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County seat of Snohomish County, lumbering center, seaport, and distributing point for a fertile agricultural and dairying area, the city lies on a promontory between the sluggish Snohomish River, with its muddy delta, on the east and north, and Port Gardner Bay, an arm of Puget Sound, on the west.

In the business district, near the center of the city, substantial buildings border broad avenues that run east-west across a ridge extending southward from the river to the high bluffs of Rucker Hill.

On the hill and along the bayside to the north are attractive residences, surrounded by broad, close-clipped lawns, brightened in season by daffodils, rows of irises, blossoming shrubs, roses in profusion, beds of flaming gladioli, and golden autumn leaves; even the somberness of winter is broken by the sheen of laurel leaves and the orange and red berries of thorn and holly.

The prevailing westerly winds are usually brisk and occasionally become gales that whip the slate-gray waters of the bay into whitecaps. Sometimes a pall of fog settles over the area, and then foghorns moan their warnings to shipping. The salt air is charged with the pungent odor of seaweed from the brine-soaked tidelands. In the 1940s when the sawmills were still active the resinous tang of newly cut lumber and of smoke from the burning slabs and sawdust, the clean odor of tar from nets and creosoted pilings, and the musty smell of rotting logs, heavy with barnacles filled the air. At night the low, musical throb of Diesel engines and the impatient chugging of gasoline motors float across the water, or the whistle of a train, clear and resonant, echoes through the moisture-laden air.

The city was named for Everett Colby of New Jersey, son of Charles L. Colby, who invested in the Everett Land Company in 1890. Mr Colby established several of the town’s first industries and was a member of the syndicate which built the Everett & Monte Cristo Railroad.


1925 post card showing the Hotel Monte Cristo.

Source: Washington State Historical Society

Ca. 1901 view of industrial waterfront of Everett.

Source: Washington State Historical Society

Points of Interest Points of Interest icon

Rucker Hill Historic District

The Rucker Hill Historic District includes more than 100 single family residences, most of which are well preserved examples of the popular domestic styles of the early 20th century. The district was the province of the city’s economic and social elite, physically and metaphorically rising above the industrial city below. The neighborhood is characterized by large lots, a main curvilinear road, and early 20th century architectural styles. The most notable house in the district is the 1905 Rucker house.

Hewitt Avenue Historic District

The Hewitt Ave Historic District is a diverse and cohesive collection of buildings that conveys the commercial and social history and development of the city of Everett from 1894 to 1959. The district represents the commercial vernacular style along with several examples of late 1940s and 1950s Modernism. The development of the district, which is located along and near Hewitt Avenue — the first major street of the city—exhibits Everett’s historical commercial trends as well as the importance of social and labor elements in the city’s history.

US Post Office and Customs House

The Federal Building in Everett was constructed between 1915 and 1917 for use as a post office and customs house. A first-rate example of the Neo-Classical Revival style, it was designed under the direction of Oscar Wenderoth, Supervising Architect of the Treasury Department.

Weyerhaeuser Office Building

This building was the headquarters of Everett Weyerhauser. The building was built entirely of Pacific Coast timber and was intended to illustrate the possibilities of the Pacific Coast lumber for the construction of buildings that were both beautiful and practical. During the summer of 1893, Weyerhauser vacated the building and donated it to the Port of Everett. The building is a fine example of a mix of architectural styles, Swiss Chalet, Victorian and Tudor.

Equator (Schooner)

The Equator was built as a two-masted schooner in 1888 by renowned ship builder Matthew Turner, in California. She first worked as a south sea trader and mail boat under sail. Her most famous charter was to novelist and poet Robert Louis Stevenson, who sailed her in 1889 and 1890 from Honolulu to the Gilbert Islands. On her decks he conceived of and started his book “The Wreckers” while cruising the Gilberts and trading copra with the islanders. The 76-ton vessel was fitted with a steam engine in 1893 and served as a tender to an arctic whaling fleet. In 1915 the Equator was put into service as a towing vessel and was later converted to diesel power. The boat became stranded on the Quilleute River bar in 1923 where the hull filled with water, but she was eventually refloated and towed to Seattle for repair. The Equator was thoroughly renovated and worked for many more years for Puget Sound Tug and Barge Co. In 1956 the Equator’s machinery was removed and the hull abandoned and forgotten on the Everett Jetty, just 1000 yards west of its current location.

