- Changing Face of Edmonds
- Victorian Parlor
- Maritime Room
- Train Room
The Changing Face of Edmonds
As the main, permanent exhibit in the museum, “The Changing Face of Edmonds” provides an encapsulated, thematic, and chronological history, interpreting the many changes that have taken place in Edmonds from 1890 to today. It follows the story of Edmonds’ founding in 1890, its settlement and growth, the birth of its logging and shingle industries, the influence of transportation, and other important events, and includes original artifacts to accompany these stories. The exhibit features a reconstructed room from the 1894 Stevens Hotel, and a working model of a shingle mill, representative of the mills that filled the Edmonds waterfront at the turn of the century.
The exhibit occupies the main room downstairs.
Upstairs, in addition to our rotating exhibits, we have a Victorian parlor with original furnishings from the Cook family. The room includes original furniture, dishware, framed pictures, lamps, candlesticks, vases and jewelry – all donated by Zenna E. Cook, daughter of Mayor William H. Cook. Ms. Cook grew up in Edmonds and loved the area tremendously. Although she moved away as an adult, she was always drawn back home, even if only for a visit. After visiting the museum in 1973, her dream was to see her treasured furnishings displayed in a room here in memory of her father. The Cook family collection is located adjacent to our main exhibit room upstairs.
The history of Edmonds is directly tied to the water. From the discovery of the town to various uses today, the waterfront has provided vital links to transportation, settlement and growth. A “marine room” was established shortly after the museum was founded in 1973 with donations from the private collection of Doug and Dorothy Egan, founding members of the historical society and museum, among others. The purpose of the marine room was to perpetuate the maritime heritage of the city. In 2004, Megan Guenther redesigned the room as part of her graduate thesis. Much of the research and design in the current space is a result of her efforts.
Today, the exhibit occupies the old jail cell on the museum’s ground floor, with steel floors and wood planking to resemble a ship’s hull. The exhibit features various artifacts and photographs related to the maritime history of Edmonds. Topics of interest include Puget Sound steamers and ferries, tugboats, and the evolution of the Edmonds waterfront from industrial to recreational.
Also, be sure to check out the diorama depicting the Edmonds townsite and waterfront in 1910. It is located upstairs next to the elevator.
The railroad played an important role in the settlement of Edmonds. To celebrate that, the museum has installed and restored a large model train layout that is now on permanent display downstairs. The layout was constructed by Donald Drew, owner of the Pacific Fast Mail Company, in 1965-66. He built the layout into his conference room and it remained in his Edmonds office until it was moved in January 2011; Sean and Donald Drew, Jr., heirs to Donald Drew's estate, donated it to the museum. Sound was installed in 1970, and various landscape features have been added over time. A team of specialists from Hikel O Gauge Layouts & Trains restored it for its grand debut in June. The layout is not meant to reflect Edmonds specifically, but rather any town along the coast where logging industries and populations were booming at the turn of the century.
As a way of involving the community in the new train room, the museum is encouraging people to invest in the railroad. Visitors can purchase buildings, vehicles, trees, characters, and other parts of the layout for varying prices. Similar to a "buy-a-brick" program, this is a rare opportunity to invest in a piece of Edmonds' history and get your name on the wall in the exhibit room! Ask a docent for more information.
The museum's train room was made possible by gifts from Sean and Donald Drew, Jr., the BNSF Foundation, and donations from members and the general public.