the Masons until they built their own in 1895. J.  H. Irvine sold the business and hall to Norwegian immigrants Thompson, Alfred Ryan and Carl Ryan in 1903 according to Grace Ryan Cornwell.   In 1914 The Sons of Norway bought the hall from S.A. Thompson and moved it over to its present location where they rebuilt the hall a few years later.

The Sons of Norway Hall and the Stanwood House are on the Stanwood Historic Sites Walking Tour and will be open April 7 (in conjunction with the Camano Historic Sites Tour. They are both recognized as one of the historic places in Stanwood’s Historic Plaque program.

The store itself remained where it was evolving into the Hitching Post/Thriftmart IGA which burned in February 1978. Its location is now an empty lot  (scroll down).

For more of the story—-

Original the Irvine store business was establish in about 1878 near the waterfront, was sold to S.A. Thompson. Circa 1903 which is possibly the occasion of the photograph.

Original the Irvine store business was establish in about 1878 near the waterfront, was sold to S.A. Thompson. Circa 1903 which is possibly the occasion of the photograph.

The “modernized” Hitching Post, formerly the Thompson Store in Stanwood, burned in February 1978. At that time is was known as the Thriftmart IGA.

(Refer Stanwood Story, v.1, p63(il.),80, v.2, p103(il.); hall, v.2, p89; v. 3 p. 48)


Then & Now – Stanwood’s Pacific Coast Condensed Milk Company

The Pacific Coast Condensed Milk Company (built in 1914), later known as the Carnation Milk (1916) was a major employer in East Stanwood and the surrounding area.  It was later a vegetable cannery with a succession of owners and operators.  This photograph and others like it made popular postcards featuring the attractions and the economic viability of the Stanwood and East Stanwood area.

We had hoped to get a now photograph from the hillside to repeat it more effectively but it wasn’t possible.

But this shows the building now from across the street.  It is not clear exactly what changes were made but we think the building on the left is now gone and the North Star Cold Storage now occupies a remodeled facility in the same footprint.  See the aerial below. (If you click on the images they will enlarge for a closer view.)  Later occupied by Bozeman Canning (about 1933) followed by Stokely Van Camp PIctsweet vegetable processing.

Pearson House Gardens – Then & Now

The two views below of the D. O. Pearson House backyard were taken between 80 – 100 years apart. The pear tree in the lower contemporary (July 2017) view is the same tree as the one in the historical  (circa 1929) photograph. This comparison reveals to us also how little about the house has changed. The porch window has been closed in and it appears there were two back doors.

The building behind the back section is long gone.  See previous post for info on the repair of these 100+ year windows and history of the house in newsletter Echoes no. 21

This digital image was donated by a Pearson Family descendant who owns the rest of collection.

This digital image was donated by a Pearson Family descendant who owns the rest of collection.

Windows being repaired at the D. O. Pearson House

If you’ve driven by the D. O. Pearson House recently you might have noticed some of the windows boarded up.  Thanks to 2016 Giving Tuesday donations and a Snohomish County Community Heritage Grant this year we are able to repair or “refurbish” the leaking old Pearson House windows to avoid costly replacement. This helps us retain the character of the historic building which has now survived over a century.

The twelve windows were made of cedar and they have withstood a century of weather and not rotted. But old putty was replaced where necessary to seal them and they have been repainted.  To do the job correctly, they must be removed, repaired off-site and re-installed.

They return secure and cleaner brightening up the rooms with light.  And once again they can slide up and down to open.

They can be held open with pins in hot weather. They slide much better now even without pulleys, ropes and sash weights that provide a smooth sliding counter balance in later double hung windows. Some of them also have unusual interesting decorative locks and catches.

Repairing wood windows can be cost effective and energy efficient so if you are considering replacing old wood windows, consider repairing them.  For more information on how to proceed, click here.  And here “Top Ten Reasons to Restore or Repair Wood Windows.  Also another new study on window treatments.

The windows are original to the house. We are lucky to find someone with the special skills and patience to work with the windows so we didn’t have to replace them. The Window King company, specifically, Jeff Zoloth, has 20+ years of experience refurbishing historic windows currently including the Macy’s building in Seattle.  See his website for more examples of historic preservation projects he has worked on throughout Western Washington.

Begin your Camano Historic Sites Tour Here!

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.