If you are looking for a fun afternoon outing filled with history, antique shopping, and delicious food, look no further than historic downtown Snohomish. Founded in 1859 and on the National Register of Historic Places, Snohomish maintains numerous historical buildings and is known for its antiquing and small-town charm. Take a walk down memory lane in historic downtown Snohomish.
Your journey will begin and end at City Hall. Cross the street, take a left on Glen Avenue and a right on Pearl Street. You will come to your first destination on the corner of Pearl Street and Cedar Avenue.
Felled Giant Douglas Fir
This 12-foot 5-inch segment of Douglas Fir is estimated to be over 620 years old. It was felled in 1940 by a logging company in nearby Lake Roesiger. After taking in the enormity of this natural beauty, take a right on Cedar Avenue and continue down to First Street. On your left-hand side, you will see the Carnegie Library Building, built on the site of a one-room schoolhouse.
Carnegie Library Building
The Carnegie Library Building is the oldest public building in Snohomish. It was built in 1910 and was used as the local library and for public gatherings. Although it is now closed to the public for maintenance, visitors can enjoy its beautiful façade and architecture from the outside. Continue your walk down to First Street.
First Street is the hub of downtown Snohomish. It hugs the Snohomish River and is bustling with activity. Although much of First Street was destroyed by a fire in 1911, many of the brick buildings built to replace those damaged by the fire remain.
Antique lovers will find an endless selection of treasures from the past. Those seeking an afternoon pick-me-up will enjoy the many coffee shops and bakeries where everything from buttery croissants, rich espresso, and mile-high slices of cake are available. Several locally-owned restaurants feature farm-to-table menu items from surrounding Snohomish Valley farms.
Continue down First Street to the corner of First Street and Union Avenue, where you can read about the adventures of the city’s founder, Emory Canda Ferguson, on stop #3 of the Snohomish Heritage Trail. Stop # 4 recounts the story of another early pioneer, Mary Low Sinclair, who arrived in Cadyville, the first name for Snohomish, in 1865.
Continue down First Street until you reach the corner of First Street and Avenue B. Stop at sign #5 and read about the early entrepreneurs of Snohomish, the Blackman brothers, who established logging operations and a mill on the Snohomish River in the late 1800s.
Stop #6 recounts the romantic tale of a schoolteacher, Nina Blackman and businessman Charles Bakeman, who wed in 1887, raised two children and lived the remainder of their lives in downtown Snohomish. Take a right on Avenue B and visit the Blackman House Museum on the righthand side.
Blackman House Museum
The Blackman House Museum, built in 1878, is the only remaining home of the three Blackman brothers who were among the first Snohomish settlers and entrepreneurs. This house remained in the family until 1970, when it was purchased by the Snohomish Historical Society and made into a museum. Walk back down to First Street and take a right. Continue your journey to First Street and Avenue D.
First Street and Avenue D
Read about Snohomish’s first newspaper, The Northern Star, which circulated from 1876-1879 at stop #7. Continue to stop #8 and enjoy the story of Mr. and Mrs. Wilbur, married in 1868, who opened the first drug store in Snohomish County. The brick building that housed the Wilbur’s drug store is now the oldest brick building in the county and is located at the corner of First Street and Avenue C.
Continue your journey by looping back around Andy’s Fish House to the Riverfront Trail. Make sure to stop and marvel at the mural on the American Legion honoring Snohomish’s own fallen veterans. Follow the trail back the way you came, but this time enjoy your walk along the beautiful Snohomish River.
The Riverfront Trail and Kla Ha Ya Park
The Riverfront Trail is adjacent to the Snohomish River and has four easy access points to downtown Snohomish. Walkers can enjoy mountain views while reading about the area’s ecological history and local Native Americans, such as Pilchuck Julia, a tribal leader of the Sduhubs or the Snohomish people in the 1920s. Take note of the sign that points out the home of the city’s founder, Emory Ferguson. His cottage is perched above on the bluff overlooking the river. The trail ends at Cady Landing. Take a left back up the hill to First Street.
First Street Back to City Hall
Notice the beehive mural on your right depicting many of the agricultural treasures grown in surrounding farms. Take a left on First Street and grab a coffee at Grain Artisan Bakery. Try their signature Lavender Latte or take a right on Union Avenue on your way back to City Hall and visit the Snohomish Bakery on First and Union for a warm scone or pick up a loaf of fresh bread for dinner. Be sure to notice the kinetic 12-foot statue of a baker moving her rolling pin across the table. Continue up Union Avenue, where you will finish your journey at City Hall.
Historic downtown Snohomish offers visitors a taste of a past era complete with delicious food, great shopping, and natural beauty. It is not surprising that the streets of this quaint small-town have been tread with locals and visitors alike for so many decades.