7. First Schoolhouse

schoolhouse 1890

First Schoolhouse

Edmonds’ first school opened in 1884 and served six students. It was held in George Brackett’s feed barn on the corner of 3rd Ave. N. and Edmonds St. At the time, children were expected to help support their families by working at home or in the local mills. As a result, the school ran only three months of the year.

By 1887, the student body had grown to fifteen and it was time for a dedicated school building. A one-room schoolhouse, pictured above, was built on the little knoll between 3rd and 4th Ave., north of Main St. The tiny schoolhouse soon proved too small for the town. Edmonds was riding an economic boom and by 1889, the student body had expanded to thirty-two children and the school needed more space.

Once again, the venerable town founder George Brackett took action, donating a parcel of land at 7th Ave N and Main St for a new schoolhouse. The new school was the site of the Edmonds Elementary School until it closed in 1972. The building, renamed the Frances Anderson Center, for 40-year Edmonds elementary school teacher and life-long Edmonds resident, Frances Anderson, is currently a multi-use facility that houses several organizations and the City of Edmonds Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services department.

 WWII Observation Tower

In March 1943, an air raid tower was constructed near the old school site, using donated materials and volunteer labor. The observation tower, manned by volunteers, kept watch for invasion from the west during the early years of World War.

tower 1943



About the Artist-Made Plaque  

old school house plaque 66602

Bronze icons represent the bell tower from the top of the first school house, along with representative school house items: open books, a school bell, an apple for the teacher, a pencil, an old-fashioned slate, and a report card. The binoculars reference the World War II observation tower that later occupied the site.

Tour Information

The Edmonds Stages of History Tour is a walking tour of significant sites that mark twelve different aspects in Edmonds' development. A unique artist-made plaque identifies each site on the tour. We invite you to explore Edmonds history at each location. Photographs on this website are courtesy of the Edmonds Historical Museum, unless otherwise noted. Descriptions of Edmonds history for the Stages of History panels and the website include information from copyrighted articles by Larry Vogel, originally published in the original Patch online newspaper, Edmonds: The First Century by Archie Satterfield (1990), and Edmonds: The Gem of Puget Sound by Ray V. Cloud (1983), and use restrictions apply. Other information sources include individual interviews and information supplied by the Edmonds Historical Museum.  Please contact the City of Edmonds Arts Office at 425-771-0228 with any corrections to information on the website or for inquiries regarding specific sources of copyrighted material.  

Contact Us

The City of Edmonds Arts Commission 
ph. 425-771-0228

Visit the Edmonds Arts Commission's Website 
email: eac@edmondswa.gov

The City of Edmonds Historic Preservation Commission
Visit the Historic Preservation Commission's Website 

The Edmonds Historical Museum 
Visit the Edmonds Historical Museum's Website