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Near the mouth of the Stillaguamish River. Once the land around the town was a marsh where skunk cabbage spread their broad green leaves and massive yellow flowers and cattails throve. In 1866, a settler named Robert Fulton opened a small trading post there; gradually in the course of years the marsh has been reclaimed by the stubborn persistence of the inhabitants. Bit by bit the pools where frogs croaked were drained and the swaying willows were cleared.

By the 1940s, Stanwood had a large oyster cannery and two fruit and vegetable packing plants. Thousands of bushels of oats, destined to be “Quaker Rolled Oats,” annually passed through the local warehouse on their way to Iowa. Peas were harvested by the ton. The town was also the distribution center for the dairy farms of the surrounding country.

For 30 years Stanwood had “the world’s shortest railroad,” an independent line running seven-eighths of a mile to East Stanwood. Trains were drawn by “the dinky,” a decrepit old Climax locomotive, which wheezed noisily through the streets. Lack of patronage compelled its discontinuance in 1938.

The town once had a large Scandinavian population. When a post office was established in 1877 the name was Centerville. The present name is the family name of the first postmaster’s wife, Clara Stanwood Pearson. Stanwood and East Stanwood were consolidated in 1961.


Ca. 1928 view of Main Street in Stanwood.

Source: Washington State Historical Society

Ca. 1955 view of downtown Stanwood.

Source: Washington State Historical Society

Ca. 1960 aerial view of the Stanwood area, Snohomish County. Skagit Bay in background.

Source: Washington State Historical Society

Points of Interest Points of Interest icon

Stanwood IOOF Public Hall

The Stanwood LO.O.F. Public Hall is a structure that represents the social history of Stanwood, a small community at the mouth of the Stillaguamish River on Puget Sound. The Hall was built circa 1902 by the “Stanwood Fraternal Association” and was sold in 1909 to the Independent Order of Odd

Fellows (LO.O.F.)

Fellows (LO.O.F.) hall was built a year after the lodge was formed, in 1908. Over the years the hall has provided a place for community members to meet for cultural, social, educational and political events. The lOaF Public Hall is also significant as a vernacular expression of community halls and as a representative example of western false front architecture. Its height and imposing appearance relative to other structures in the community reflect its vital role and character in the city.

Pearson House

The Pearson House was built in 1890 for D.O. Pearson. D.O. Pearson was the first Mayor of Stanwood and re-elected four times. Interesting features of the house include the original geometric patterns on the bellcase mansard roof; mini-mansard roofs or eaves on the first and second stories; and the two port-hole windows above the doorway.