The center of a region that has accomplished successfully the transition from large-scale logging and lumbering to farming. Once covered with heavy stands of western red cedar, the land, lying in the valley of the Skagit River, required only clearing and cultivation to be made productive. The area yielded large crops of strawberries, peas, cabbage, kale, and other vegetables; some sections were given over to dairy farms and poultry ranches. Today, Sedro-Woolley is a popular tourist spot, conveniently located next to the Skagit River, North Cascades National Park and Mount Baker. The town offers visitors a peek into its past with a historic downtown, the Sedro-Woolley Museum, and public art exhibits commemorating the town’s frontier days and rich logging tradition. During the first week of July, Sedro-Woolley celebrates its logging history with a parade, rodeo, old-time logging demonstrations, community picnic, fireworks and much more.
David Batey was the first settler on the landand “Bug” was first suggested as a name for the town, which was started in 1884 by Mortimer Cook—but the women of the settlement objected and countered with “Sedro” (Spanish: cedar), for the neighboring Cedar Mountain. Sedro was adopted and hurriedly painted on the rough boards of a store front. The cedar forests attracted logging interests, and a shingle mill was erected in 1886. Because of its strategic location, the town became the head of navigation on the Skagit River, and it grew prosperous with the traffic of prospectors headed for the Mount Baker region during the gold rush.
When, in 1889, the Great Northern and Northern Pacific railroads established a junction north of Sedro, P. A. Woolley, an enterprising individual, platted a town site at the crossing. Jealousy arose between the towns, but a reconciliation soon followed, and in 1890 the two cities combined their names and incorporated as one.