Category Archives: Historical Places

Taftezon Memorial

In 1939 the Crown Prince Olav and Queen Marthe visited the United States. They stopped in Stanwood to place a wreath at the memorial for their Norwegian emigrant who came to the United States.

Taftezon Memorial and Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church Cemetery, Snohomish County – 1849

Zacharias Martin Taftezon and his family came from Trondelag, Troms and Finnmark area of northern Norway.  After learning the shoemaking trade in Germany and returning to Norway to find life not to his liking, he traveled via England to New Orleans and then on to the Pacific Coast in search of a better life.  He sailed up to Whidbey Island and landed in what is now Oak Harbor with two other men in December 1849 or January 1850.  It was paradise to him.  He adapted well to life here and was a friend to many.  He liked it so well that many in his family came to join him.

For more information on his amazing journey,

see the article

and check out the other stories and sites on the 2020 Stanwood Camano Historic Sites Tour.
The Memorial is not officially on the tour, but it is place to go if you are interested.
There is also a walking tour in Oak Harbor waterfront that includes a little of his history there.

The Pastime Confectionary

In 1906, East Stanwood was platted near the new depot (now the Stanwood Station).  At the time it was a mile east of the original Stanwood which was located by the river.  For context, this was 15 years after the Great Northern Railroad began providing transportation using rail replacing steamboats to the waterfront.

One of the earliest of the buildings built near the depot was the Pastime Confectionary building (now known as the Stanwood Grill 8628 271st St).  There were many “confectioneries” all over the country which provided candy, tobacco, hair and cleaning products and basic sundries necessary for travelers and residents.  Some were even called “Pastime” as was the one on Olympic St in Arlington which also had a “card room”.  They seemed to serve the purpose the convenience stores do now.

In its early years the Pastime was interesting for its “lack of dignity” and was usually avoided by some members of the community. Yet the building has survived over 110 years.  Originally it  was divided into two storefronts with a barber shop on the east side that has since been incorporated into the current restaurant.

The Bartz Hotel on left with the Pastime in center. The Rygg Building is on the right.

The Pastime Confectionary and Pool Room started in 1907 selling cigars, tobacco, fruits, soft drinks, Royal Ice Cream, candles etc. It was built by Iver Johnson.  According to a 1909 Polk Directory, it’s earliest proprietor was John Johnson of Stanwood who soon turned it over to Ed Edlund. Both left to work in the mills..  Ed Edlund’s brother, Oscar Edlund, purchased the Pastime in about 1914 at the beginning of World War I and in 1916 prohibition went into effect in Washington State (three years before the rest of the country).  The local news wrote the following in special news supplement featuring local businesses and businessmen.

“A Visit to East Stanwood would not be complete without calling on Pastime Confectionary and Billiard Hall, owned and managed by Messrs. Ed and Oscar Edlund.  This store has been established two years and is one of the successful business places of the town.  Cigars, tobacco, fruits, soft drinks, Royal ice cream, and a stock of choice candies … Good pool tables are also in evidence, and if you sometimes roll the ivories you will find the Pastime a place you will feel at home and also know that you are in a respectable amusement resort. “    (Stanwood News Achievement Number 1916 Special Edition)

In 1936 the Eastside Tavern was built between the Pastime and the Pure Food Market/Bartz Hotel. (Eastside later became the Wishing Well and now is the Boxcar.)

In 1922 East Stanwood incorporated as a separate town and it began to grow.  In 1933 when when prohibition was repealed Edlund decided to make it a bar though it is hard to imagine the pool room without a bit of whiskey in stock in spite of prohibition. In 1936 county records indicate that the Eastside Tavern was somehow squeezed in between the Pastime and the Pure Food Market (remodeled Bartz Hotel Dinning room at the time – see photo on the right.)
In 1941 Axel Krogstad became a partner. Presumably it was still a pool room or card room and one source said they also played pinochle.  Mr. Krogstad was later on the East Stanwood City Council and discontinued his connection with the business.  But several community locals remember buying candy or ice cream there when they were children.

“The Old West look comes to Stanwood, Oct 25, 1972 Stanwood News.

According to 1972 article Edlund brought in new manager-partners Roy and son Dick Davis who remodeled the business with a cowboy western theme and renamed it the Buckboard Tavern.  






A 1981 photo of the building when it was the Sundowner Tavern which had live music and dancing on Friday and Saturday nights.  The barber shop is on the left and Eastside Tavern is on the far left.

It was also know as the “Sundowner” according to a 1981 phone book.  In 1982 the name of the business changed again to the Buckboard is listed in the phone books until about 1983 and it disappears from advertising until 1994 when it is listed as the Scoreboard Bar and Grill and possibly KJ’s(?)

New owners took over in 1997 and in 1998 the Everett Herald reviewed the Stanwood Pub and Grill as a “recently restored space which for years housed a somewhat funky watering hole called the Scoreboard.  At some point before 2001 the separate barbershop became part of the main tavern and restaurant.

Former Pastime Confectionary, built in 1907 according to County records now the Stanwood Grill, 2020

New owners in 2001 continued the name as the Stanwood Grill and we appreciate that they continue to re-use this building and keep it and its history alive.

