As Everett prepares to make extensive changes to its waterfront, a vivid view has emerged of how much it already has changed. The images are part...

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As Everett prepares to make extensive changes to its waterfront, a vivid view has emerged of how much it already has changed.

The images are part of an analysis in January for two projects proposed by the Port of Everett: the 12th Street Marina and North Marina redevelopment.

The Cultural and Historic Resource Analysis was done by the Johnson Partnership of Seattle and is being submitted with development applications for the area.

The analysis includes more than 100 photographs and maps. They show, in detail, how the area of the proposed developments was once underwater. The shoreline ran along a bluff that’s now just east of West Marine View Drive.

As noticeable as the changes are in the photographs, Larry Johnson of the Johnson Partnership said the pattern in Everett isn’t unusual.


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Copies of the Cultural and Historic Resource Analysis are available from the Port of Everett. The city will hold a hearing on the Port’s proposal for the 12th Street Marina at 9 a.m. March 24 at the city Department of Planning and Community Development, Suite 8-C, 2930 Wetmore Ave.


“All the waterfronts have changed,” he said. “There’s been a whole switchover from sawmills to boats. It’s a lot like Lake Union [in Seattle].”

One example of the changes in Everett is a 1947 aerial photograph that includes such landmarks as C.B. Lumber & Shingle, the William Hulbert Mill Co., the Collins Casket Co., the Super Shingle Co., the Morris boat-building shop and the Fishermen’s Boat Shop.

In a modern view, the only structure remaining is the Collins Building. Perhaps most striking is how vast water areas filled with log-storage booms in 1947 are now filled with more than 2,000 boat slips at the Everett Marina.

All of the changes are explained in the analysis, which Johnson noted was done largely because of concerns about the fate of the Collins Building.

In three redevelopment alternatives originally considered by the Port, the Collins Building would be demolished.

The new report includes a fourth alternative that would allow the Collins Building to remain at or near its present location. Possible uses would include a farmers market or marine retail businesses.

The report includes the Collins Building history, showing how it was constructed in 1925 at the end of a railway pier and was mostly surrounded by water; the area around the building was filled in with dredge spoils between 1940 and 1947. The site was used to build caskets from mill ends from 1926 to 1996.

That description is just part of the local history examined in the analysis.

It tells how Snohomish tribal members had a winter village called Hebolb north of the project site at what’s now the northern tip of Everett. The report also tells how the area slowly grew; the county’s estimated population in 1880 was 1,387.

It tells how Everett was first going to be called Port Gardner and saw initial signs of prosperity in 1890 when American Steel Barge of Superior, Wis., began looking for a Western site through its connections with Charles Colby, the chairman of the executive committee of the Northern Pacific Railroad. Everett’s main street is named after him.

By June 1892, Everett’s population was 5,600, and the community boasted “20 permanent buildings of brick or stone,” the report notes, citing research by David Dilgard, Margaret Riddle and Larry O’Donnell, all Everett historians.

By 1905, a dock along 14th Street was extended well into the harbor, and nearly a dozen sawmills operated there.

By 1910, the city had 95 manufacturing plants and 11 new lumber mills. The city’s population grew from 8,000 in 1900 to 25,000 in 1910 and had stabilized around 30,000 by the 1930s.

The Port of Everett was founded in 1918, partly to try to recruit marine businesses.

But even years ago, the character of the area was rapidly changing, the Johnson report notes. The William Hulbert Mill Co. burned in 1956 and wasn’t rebuilt. The last sawmill in the proposed development area closed in 1962.

In 1964, the Port began a major marina expansion, adding 950 slips on the south side of the old 14th Street pier.

The report generally concludes there isn’t much of historical value at the site, where major landfills were completed in the 1940s and 1970s, and that for more than a century the primary uses of the property have been industrial.

Twelve buildings or objects were found to meet minimum age requirements for listing in local, state or national registers. Two structures, the Collins Building and Port Net Sheds, were found eligible for possible listing on city, state and national historic registers.

Peyton Whitely: 206-464-2259 or pwhitely@seattletimes.com