The old barn across the street from us is getting re-roofed. I’m not sure when this barn was built, but I think sometime in the early 1900’s, as part of the Cedargreen (then, “Cedergren”) family homestead. I believe their original late 1800’s homestead had a different wood barn, so I think this brick-bottomed, fancy one came later.

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Aussie Long coatThe first week of the year, my Seattle job finally moved to Bothell. Only a year and a half late. But this has meant I’m starting to feel the difference in the amount of free time I have, from not making that 1.5+ hour trek to the urban netherworld every day. It’s small, but significant. I’m starting to feel caught up. And like maybe I have some spare time, which I don’t think I’ve felt for a very long time. And this means I get to spend time doing some unnecessary things,  thinks I just feel like doing. And this leads to the text of the Tobacco Incident.

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RowCrops

In the spirit of reflecting on the history of our now-fallen historic barn, and the old homestead on which we reside, here is a fun blast from the past. This is a snippet from a very long Snohomish Eye newspaper article, written in 1883 by Clayton Packard. You can read the full text on the Monroe Historical Society’s website. Perhaps my favorite part about the article is Mr. Packard’s love of the run-on sentence, a problem which I share! 😀

Mr. Packard went on a riverboat tour of the county, from Snohomish to Cherry Valley (Duvall), and recorded all the  homesteads along the route. It’s a fun read, half informational, half vanity-fair gossip on who had the nicest digs of the day. (It would seem that then, and now, the Cedargreens take the cake.) And it even has murder and intrigue! He gives some good coverage of our chunk of the road and to the progress of the  Hoem homestead. You have to remember that, at the time, this entire river valley was basically a swamp, and homesteaders were hard at work clearing it and re-routing the waterways to tame the land for agriculture. The discussion of them slashing and burning their clearings reminds me of us. That part we’ve had to repeat, since the property had been largely overtaken by blackberries in the last decade.

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Our property is part of one of Snohomish’s first homestead parcels, the claim was originally staked by the Elling Hoem family in the late 1800’s. In 1902, they built a big barn on this parcel to serve their dairy operation. The above (painted B&W) photo shows what it looked like in that timeframe. The front said “Glenwood Farm”-its name when it was a dairy. It had a smaller building off the front, which I believe was where the milk processing equipment resided. 

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Potatoes

I planted some seed potatoes this spring, partly on a whim, after I spotted them for sale at the local farm store. I’ve never grown them before. I was fairly neglectful of this patch, and the soil seemed so sandy as to be useless. But they thrived. Kirk dug up this batch on Saturday, and there are still more in the ground. The varieties here are Yukon Gold and Russet Burbank. I’m pleased- I’ll definitely plant more next year!

Potatoes were a major row crop on this farm in the early 1900’s. I found the below history excerpt in the archives at the Snohomish Historical Society. This history was compiled by Eric Hoem, a descendent of the original homesteaders of this farm, who now lives in Oregon. Here I believe he is quoting his father, Edward Alexander Hoem, who was a third generation farmer here. Edward Alexander was born in 1914, and lived on the farm for 35 years. (more…)