Category Archives: Historical Photographs

Harvest Jubilee History

During the 1930s the Stanwood Commercial Club held a Harvest Jubilee parade.  It was held until about 1942.  The above photograph is from a collection of snapshots taken over the years and donated to SAHS by Viola Schmidt Michael.  It shows an elaborate float along the brick street (270th) in front of what was then the First National Bank building (now the First National Professional Building.) A short history was published in one of our past newsletters for you to read.

East Stanwood Busy Corner

This view shows North side of 271st St NW in Stanwood looking northwest.   From left the buildings are the Granary (distant left, originally known as the People’s Union), an unknown storefront, the N. V. KIng Building (1921), the 1918 Mercantile (behind the telephone pole), a cafe and the Depot Service Station garage with its East Stanwood Busy Corner sign. The cafe and service station burned in 1997. Photograph from the SAHS Collection 1995.28.21.

Some might be aware that Stanwood was once two towns: Stanwood (near river) and “East Stanwood” (near the railroad tracks).

The corner just east of the Stanwood Station had a small gas station with an awning that advertised itself as East Stanwood Busy Corner.   It was a popular stop on the Pacific Highway between Everett and points north before Stanwood was bypassed in the 1930s,

In August 1997 the historic buildings that were once the Depot Service Station, a garage and the café (next door) burned in a two alarm fire.  The businesses in the buildings at the time were the Eastside Salon, the gift store Emma’s Cottage and the antique shop, Yo Mama’s Attic.  Firefighters prevented the fire from spreading to other businesses but managed to save the 1918 Mercantile.  The owner at the time had to demolish the fire damaged buildings and currently that space is a grassy open space across from the Stanwood Railroad Station.  Read on..

The white concrete building is the East Stanwood Mercantile popularly know as the Stubb Mercantile.

When the museum opens again for visits, you can see a small exhibit that displays more photographs of this story but for now, perhaps this property can be the first East Stanwood Busy Corner Park as part of the City of Stanwood’s Main Street Revitalization Program.

The Mercantile.  Photo taken in 2003.

The original 1914 East Stanwood Mercantile store business was established by Otto Stubb and Andrew Frederickson. In 1917 Frederickson sold his interest to Otto Stubb but in 1918 the building was destroyed in a fire. The new concrete building that still stands was completed in October 1918.  But there could be no grand opening ceremony because of the Influenza epidemic. (Stanwood News Oct 18, 1918).  One month later, the Armistice was signed ending World War I.      See below…

Opened to the public Oct 19…”The building is certainly a credit to the community … [who] will wish the proprietors, Messrs. Otto Stubb and O. C. Amundson the best of luck…”  Stanwood Tidings Oct 18, 1918.

“Crow Island”

A “crows nest” of stumps. An unidentified photographic postcard image in our collect that seemed typical of the stumps of the island described in early histories that had to be cleared for farm fields.

When I first started learning about local history here some of the elders of our group often mentioned how Camano Island used to be called “Crow Island.”  It wasn’t that I didn’t believe them, we certainly had our share of treetop raucousness in our woods on the South end of Camano Island.  But I recently found an news article from a June 4, 1920 Stanwood Tidings that mentioned “Crow Island”.  The author was Mr. Gilbert Quale, a Norwegian immigrant whose name is also often spelled Qvale.  His farm was at the intersection of SR 532 and Juniper Beach Road where his historic house still stands

This map (on display at the Eldridge Center Museum – SAHS) shows the property owners of Island County including Mr Quale’s large farm. On the right is Leque Island and the mouth of the Stillaguamish River (West Pass and South Pass).

In the article he described the land clearing efforts of the local farmers: G. W. Hills, Mr. Danielson, Mr Borrison, Jorgen Anderson, Ivar Opdall, Ivan Larson , Peter Wold, Eli Myron.

They blasted the stumps, hauled them to into piles with steam donkeys and plowed the roots out of the ground to clear land for their farms.

After all of his hard work I think he was feeling a bit righteous about his land in the face of some condescension on the part of other farmers on the mainland.  His quote from the article: “Now some of you town people that make fun of “Crow Island,” as you call it, and some of you that are asleep and imagine you are dreaming about stills and moonshine when perhaps pulling crow teeth and blasting stumps, show not be so quick to throw slurs at a neighborhood just because there are a few crows on the Island?

Mr Qvale built this house in about 1923 according to County records. It is one of best preserved historic house and is eligible for the National Historic Register according to a 2006 survey of historic places on the island. It resembles a design of a Sears, Roebuck and Company house.

Gilbert was a community minded soul, he worked to actively promote their of their farm products as one of the original trustees of the Snohomish County Dairyman’s Association in 1917. He was listed as a grocer when he married his wife Amelia Land in 1900 Census and a director of the local Farmer’s Mutual Insurance Co.  He was listed as a dairy farmer at his death in 1943.

Quale Barn on Camano Island (no longer standing)
Photograph by Gerald Magelssen