Fast Facts

Incorporated:                    1959
Area:                                7.7 square miles
Population:                        36,432
Businesses:                        3,200
Median Age:                       37.3

City of Lynnwood History

In 1889 William Morrice purchased the 100 acres which is now the site of Alderwood Mall, Lynnwood’s shopping experience.  Only a few hardy pioneering families lived in this remote central part of South Snohomish County, and a trip to Seattle for supplies took two days by horse-drawn wagon.

The Influence of Big Timber

Early in the twentieth century, the area occupied by the City of Lynnwood today was owned by the Puget Mill Company, a subsidiary of the San Francisco-based Pope and Talbot City of Lynnwood View of Mt RainierCompany. The company engaged in logging and by 1916, most of the big timber had been cut and Puget Mill was liable for taxes on 6,285 acres of unproductive land.

Back to the Land Days

Before World War One, there was a nationwide “back to the land” movement promoting the creation of farms on logged-off acreage. Puget Mill began selling five-acre “stump farms.” In 1917, the company developed a 30-acre poultry farm to “demonstrate” how a farmer might make a five-acre tract pay for itself. The Demonstration Farm was conveniently located next to the Interurban Railway that ran between Seattle and Everett.

Across the tracks from the Demonstration Farm, ten acres were set aside as urban lots, and a brick, Tudor-style general store was built to serve the growing community.

The Changes Brought by the Automobile

Construction of State Route 99 in 1927 brought major changes. In October 1927, the highway opened to traffic. In 1931, a road (now 196th Street, S.W.) was paved connecting Alderwood Manor to the new highway, and for a decade, the highway corridor and the rail corridor complemented one another.

By the 1930’s, the remaining chicken farmers in the Alderwood Manor area were struggling to survive. Income from the sale of eggs and broilers was down at the Demonstration Farm, but despite these losses, the Puget Mill Company made a handy profit in land sales. Some five-acre tracts were sold two or three times as buyers abandoned the Puget Mill contracts which carried an interest rate double the standard rate at the time. In 1933, the Puget Mill Company closed the Demonstration Farm, turning the central five acres over to Norm Collins who established the Washington Breeders Hatchery. The remaining 25 acres was subdivided into one-acre “ranchettes.”

By the end of World War II, the City of Lynnwood emerged, a mile west of Alderwood Manor, as an assertive business district catering to the motoring public. By the mid-1950’s, growth dictated the need for municipal services such as fire prevention, sewers, policing and land use controls. This demand for services spurred an incorporation effort which resulted in the incorporation of Lynnwood as a city in 1959.

The city initially had a population of 6,000 people and billed itself as the “Hub City.” Development of Interstate 5 and Highway 405 brought further expansion and opportunity to the area. Lynnwood entered the 21st century with a population of 33,847. There are more than 2,500 businesses and the daytime population swells to over 150,000 with workers, shoppers and students. The city is continuing its evolution from forest land into a modern, thriving commercial and residential community. Check out Lynnwood activities for more information on things to do while visiting Lynnwood.