Swalwell Building

The Swalwell Building is a three-story brick masonry business block in the Richardsonian Romanesque Style designed by leading early Everett architects Charles Hove and August F. Heide. Erected on the East Side of the Everett peninsula in 1892, it was perhaps the finest building in the town’s easterly community and was exceptional in that it exceeded two stories. The building is faced with red-brown pressed brick and cut greystone (tinted concrete blocks, or “cast” stone), both of local manufacture. The ground story facade has been altered somewhat; the central round-arched stairway portal giving access to upper stories from the street was originally flanked by round columns of greystone with composite capitals, which are now gone. The Swalwell Block was constructed at the height of the boom created by sale of land at the Everett townsite. Although the boom was cut short by the Silver Panic in 1893, in a remarkably brief period a number of substantial brick buildings had been erected.

McCabe Building

The McCabe Building is an imposing two-story brick masonry business block with Richardsonian Romanesque features which was erected on the east side of the Everett peninsula in 1892. Designed by popular East Side architect Frederick A. Sexton, the building features a central entrance under a bold Romanesque arch. The entrance is flanked by plate glass shop fronts with cast iron frames. Originally, the shops had conventional recessed central entries, but eventually the entries were made flush with the wall plane.

Everett Theatre

The Everett Theatre was designed by the Seattle firm of Bebb and Mendel and constructed in 1901. Constructed as a deluxe playhouse, the building was originally a first-run motion picture theater and also functioned as a lecture and concert hall. The building underwent a substantial renovation in 1924 after a fire and further modifications were made by B. Marcus Priteca in 1952. The existing facade is stylistically related to the Italianate palazzos of the Second Renaissance Revival and much of the interior decor from the 1924 renovation was also based upon classical motifs. The theatre has now become a center for the performing arts.

Pioneer Block

Erected in 1892, the Pioneer Block is a two-story brick masonry commercial block on a concrete foundation. It was the first brick building in Rockefeller’s Plat of Everett, was the birthplace of the city’s present newspaper, and was involved in the early development of commercial radio broadcasting in the region. The building has been altered; many facade details have been changed including the second story windows; the storefront windows, configurations, and bulkheads; the entrance; the parapet; and other facade detailing.

Marion Building

The Marion Building embodies much of the early history of Everett. Dating from the city’s inception, it represents the architecture of the Rockefeller boom era and the panic and depression that followed: the very process of its construction was interrupted by the economic forces of the day. In April, 1893, investor Thornton Goldsby turned to A.F. Heide for the design of a two-story brick business building. The Marion, completed in 1894, was Heide’s first commission after the dissolution of his partnership with Charles Hove. Restrained and functional, the Marion nonetheless exhibits Heide’s concern for ornamental brick detail and his sensitivity to proportion and scale. The building has been significantly altered, especially at the ground level; it formerly featured a more traditional commercial storefront which has since been infilled with modern brick and new windows.

Commerce Building

The Commerce Building is a five story brick building with the original first floor banking space and the stair lobby to the upper floors opening onto Hewitt while two storefronts open onto Rockefeller. Touted as “fireproof” when it was announced in January of 1910, the Commerce Building is constructed of reinforced concrete, steel, and pressed brick. It has a shallow U shape so that more offices had access to windows for light and fresh air. The facade is characterized by a classical three-part composition, with dominant windows and decorative cornice. It was designed by architect Benjamin Franklin Turnbull whose work dominated Everett’s commercial development from about 1907 until 1920. Turnbull designed at least seven major commercial buildings in Everett’s central business district including multi-story commercial blocks on three of the four corners at the pivotal intersection of Hewitt and Rockefeller Avenues. Only two of Turnbull’s documented commercial buildings survive. The Commerce Building was also the location of Turnbull’s office from 1910 until the end of his Everett career in 1927.