Lynnwood, Washington is a city that has evolved from a logging village, to stump ranches, to chicken farms, and now to a thriving community that is home to a community college, a $34 million convention center, and five shopping centers, including one of the largest shopping malls in Washington State. With a population of 36,485 at the 2010 census, it is the fourth largest City in Snohomish County. It’s known as the “hub city” of the county due to its central location and its abundant opportunities for shopping.
The median sales price for homes in Lynnwood as of mid-2015 was $336,000, which is an increase of 7.9% over the previous year. During this same period, the number of homes sold per year decreased by 7.7%.
Non-foreclosure single family homes range in price from $260,000 to $600,000, while bank-owned homes range from $100,000 all the way to $475,000. Condos in Lynnwood are available starting at about $110,000 for one bedroom, one bath units and up to $450,000 for four bedroom, three bath units.
A Bit of History
Prior to the Treaty of Point Elliott in 1854, the Snohomish tribe used the upland area that would become Lynnwood in their summer wanderings to hunt, fish, gather berries, and dig roots. Lynnwood’s first permanent resident was Scottish stonemason Duncan Hunter who filed a homestead claim on 80 acres of forest in 1889 and built a cabin along what later became 36th Avenue West. He was later joined by fellow Scot William Morrice, who purchased 100 acres just to the east of Hunter. Eventually other settlers joined them and the neighborhood became known as Cedar Valley.
Too heavily forested for farming, logging became the first real enterprise in Cedar Valley, and mills grew up along the lakes. With it came communities for workers and their families. Logging was aggressive, due both to demand for building materials and a stiff tax on standing timber. Before long, the area was filled with vast areas of “stump ranches,” filled with logging debris.
When the Seattle-Everett Traction Company completed the interurban rail line between Seattle and surrounding communities in 1910, the stump ranches became ripe for development. Residents could raise stock and produce at home while commuting to jobs in the city. Pike Place Market opened, offering a place to sell the produce.
In 1917 the Puget Mill Company began subdividing its land into 5 and 10 acre ranchettes and sold them for $200 per acre, many on installment contracts with only 10% down. They called the first plat Alderwood Manor, and it was eventually joined by 26 more subdivisions filed under the name.
The ranchettes were promoted as a source of income, and Puget Mill put $250,000 into a 30-acre demonstration farm that taught new residents how to raise crops and chickens for their eggs.
Buyers, who were dubbed the “Little Landers,” dreamed of a bucolic country life where the only food they needed to buy was flour, sugar, and red meat. They enjoyed electricity, phone service, and decent roads – what could be better? Between 1917 and 1922 the population of Alderwood Manor grew from 22 people to 1,463 people – and 2,000 hens. It is said that in the 1920s, Alderwood was second only to Petaluma, California in the production of eggs.
Reality was, of course, a bit different from the dream, and it got worse in the 1930s when the Great Depression caused egg prices to fall from $1 per dozen to only ten cents. Residents who couldn’t adapt to the changing times simply left.
Those who stayed diversified into other businesses and began creating a real community at Alderwood Manor. Puget Mill built a school, and residents opened stores, started churches, and founded community groups such as the Odd Fellows, Masons, and Ladies Aid Society.
While the Little Landers were able to adapt, the interurban could not. Road construction and the growth of the automobile industry brought it to an end in 1939.
Lynnwood was born in 1937, when Seattle realtor Karl O’Beirn platted some land and named the development Lynnwood after his wife, Lynn. The name caught hold, and soon businesses sprung up under names like Lynnwood Cleaners, Lynnwood Variety, etc. In 1946, the business owners organized the Lynnwood Commercial Club.
As the city grew, so did the need for services and regulation. After 3 years of discussion, Lynnwood was incorporated in 1959 with an area of 3 square miles and 6,000 residents. In need of the same services, residents in six surrounding areas soon petitioned for annexation, and the city began to grow.
Growth and Change
Commercial and residential development exploded beginning in the 1960s, and has continued. Lynnwood’s Alderwood Mall opened for shoppers in September 1979, and much of Alderwood Manor came into Lynnwood’s city limits in 1984, with the balance annexed in 1988.
