Lynnwood, the Snohomish Indian Tribe and Browns Bay
by DOC SHIRLEY
In previous issues, you read about the origins of the city’s name Lynnwood and Lynn O’Beirn, the wife of real estate developer Karl O’Beirn. But when did Lynnwood really start and when?
From the perspective of the United States it was 1855. But years before Americans showed up, the Snohomish Tribe used the area of modern-day Lynnwood for summertime activities, including hunting, fishing, berry gathering, and root cultivation.
There were explorations of Puget Sound by the British years earlier. But when Lewis and Clark (about 1804-6) made their way all the way to present-day Astoria on the Columbia River, things started to change. That American expedition started a steady if not slow migration of Americans to Oregon and Washington. The signing of the Treaty of Point Elliott in 1855 opened the area for American settlement. The Snohomish Tribe were relocated to the Tulalip Reservation, near modern-day Marysville.
Great to know, but how does Lynnwood fit into all of that? Around 1859, just before the start of the Civil War, the area of Browns Bay was surveyed for logging. Logging then began in 1860. All supplies came in by boat as there were no roads at that time. Browns Bay is north of Edmonds in modern-day Meadowdale. Meadowdale is between Meadowdale Beach Park and Southwest County Park on Olympic View Drive north of Edmonds.
The first activity in the Lynnwood area was centered around Browns Bay and Meadowdale. Meadowdale Beach Park is well worth the effort to find and visit. It has a great path to walk down to the beach about 1 mile long through the woods and along a marvelous brook and stream.