The resources below are a selected list of historical resources on the Stanwood & Camano Island area, including small communities of Cedarhome, Florence, Silvana, Warm Beach, Milltown, Victoria, Village, Woodland and the former East Stanwood. These resources are intended to cover general aspects of frontier and pioneer life and settlement. Today this area covers the Stanwood Camano School District in northwest Snohomish County and Camano Island, in Island County.
To focus on specific aspects of early life, check the library for historic resources on logging, steamboats, schools, railroads, in Puget Sound, Washington State and the Pacific Northwest.
To locate items listed below in libraries – see,
For genealogy help see the Camwood Obituary Project provided by the Camwood Genealogy Workshop group. It meets the First Monday of the month at SAHS museum, 2nd floor or possibly in case of COVID restrictions, at the FNCC Hall.
An Illustrated History of Skagit and Snohomish Counties, their people, their commerce and their resources (archive.org) with an outline of the early history of the State of Washington, [s. l.] Interstate Pub. Co., 1906. Recently reprinted and indexed by the Stillaguamish Valley Genealogical Society, this intimidating tome (5 inches thick) contains some of the earliest memories and descriptions of settlement of the area. It contains information about the diking, early farming, logging and biographies of the Stillaguamish River Valley and its settlers.
It is a subscription biography or history, and as a result has little negative to say about anyone and leaves out a lot, yet it is invaluable for its early accounts. See pp. 256-7, 268-269, 479. Don’t overlook the biographies of local pioneers which also contain significant bits of their area histories.
Bruseth, Nels, Indian stories and legends of the Stillaguamish, Sauks and allied tribes . Fairfield Washington, Ye Galleon Press, 1977 (reprint of earlier 1950 publication) Copies can be found in second hand bookstores and at SAHS.
Buse, Penny Hutchison. Stuck in the Mud: The History of Warm Beach, Washington. Snohomish, WA: Snohomish Publishing Co, 2011. Out of print.
David M. Buerge and Peter Henning. The Builder: The Life of Peter Henning, 1868-1955. 2003. Includes history of East Stanwood.
David M Buerge and Peter Henning “The Son: Peter Henning Jr.” more history of farms, family and career of physicist, Peter Henning, Jr.
Available for purchase from SAHS.
Cameron, David, et. al. Snohomish County / An Illustrated History Kelcema Books, Index, WA 2005. A welcome new updated history of all of Snohomish County including the pre-history and Native American language and culture. Covers “new” history of suburban era of Mountlake Terrace and Mill Creek and Lynnwood as well as older communities of Stanwood, Mukilteo and Snohomish. Contact Index Historical Society for copies.
Conroy, Dennis. Pioneers of the Stillaguamish. Cascade Writing, Camano Island WA. 2005. Out of print.
Conroy, Dennis & Marlys Jolley A Boater’s Guide to the Historic Westside of Camano Island – 2001 booklet by the Center of Wooden Boats and the Stanwood Area Historical Society. Available from SAHS
Cook , Jimmie Jean. “A particular friend, Penn’s Cove”; history of the settlers, claims and buildings of central Whidbey Island. Coupeville, Wash., Island County Historical Society,  Contains many references to Stanwood/Camano historic connection to Coupeville. See pp. 38, 64-66, 75-76, 133.
Essex, Alice The Stanwood Story, Stanwood, WA., Stanwood/Camano News.
In 3 volumes [1971-1997]
A chronological and pictorial history of the Stanwood area, including Camano Island, . Volumes 1 and 2 were written by Alice Essex, the third was written by Mrs. Essex and completed by Cliff Danielson, former publisher of the Stanwood News. Alice Essex was the daughter of D. G. Bennie, an early day pioneer logger and mill manager.
There is an index for the three volumes available at the Stanwood Area Historical Society and the in Local History Reference at the Stanwood branch of the Sno-Isle Libraries.
Hanks, Richard A., Solemn, the Drums Thrill Essays on the Fallen Heroes of Stanwood Camano: World War I to Afghanistan
Camano Island, Wash. : Coyote Hill Press, 2020. (available at SAHS)
To Seek The Smiles of Dame Fortune: Stanwood Tales of the Last Great Gold Rush
Camano Island, Wash,: Coyote Hill Press, 2022 (Available from SAHS) Biographies and history of local Stanwood and Camano Island farmers and businessmen who sought their fortunes in the Klondike Gold Rush in 1898 and came back to invest in the town of Stanwood.