As usual with our building histories, we welcome information about the buildings and their stories, contact us if you are willing to share!  For more background, join us after Sept 17th for the 2020 Historic Sites Tour of Stanwood and Camano Island.

Compiled by Karen Prasse, ever searching for more details…especially in writing or even photos….



A Short History of Barnum Point

View of Barnum Point from road east of  Triangle Cove of the sight of the original Barnum home. The park is not accessible from this point. The new entrance is from parking lot near the end of Sunrise Blvd. Photo taken 2019.  See our 2020 calendar for a historical view of this historic place.

Our treasured new Island County park on Camano Island, like our others, has an unusual history.  The 166 acres that is now a park was a single landowners property since about 1904 when it was purchased by Sterling J. Barnum.  His early ownership undoubtedly coined its name.The United States Board of Geographic Names describes Barnum Point on Camano Island as a cape.  With its steep south facing cliffs it is a prominent geographical feature in Port Susan and now a stunning Island County park with wide panorama views of the Cascades and Mount Rainier.  The point or cape is now an Island County park with stunning views of the Cascades and woodlands in Port Susan.  Its history is still to be found in the vegetation, fields and woodland trails.  We are forever grateful to the family for making this available to us.

Metsker Maps, and Chas. F. Metsker. Metsker’s County Atlas: [Island County, Washington]. Tacoma, WA: Metsker Maps, 1949.

In 1904 when Sterling Barnum bought the property, a second phase of logging had begun after the Utsalady Milll closed a decade earlier.  The Camano City area was growing and Livingston Bay had several surrounding farms.  The family’s history here begins with Sterling Barnum (1868 – 1936) who came from Binghamton New York to be near the water.

In their earliest days according to accounts by his daughters the Barnum family fished and raised Rock Island Red chickens, sheep, cows, pigs, vegetable gardens and a large orchard. They lived on what they produced and had little association with Stanwood. Potatoes and some oats were their cash crops.   They also grew strawberries that ripened before other farms because of the long afternoon sun. Their only modern convenience was a telephone at the time

The bridge to the island wasn’t built until 1909 and the road from Stanwood where there was a ferry crossing, only went as far as Terry’s Corner.  Before the bridge, the family made only a few trips a year to Stanwood on a scow or a rowboat.  Usually supplies were picked up by the steamer or scow that brought supplies to the mill across the cove before there was a road.  They went in on the incoming tide and came back on the outgoing tide. The children rode their pony to Terry’s Corner to pick up mail.

In 1908 Barnum was instrumental in establishing the Central School (Island County District #21) for his children and others in the vicinity so they would not have to travel all the way to Utsalady or Camano City.  Classes were first held in the Evans home, neighbors of the Barnums.  A school building was originally constructed at the corner of Russell Road and Barnum Point road and eventually moved to property just north to the current location of the Island County Sheriff department.

Mr. Barnum served one term as County Commissioner from 1914-1915 to promote road building on the island and by the 1920s the Island was welcoming auto traffic through Stanwood.

Inn at Barnum Point Sign, 2006 – This sign now removed but once marked the entrance to the Barnum Point Inn from the early 1990s until about 2013.

A few family members stayed on or used it as a summer place.  The most recent memory of popular access was the construction of Barnum Point Inn, a new bed and breakfast built in 1992 or 1993 by Carolin Barnum DiLorenzo.  She operated it for about 25 years.

The property remained in the family’s hands until the 2010s when family members could no longer support the property.  In about 2013 they began negotiating with community groups interested in preserving this spectacular and undeveloped geographic feature that could have been sold for residential development.  Purchases of different sections were made over a period of years and final purchase was made and the park became complete with a new parking lot in 2019. Funding for the purchases came from Island County, Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program, Washington Salmon Recovery Funding Board, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Washington Department of Ecology. To start off the successful fundraising campaign, more than 600 private donors responded with proactive support from Friends of Island County Parks, Whidbey Camano Land Trust and many other volunteers.

c. 2020; Stanwood Area Historical Society and Karen Prasse;  All rights reserved.

Our Historical Parks – Hutchison Park, Camano Island

Stanwood and Camano Island have many local parks to enjoy holiday hikes. Almost all of them are historical parks and thanks to many years of interpretation projects, their stories are there to be read.
Our two State Parks plus a few little Island County Parks (Barnum Point, Iverson, English Boom, and Kayak Point on Port Susan are great places to observe wildlife, sunshine and possibly share your memories of the parks and how they were established.

Hutchison Park Camano Island

Hutchison Park, Camano Island

On the South end of Camano Island, the Walter G. Hutchison Park was established in 1979 and is used by neighbors, walkers, and bikers and those who are just on a drive around the island.   It is perhaps our smallest park with a short trail maintained by local volunteers and we know very little about it.  It is located at 3227 South East Camano Drive.

We have been looking into more information to properly document its history and will update this story when we can.  Contact us if you know more information.
Now it has a new feature, it’s own little library in a telephone booth managed by our park volunteers.

Walter G Hutchinson plaque dated 1979.

Walter G Hutchinson plaque dated 1979.

Click to see larger image


Little Library in the telephone booth, South End Camano Island

Little Library in the telephone booth, South End Camano Island