- Research & Education
- Oral History
The lower floor of the museum is dedicated to the history of Edmonds and the surrounding area. The displays provide an encapsulated, thematic, and chronological history, interpreting the many changes that have taken place in Edmonds from 1890 to today. Learn about 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 see original artifacts to accompany these stories. The lower level features a reconstructed room from the 1894 Stevens Hotel, a schoolhouse exhibit, a diorama depicting the Edmonds townsite and waterfront in 1910, and a working model of a shingle mill, representative of the mills that filled the Edmonds waterfront at the turn of the century.
The lower level is now also home to 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.
Step inside an original jail cell on the lower floor of the Edmonds Museum! The cell—complete with two bunks, a sink, toilet and original graffiti on the walls—was constructed in 1922 when the Edmonds Police Department was located in the Carnegie Library and City Hall building (now the museum). Come learn about the history and the police department and do some time in the old Edmonds jail!
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 one of the building’s old jail cells on the lower level, complete 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.
Adjacent to the main room on the lower level is the museum’s Train Room. 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. 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.