Hawes, E.M and Lou Clark. Island County – A World Beater , [1911 or 1913] F. B Hawes Co., Everett Wash. Promotional booklet Reprinted by Frayn Print. Co, 1968. and the South Whidbey Historical Society, Langley, WA about communities in Island County. It can be found online at the University of Washington’s Digital Collections Washington State Pioneer Life Database .
Kellogg, George Albert, A history of Whidbey’s Island (Whidby Island) State of Washington. Whidby Island. [n.p., Island County Historical Society] 1934.
Kimball, Art and John Dean. Camano Island : life and times in island paradise [Stanwood, Wash.?] : A. Kimball, 1994. Out of print
Neil, Dorothy. By canoe and sailing ship they came / edited and compiled by Lee Brainard. Oak Harbor, Wash. : Spindrift Publishing, c1989.
Osmundson, John, “Camano Island – Succession of Occupation from Pre-Historic to Present Time” The Washington Archaeologist Vol. V, no. 4 April 1961, pp 2-18.
Prasse, Karen, River Rail and Road A Pictorial History of Stanwood and East Stanwood. Stanwood, WA., Stanwood Area Historical Society, 2003. A short history of Stanwood and the role of transportation in its evolution as a town. Available for purchase from SAHS $5.00
Prasse, Karen. Camano Island. Images of America. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Pub, 2006. Over 200 photographs of Camano Island and its logging, sawmill agricultural and resort history. Available from SAHS and local bookstores.
Sampson, Martin J., Indians of Skagit County, [n.p.] Skagit County Historical Society 
Stine, Thomas Ostenson. Scandinavians on the Pacific, Puget Sound [Seattle, Wash, n.d. 1910?] This source contains biographical information on many Scandinavian settlers in the area who were a large proportion of the new population of this area. (online version)
Suttles, Wayne and Barbara Lane. “Southern Coast Salish” Handbook of North American Indians, Washington D. C. Smithsonian Institution, 1978-1990. v. 7, pp. 485-502.
White, Richard. Land use, environment, and social change : the shaping of Island County, Washington / Rev. ed. Seattle : University of Washington Press, 1992. Very comprehensive account of land use, ecological and economic changes in Island County. Extensive bibliography.
Whitfield, William. History of Snohomish County, Washington, vols. I & II. Chicago : Pioneer Historical Pub. Co., 1926. Contains references to early Utsalady history as well as Stanwood area history, though some information is contradictory to other sources.
Articles (copies of most articles or books are available at SAHS)
Conroy, Dennis. “Pioneers of Utsalady.” Columbia Magazine, Spring, 2000, v. 14, no. 1, p. 7-12
Conroy, Dennis. “The Utsalady Sawmill.” Tall Timbers Short lines, Issue no. 65, Spring 2001, p.9 – 22.
Iverson, O.B. “Experiences and Observations On Two Continents” Stanwood Tidings,
A series of articles published between 1920 – 1922. (copies on file at SAHS) Very interesting and descriptive early accounts of arriving in the Puget Sound in the 1870’s told by Iverson, a Territorial Legislator and surveyor
Joergenson, Gustav B. “History of the Twin Cities Country”. Twin City News, 1948-49. (copies on file at SAHS)
Mastin, Larry G., and Richard B. Waitt. Glacier Peak: History and Hazards of a Cascade Volcano. Vancouver, WA: U.S. Dept. of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey, 2000. Fact sheet (Geological Survey (U.S.)), FS-00-058. This article explains the geological history of the Stillaguamish and Sauk Rivers and its change of course 13,000 years ago.
Poyner IV, Fred F., “Stories from Stanwood’s Waterfront and the Stillaguamish River Valley: A collective portrait of a Norwegian Pioneer Community” Vesterheim : a publication of Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum. Vol. 20, no. 1 2022; photocopies available SAHS.
Various articles published in the newsletter Stanwood Area Echoes covering topics relating to resorts, logging, diking, log jams, agriculture, historic places, and people. There is an index for available at the Stanwood Area Historical Society and the in Local History Reference at the Stanwood branch of the Sno-Isle Libraries.
For online written history and sources about the Stanwood Camano area, see
Local Newspaper Holdings – Back issues for obituaries, dates, business & organization histories, events, etc. Please let us know if this information is incorrect or you have copies that might fill in our missing holdings. Disclaimer: Microfilmed reels done in the 1980’s newspaper microfilming project are available as listed, there are many missing issues. Also the many name changes confuse things. There are no indexes of these papers. It is possible to use the Stanwood Story to get a date range to search through issues.
