This was a railroad division point and sawmill town, and lies on the bank of the South Fork of the Skykomish River, here known as the Tye. Settled during the building of the Great Northern, the town was dependent on the railroad, which maintains a roundhouse for “helper” engines and a substation for the electrified section eastward to Appleyard. The town was platted in 1899, by John Maloney and his wife, and incorporated in 1909. Its name means inland people.
The town’s history as a railroad hub is visible in the many remaining buildings throughout, including the Great Northern Railway Depot, which is today a visitors center, Maloney’s General Store, today housing the Skykomish Historical Society and museum, and several buildings in the Skykomish Commercial District.
During the Depression years, Skykomish, like the rest of the country, faced hard times and the local mill was closed down. Federal relief funding supported construction of a new school (1936) and bridge (1939). Both projects typify the Federal assistance that enabled small towns to maintain their infrastructure and continue to meet vital needs such as educating their youth.