Forest Morse Visits the Blackman House

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Stopped by to give friend Lya Badgley encouragement for her new volunteer job as a docent at the Blackman House Museum on a Sunday in May when a grandson of one of my favorite historic characters of early Snohomish paid a visit to the museum.

Forest and his wife Marliss drove up from the Tacoma area where they live with more information about his connection to grandfather Eldridge Morse, Snohomish’s first lawyer turned newspaper editor and publisher of the Northern Star, Snohomish County’s first newspaper established in 1876.

Extensive documentation of Eldridge’s life and work was written by the late Noel V. Bourasaw in his Skagit River Journal with the help of our society’s genealogy ace Ann Tuohy.

Big thanks to Lya for taking on the task of welcoming visitors to the Blackman House Museum — you don’t have to be descendants of the early Snohomish elites to be warmly welcome and filled with historic stories.

Lya will be on duty June 18th & 25th, from 11–2p.

Video: Norwesco Telephone Museum


Morrie, who is dialing the phone, told me the short version of Almon Strowger, the man who invented the dial telephone system while keeping his day job as an undertaker!

The longer version begins that Strowger went to his office one morning, hung his Prince Albert coat on the wall, secured the Kansas City morning paper, sat down in his chair, placed his feet upon his desk, and began to read. Suddenly his attention was attracted to an item of news, which told him that a friend had died. To his astonishment and amazement, he read that the burial was to be handled by a competitor. When he saw this, he jumped to the conclusion that his friends had tried to reach him by telephone, but the operator had undoubtedly given the call to his competitor. As a result, he had lost the business.

Immediately, so it is told, he flew into a rage. His eye fell upon the telephone on the wall a few feet distant; he crossed over to the instrument, rang the bell impatiently, and when the operator answered spoke to her angrily. The operator’s protestation that she was entirely innocent did not satisfy him and slamming the receiver back onto the hook, he impatiently walked the floor.

Suddenly the thought came to him; why not build a telephone system that will not require an operator. “Surely,” he must have reasoned, “just so long as there are human operators with their human frailties, there will be human mistakes.” He began to ponder over this, and the more he thought about it the more he resolved that he could and would build such a telephone system. . . .

Download a word doc to get the whole fascinating story of the Strowger Switch.

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Snohomish resident Morrie Sachsenmaier founded the telephone museum now located in the new museum of the Marysville Historical Society. Morrie’s on duty at the Marysville Museum on Tuesdays, 10a to 4p–you won’t be disappointed.

2015 Christmas Parlour Tour

Tour Date: Sunday, December 13, 2015. 12 pm — 4 pm
Please join us for a stroll through some lovely homes, decorated for the holidays and ready to welcome you! Gather up your friends and family members, grab a hot beverage, and come spend an afternoon wandering through parlours. Whether you’re looking to cultivate some inspiration for your own holiday decorating or you just need a break from the chaos of the season, we’d love to visit with you! Your ticket includes admission to Blackman House Museum where complimentary coffee, tea, and deserts will be available.

If we’ve been fortunate enough to have you visit Snohomish previously, thank you! If this will be your first time joining us…start a new annual tradition with the Snohomish Parlour Tour!

Ticket prices and availability are as follows:
Seniors and kids (ages 62 and over or 12 and under) $12.00
Adults $15.00

Pre-sale tickets are available at the following local merchants:
McDaniel’s Do-It Center
Joyworks
Annie’s
Blackman Museum

For more information please call 360-568-5235
r email snohomishhistoricalsociety@gmail.com

Mrs. E. C. Ferguson

Lucetta Ferguson

Mrs. E. C. Ferguson was born Lucetta Gertrude Morgan in 1849 in Iowa and settled with her family in Olympia, Washington Territory when she was only 11 years old. Eight years later, she met and married E. C. Ferguson, who was serving as a legislator. Together they named and laid-out the city of Snohomish along with founding their own family of three children. Several descendants still live in Snohomish to this day.

Mrs. Ferguson's calling cardMrs. E. C. Ferguson’s calling card was found in the house when purchased by the Society in 1970. We imagine she was a frequent visitor to the Blackman Home. And frequent visitors to the house museum today will recognize the painting and piano in the photograph that are part of the museum furnishings.

Many objects were donated from the Ferguson estate. By the way, the addition of “Wednesday” in the lower left corner of the card indicates the day of the week that Mrs. E. C. will be receiving guests.

The photograph is from the Ferguson Family Album held by the Society. This image along with many others from our collection are now online thanks to a “Digitize Our Community History” initiative by the Sno-Ise Library System to host historical images in partnership with our Society.

Please follow this link to view the results.

The Snohomish Historical Society proudly presents the 2014 Parlour Tour!

Tour Date: Sunday, December 14, 2014. 12 pm — 4 pm
Please join us for a stroll through some lovely homes, decorated for the holidays and ready to welcome you! Gather up your friends and family members, grab a hot beverage, and come spend an afternoon wandering through parlours. Whether you’re looking to cultivate some inspiration for your own holiday decorating or you just need a break from the chaos of the season, we’d love to visit with you! Your ticket includes admission to Blackman House Museum where complimentary coffee, tea, and scones will be available.

If we’ve been fortunate enough to have you visit Snohomish previously, thank you! If this will be your first time joining us…start a new annual tradition with the Snohomish Parlour Tour!

Ticket prices and availability are as follows:
Seniors and kids (ages 12 and under) $10.00
Adults $15.00

Pre-sale tickets are available at the following local merchants:
McDaniel’s Do-It Center
Joyworks
Annie’s on First

Please support these fine businesses as you shop for holiday treasures!

Day-of-tour tickets will be available at the Waltz Building, 116 Avenue B, Snohomish (next door to The Blackman House Museum), beginning at 11 am.

Happy Holidays! We look forward to seeing you!