Edmonds, a vibrant city located just 15 miles north of Seattle and 18 miles south of Everett, is easy to reach by Amtrak and Sound Transit commuter rail, Community Transit buses, Washington State Ferries, automobiles and bicycles. Edmonds was a well-established town by the turn of the century and the present urban form preserves many characteristics of its historic origins. The community’s location along the west-facing slopes of Puget Sound provides many amenities, including extensive views of the water and Olympic Mountains, access to four beaches and waterfront parks, and convenient access to a compact, walkable downtown area.
The community that became the City of Edmonds grew out of a homestead and logging operation started by George Brackett in 1876. Incorporated in 1890, the original townsite is now occupied primarily by the downtown and adjacent residential areas. The Great Northern Railroad reached the town in 1891 and for many years provided access for goods and passenger travel. Although fires destroyed many of the waterfront mills, shingle production continued to be the primary industry in the city into the 1940s. Ferry service to Kingston began in 1923 when a ferry terminal was built near the location of the existing ferry dock. The present ferry terminal was built in the early 1950s after acquisition of the ferry system by the State of Washington.
The city continued to grow during the 1940s and 50s, resulting in a more active role of the municipality in providing water, sewer and streets for residential and commercial expansion. The Port district was formed in 1948 and began waterfront improvements. Completion of Interstate 5 and increased growth in the Puget Sound region led to a gradual change in the character of the city with more emphasis on residential development and a decline in the retail importance of the downtown.
The City provides many amenities for residents and visitors. An active arts and cultural community contributes to the strong sense of civic pride widely shared in the community. There are numerous well-kept residential neighborhoods, a viable economic base, and an active, involved citizenry.
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