On May 1, 2005, the City opened its new 55,000-square-foot, $34 million Convention Center, which proved to be an immediate success, attracting 208 events in its first seven months.
In 2007, Lynnwood’s population was approximately 35,000 and had risen to 36,485 as of the 2010 census.
Source: HistoryLink.org Essay 8200
Lynnwood has a more diverse population than many of the surrounding cities, not just in ethnicity, but in both income and education.
While approximately 20% of the population has earnings in excess of $65,000 per year, more than 50% earn less than $25,000 and another 20% earn less than $40,000. 15% are at the poverty level, bringing Lynnwood’s median income in 2013 to only $25,552.
The number of citizens holding bachelor’s degrees, masters degrees, or doctorates stands at about the same percentages as the U.S. overall. The populace, however, is clearly interested in education. In addition to 25 public schools and Edmonds Community College, Lynnwood is home to 9 private schools.
Things to do in Lynnwood Washington
Lynnwood is a city of parks, with more than a dozen scattered over the city’s 7.7 square miles.
Community parks include Lynndale Park with its skate park; Meadowdale Playfields, with 3 lighted competition softball fields, 2 lighted multipurpose sand fields and a concession building, a basketball court, playground, equipment, a walking trai, picnic facilities, and a concession building; Scriber Lake Park, which is 22 acres of wetlands, and Wilcox Park, which was Lynnwood’s first park.
Lynnwood also has 8 neighborhood parks and 3 mini-parks, including the Veterans Park, which honors local veterans.
Recreational facilities include a community Recreation Center, a Senior Center, a golf course, and Lynnwood Bowl & Skate (formerly Lynnwood Lanes and Lynnwood Roll-A-Way), which has been in operation since the 1950s.
Hikers can choose their route from the Golf Course Trail; the Mesika Trail, which runs along the west border of the Lynnwood Civic Center; Scriber Creek Trail, which runs along Scriber Creek wetlands; and the Interurban Trail, which was the site of the Interurban Trolley tracks between Seattle and Everett from 1910 to 1939.
The City of Lynnwood Municipal Golf Course offers 18 holes to test the skills of any golfer. The facility features merchandise, rentals, and a full-service Pro Shop. Open year round, the club offers a tee-time feature on their website to enable players to plan ahead. Premier Golf Club members enjoy a reciprocal agreement that allows them to play at all 13 courses in Lynnwood, Bellevue, Seattle, Pierce County, Maple Valley, and Everett.
Lynnwood Washington is home to 5 pubs/taverns and more than 100 eateries. Offerings range from coffee and pastries and breakfast cafes, to numerous pizza places, to fast food outlets, to fine dining. In addition to seafood and steak, choices include sushi, teriyaki, Chinese, Indian, Mexican, Italian, and Hawaiian fare.
Providence Health Services operates Lynnwood Primary Care, offering routine care such as sports physicals, children’s immunizations, treatment for everyday illnesses, lab tests, and minor surgical procedures.
The Lynnwood branch of the Snohomish County Community Health Center offers dental care for both children and adults, medical walk-in care, and a pharmacy.
Swedish Medical Center, in nearby Seattle, is the Northwest’s largest, most comprehensive medical center.
Lynnwood is also home to several dental and chiropractic clinics, and at least one veterinary clinic.
Getting to work…
Lynnwood is still a bedroom community for Seattle and other suburbs offering employment in the technology and medical fields. Many who commute to work use Sound Transit bus service to Seattle and Mercer Island by way of Bellevue.
The Lynnwood Transit Center/Park-and-Ride is owned and operated by Sound Transit. Its 1,368 parking spaces are only for transit customers and other authorized individuals. Rideshare vehicles may be parked only with approval from Sound Transit. Bike racks, lockers, and rest rooms are also available at the Transit Center.
The nearest Amtrak station is 4 miles from Lynnwood, in Edmonds. Light rail or sounder train service is available from Seattle to SeaTac Airport and other surrounding communities.
Does Lynnwood Washington sound like the right place for you to put down roots?
If so, get in touch. I’ll be pleased to help you find the home that fits both your lifestyle and your budget. In the meantime, click here for a preview of homes that are available for sale today. (Link to Lynnwood search page.)