“Becoming Beatrice” A Novel

frances wood

Author Frances Wood has written a novel about a young lady, a recent college graduate from Oakland, California, who takes a job teaching school in 19th-century Snohomish. Even more fun, she stayed in the upstairs front bedroom of the Blackman House Museum — when it was the home of Ella and Hycranus Blackman.

Frances will be reading and signing copies of Becoming Beatrice in the museum on Sunday, October 21, from 1-3p. The reading is hosted by the Snohomish Historical Society and is free.

Read more about the historical background to Frances’s story, which is fiction but based on her family.

Remembering Bill Bates

“Stories at the Blackman House: A Visit with Bill Bates” was presented by the Society on Sunday, March 16, 2008. Bill tells his version of the Society’s beginnings.

William Lawrence Bates, a longtime editor, and publisher of The Snohomish County Tribune died April 24 in Snohomish. He was 95. Read more …

Historical Society Christmas Parlor Tour 2017~Tickets on sale NOW!

shoppers standing in line

Tickets for our 2017 Parlor Tour are on sale now at:
Annie’s on First

Tickets for seniors (62+) and kids 12 and under are just $12
Adult ticket prices (ages 13-61) are $15
Tickets may also be purchased on the day of the event at the Waltz Building (116 Avenue B, Snohomish) beginning at 11:30 am.

Feel free to “like” and share this post with all your local friends and family!

We sincerely appreciate your support of The Snohomish Historical Society. Proceeds from this fantastic event help to preserve historic properties and also support the scholarships we are honored to present to local high school seniors.
See you on December 10th from noon-4 pm!

2017 Snohomish Historical Society Home Tour

Please join us on September 17th for our Annual Home Tour! Tickets are priced at just $15 dollars. Seniors and children (age 12 and under) pay only $12! The self-guided tour hours are noon-5 pm. Tickets can be purchased in advance at McDaniels, Joyworks, or Annie’s on First. We thank these fantastic local businesses for their support. Should you wish to buy tickets on the day of the tour, they’ll be available beginning at 11:30 am at The Waltz Building (116 Avenue B). Grab you’re friends and join us for a stroll through some lovely homes! For more information please call 360-568-5235 or email snohomishhistoricalsociety@gmail.com

Forest Morse Visits the Blackman House

blackman house image

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.

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.


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
Blackman Museum

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