The two diverse communities of Marysville and Tulalip have grown and prospered over the years, overcoming obstacles and cultural diversities to work together forming a strong partnership that now benefits all of Snohomish County. Each community has been busy fostering economic success and growth while striving to remember their roots. Towards this end, both Marysville and Tulalip are in the planning stages of building museums which will preserve and showcase their histories.
Marysville’s humble beginnings started in the early 1870s when early settler James P. Comeford, while traveling about the Sound on his duties for the Tulalip Agency, discovered and ultimately acquired a Trading Post at Smith Cove, thus becoming the founder of Marysville. In 1878, Mr. Comeford purchased 1,280 acres from local timber traders for $450 and the rich, cultural history of Marysville began. By 1879 education became a need of the small but growing community, and Mrs. Comeford began teaching classes in her home. A year later, Marysville opened a Post Office and the first saw mill opened in 1887. The Comefords and their family’s store did good business with the loggers and Native Americans in the area, and additional settlers arrived by steamboat to farm or work in the busy mills that furnished the lumber for most of the early town buildings.
The railroad tracks were laid through the town in 1889, which brought many new residents to Marysville. In 1891, James Comeford incorporated the town, with logging as its primary industry. New settlers were drawn to Marysville because of the money to be made in natural resources. The area was so rich with timber, that part of the settler’s problem was where to begin. One of the first logging camps was opened in 1864, and Stimson’s Logging Company was formed in 1891. This became a fairly large company and contributed much to Marysville’s trade. Early logging camps used oxen and horse teams to haul logs to Tulalip Bay, where they were sent south to be milled in Seattle. Just after the signing of the Point Elliot Treaty in 1855 which formed the Tulalip tribe reservation, loggers began working on the hills and flats that are now the city of Marysville. One of the first loggers to arrive, Alexander Spithill, also built some buildings on the reservation for the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
The first City Hall was built in 1901, and 1906 saw the first high school welcome new students. In 1907, the public library was established, while the first high school class graduated. In 1908, the Afton Chapter of Eastern Star and the Alumni Association of the High School were formed.