Snohomish has an irresistible charm with its intimate and relaxed business district, turn-of-the-century architecture and living history. There’s plenty to discover in Snohomish. The town has a unique link to the past. With hundreds of antique dealers located within the historic downtown area, the city is known as the “Antique Capital of the Northwest”. Those who love Victorian architecture will enjoy the stately, restored homes in the Historic Residential Area. Most of the commercial buildings on First Street have also been preserved so the downtown looks much the same as it did in the city’s early days. The Snohomish Chamber of Commerce office in the Firehouse Center at 127 Avenue A is a good first stop. There you’ll find even more information to help you as you explore this historic city. Relax, take in the scenery and discover Snohomish—you’ll be glad you did.
Snohomish’s historic business and residential districts feature an eclectic mix of turn-of-the-century architecture. Founded in 1859, Snohomish is listed in the National Historic Register as one of the oldest communities in Washington. Snohomish is not just another garden-variety rural town, but a community with a proud pioneer heritage beckoning to be discovered. Snohomish’s architecture is a curious potpourri where builders used a pick-and-choose mix of styling. This is evident on the Blackman House on the corner of Fourth Street and Avenue D. Although the house is a Dutch Colonial revival-style, it has Queen Anne towers. The Blackman House also sports the early lumberman’s name in brass letters in the sidewalk, and a leaded, beveled-glass door. Another example of fanciful architecture is the Klein house on Avenue D between First and Second streets. The house is a conglomerate of Victorian features, including fish-scale shingles and rounded windows. From Greek revival and English Tudor to Queen Anne Victorian and the classic box, the buildings of Snohomish reflect the diversity of its pioneer residents.
The city of Snohomish takes its name from the Snohomish Indian Tribe. Today’s Snohomish County is the approximate territory of the tribe. Historians offer varying translations for the word Snohomish. Some say it meant, “sleeping waters.” Others believe it means “lowland people.” Some say it has no translation. In the native language, Skykomish meant “inland or upland people” while Snoqualmie translated to “moon people.”