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Centennial Trail History Day leads walkers through Snohomish County’s past


Last updated 9/2/2016 at Noon

Question: Who built the historic railroad route that is now the Snohomish County Centennial Trail?

Answer: The Seattle, Lake Shore & Eastern Railroad. A railroad founded in Seattle on April 15, 1885. The Seattle, Lake Shore & Eastern was started by a group of men headed by Thomas Burke and Daniel Gilman with the purpose of creating a rail connection between Seattle and the Canadian Pacific Railway though it never got past Arlington.

Want to learn more fun facts about Snohomish County heritage? Then grab your walking shoes, hop on a bike - or put the kids in the stroller and make your way down the Centennial Trail from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 10, to learn local history along the former tribal route and early-century transportation corridor.

The Snohomish County Historic Preservation Commission and local heritage organizations will offer activities for kids, hands-on interactive exhibits, and a chance to touch historic artifacts at six different sites along the 30 miles of historic rail line and at Legion Park in Arlington. The event is free.

Specific activities are located at:

• Nakashima Trailhead - 32328 SR-9, Arlington. Meet the members of the Stanwood Historical Society who will present the history of dairy farming in the greater Stanwood area from the early 1890s, using historic images and tools.

• Whitehorse Trailhead - Access from Haller Park, 1100 West Ave., Arlington. Check out the display of historic photographs, artifacts, and information on Index-area mining, rail, and logging history, including the Monte Cristo mine, presented by The Index Historical Society and the Monte Cristo Preservation Association.

• Bryant Trailhead - 26804 SR9, Arlington. Tulalip Tribes storyteller Michelle Myles shares her favorite stories in Lushootseed, the First People dialect of the Salishan language family.

• Machias Trailhead - 1624 Virginia St., Snohomish. The Granite Falls Historical Society will showcase historical maps of the Northern Pacific Railway routes that make up the Centennial and Whitehorse Trails as well as the Monte Cristo branch, pictures of various railway locations and unusual railroad related tools.

• Snohomish Trailhead - Pine and Maple, Snohomish. Try your hand using a historic washtub and scrub board shared by the Monroe Historical Society. Also onsite, a wide-ranging collection of artifacts, photographs, documents, and information on Monroe-area history.

• Legion Park - 114 N. Olympic Ave. Arlington. Be sure to stop to view the fine art, kids activities and live music featuring Michael Gotz presented by the Arlington Arts Council.

Snohomish County started to develop sections of the Centennial Trail in 1989 during the State’s centennial celebration. Today the rail alignment is part of a developing regional trail network connecting to Woodinville, Monroe, Everett, Lake Stevens, Arlington and Skagit County.

Can’t make it to the Centennial Trail History Walk? Don’t let that stop you from learning fascinating stories of the people and industries that made an impact on our community in the fields of agriculture, timber and rail at


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