Please follow this link to learn about the Heritage Trail Signs.

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709 First Street building BEFORE image while the Header image above is the AFTER shot.

Mellisa Spada contacted me to learn what I might know about the former Stewart’s building at 709 First which they purchased with plans to expand their Spada Farmhouse Brewery. I was no help but suggested we search the old newspapers once the library reopens. Then, pitched her the idea of replacing the brown paper with inexpensive bond paper prints of a historic image divided into sections. It’s an idea that comes to me every time a store on First Street changes hands and the windows are covered with kraft paper!

Bill’s Blueprint in Everett prints color and black & white images up to 36 inches wide by any reasonable length, according to the website, starting at 35 cents a square foot for white bond paper. In the case of the 709 First building with 83-inch tall windows, each section of a photo mural would cost under $10 dollars, Mellisa did the calculations and came up with 19 sections. My pitch to Mellisa was for her to pay for the materials and I would donate the labor — (I wasn’t sure if the idea would work).

The prints were pasted to the windows with a thinned down wheatpaste — a method adopted from graffiti postering — it’s not intended for close-up viewing. Best of all, it’s ephemeral, like theater, after the run of performances we strike the set, said the former scenic designer.

The historic photo used is one of my favorites by Gilbert Horton taken in 1908 of an event marking the laying of cobblestones on First Street to replace the wooden planks. I wrote about it in 2008, when the “Snohomish Then and Now” column was published in the Tribune.

It’s a family affair renovating the old, well-used building, I look forward to posting the final AFTER image when they open for business.

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J. S. White Our First Architect

warner blake

Happy to sign a copy
with an inscription:
Only $29.95!”

(+ tax; USA shipping included!)


Name if Personalized:

Signed copies are available exclusively at Snohomish’s cozy
at 2nd & Avenue B | 360.2178521

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Unsigned copies of our Fine Art Book are shrink wrapped —
and available at the following fine bookstores:
Lake Forest Park | Third Place Books, 206.366.3333
Everett | Judy Matheson, Gifts, 425.258.2287
Seattle | Peter Miller Books, 206.441.1501
And online at Amazon.

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book front

To purchase by check please remit $32.71 ($2.76 tax) payable to Snohomish Stories, 230 Avenue B, Snohomish, WA 98290.

Dust Cover Images & Book Specs


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Header image above is from an Emerson 3rd grader’s Thank You Note, as is my lovely portrait above; pictured left is a parent’s snap of the the walking tour.

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Arcade Article

“Researching the history of the architecture in small towns like Snohomish is often an impossible task. Early cities and towns had little or no requirements for building permits, early architects’ records are typically nonexistent, and other information, if it exists, can be extremely difficult to dig up. Thus it is quite unusual that we have a new book that documents and illustrates the work of pioneer Snohomish architect and builder John S. White (1845–1920). Published in 2017, local historian Warner S. Blake’s book, J. S. White: Our First Architect; His Surviving Structures from 19th-Century Snohomish, is an illustrated guide (with photography by Otto Greule) that tells the story of White’s Snohomish career.”

Read the entire essay by Jeffrey Karl Ochsner, a professor in the Department of Architecture who currently serves as associate dean in the College of Built Environments at the University of Washington; and who showered our project with many useful suggestions for which we are grateful, as well as for this essay.

Many More Reviews …

Board of Angels & Publishers

• Karen Guzak, President
• Mary Pat Connors, Secretary
• Julie O’Ferrel, Treasurer
• Janet Kusler
• Leah & Shaun McNatt
• Melinda Gladstone
• Otto Greule
• Denise Johns & Terry Thoren
• Margaret & Randy Riddle
• Joan & Mike Whitney
• Penny & Gary Ferguson
• Warner Blake, Director

And Our Publishers:
Ed and Margarita Anderson • Lya Badgley and Sasha Babic • Bob Bickford • Sara Blake • Robert Sarazin Blake • Donna and Peter Blake • Diane and Bill Bylund • Diana Carver • Karen Charnell and Thomas M. Tredway • Melody Clemans • Peg and Jeffery Cox • Teresa Courtney • Karen Crowley and Tom Merrill • Penny and Fred Cruger • Michael Edwards • Nancy Finelli •  Cynthia First and Ron Dotzauer  •  Ed Garth • Susan Geib • Rachel Ben-Shmuel and Serge Gregory • Marta Gronlund & David Carrithers • Lauren Guzak • Chad Alice Hagen • Cherie Hembree • Laura Huntington • Eric Lewis • Rebecca Loveless • Peter Moore • Mathew Naki • Chris Wakefield and Todd Nichols • Dale Preboski and Paul Kaftanski • Barb Rohe and Willie Dickerson • Nicole Robinson and Matt Naki • Jackie and Ken Roelen • Regie and Frank Routman • Lynn and Alex Schilaty • Nan and Ross Scott • Lita Sheldon • Debbie and Chad Shue • Nora Terwilliger and Robert Noble • Ellen and Eric Vannice • Grant Weed • Joan Wilson.

Thank You All!

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