Stillaguamish Times, 1889 -1890?,
Started in Stanwood? moved to Haller City / Arlington. Published but no known issues available.
Stanwood Post, 1890-1895:
Sporadically published with different publishers. Only existing issues known are one fragment published in 1891.
Stanwood Press, 1897 – 1900:
One existing issue reprinted by the Stanwood Camano News, also available at SAHS
Stillaguamish Valley News,
1902: One existing issue in archives at SAHS
Stanwood Tidings, 1903 – 1917
WSL, EPL? (Snohomish County Misc Reel #1) and SVGS; scattered issues at SAHS.
Stanwood News, 1920 – 1930 Microfilm (1923-1978) at UW, WSL, SVGS; scattered issues at SAHS and SCNEWs and Sno-Isle Libraries Marysville Branch where there is a digital microfilm reader that can save images from the microfilm on to a USB or other storage device.
Twin City News, about 1930 – 1959
Microfilm UW, WSL, SVGS, Sno-Isle Libraries Marysville Branch;
scattered paper issues at SAHS, and SCNEWs.
Stanwood News, 1960-1980: Microfilm WSL, SVGS, UW.
Stanwood / Camano NEWS, 1981 – 2009. Microfilm (1923-1980) Sno-Isle, WSL, SVGS, UW. Some paper issues at SAHS and SCNEWS,
Stanwood / Camano NEWS, 2009 – Digital
SCNEWS.com; Paper copies at SAHS and Stanwood Library
Other newspapers have existed briefly – very few copies exist:
Camano Enterprise, 1908-1909
A few issues of this newspaper published at Camano [City] on Saratoga Passage at SAHS.
East Stanwood Bulletin, 1914 – 1916
A prohibitionist paper : Microfilm- WSL, scattered issues at SAHS.
Camano Island Sun:
1980 – 1982. A few issues at SAHS – sort of a neighborhood weekly. Merged with Stanwood News.
East Stanwood Sun
1937 – 1942. Scattered ssues at SAHS
Stillaguamish Valley Genealogical Society (author)
Obituaries from the Stanwood Tidings, September 1904 – October 1917.
Arlington, WA: Stillaguamish Valley Genealogical Society, 2000.
This book is a compilation of death notices from Stanwood’s early newspaper is available at the Stanwood Public Library & SVGS and SAHS (published and available for purchase from SVGS)
Obituaries are also collected by the Camwood Genealogy Workshop held at the SAHS Museum.
For Camano history, microfilm of the Island County Times is also helpful and available at UW.
SVGS = Stillaguamish Valley Genealogical Society
UW = Univ. of Washington Microfilm Newspaper Collections;
WSL= Washington State Library; – may request reels through interlibrary loan from Sno-Isle Regional Library.
SCNEWs = Stanwood Camano NEWS
EPL = Everett Public Library Northwest Room
SAHS=Stanwood Area Historical Society
Maps & Atlases
Plat book of Snohomish County, Washington / “compiled and published from actual surveys and the county records by Anderson Map Company”; Seattle, Wash. : Anderson Map Co., 1910. Shows structures, property owners, plats and homesteads of early Snohomish County. Copies of original located at the Everett Public Library Northwest Room and at SAHS.
Digitized Sanborn Maps, 1867 – 1970 includes Stanwood ( & Everett and some other Snohomish County towns ). Now Available Online ! Everett Public Library Northwest Room also has copies (Microfilm only). These historical maps show the past structural foot prints and layouts of the towns for insurance purposes. They are now used by local historians, planners, geographers, genealogists to document community and social history. Some of our local cities still have these maps. Sno-Isle Libraries used to have a subscription to the digitized versions that were reproduced from original copies submitted to the Geography and Map Division of the Library of Congress.
Historic Places Mapping Project This site is an online Mapping tool showing mapping layers over time of historic places. This site was developed by members of the Granite Falls Historical Society and the League of Snohomish County Heritage Organizations. It incorporates some of the Sanborn maps now available for communities through the Library of Congress. Both of these sites are used as tools for documenting community, business and family history for our historic places and preservation research.
Some back issues of Metzger and Kroll plat books and maps are available at SAHS and EPL Everett Public Library Northwest Room.
SAHS has only a few city directories and phone books. The most complete collection is at Everett Public Library’s Northwest Room, Seattle Public, UW etc plus Ancestry.com and other genealogy websites.
Oral histories are often one of the self-produced collections of local heritage groups. One of the best is :