About This Site

This website is part of the Centennial Trail PAST:forward  Interpretive Project, sponsored by Snohomish County and funded by the Washington Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation.

PAST:forward explores and interprets the past transportation, cultural and historical stories along the former rail route, while looking to the current and future use of the trail as a community resource utilizing today’s technologies and perspectives. Transportation artifacts throughout the program reference the significance of mobility in our past, present and future. The project deals with the historical time period of 1929 and the start of the Great Depression through to 1976 and the celebration of the U.S. Bicentennial. It was in that year that the national Centennial Trails program was conceived.  

Our logo and graphics approach was inspired by historical railroad signs, highway signs and post-modern color themes that were prevalent in the time period.  The interpretive panels at trail heads were constructed of recycled road signs.

We hope you get out on the trail and enjoy looking back on its history while looking forward to the future and the next fifty years on the trail.

Fun Fact:

The trailhead signs are printed on salvaged road signs, provided by the Snohomish County Department of Transportation. So check out the back of the sign when you’re out on the trail!

In addition to this website, the Centennial Trail “PAST:forward ” Interpretive Program includes:
  • Trailhead Interpretive Signs
  • Smartphone-Optimized Mobile Web Experience
  • Traveling Smart Car Exhibit & Video
  • Public Art Installation at Nakashima Farm


As with any history project, Snohomish County is indebted to the knowledge and memories of local historians who shared their time and enthusiasm to bring alive the stories of the Centennial Trail people, towns, and industries that shaped our region. They include:

  • Warner Blake
  • Michelle Carter (Darigold)
  • David Dilgard
  • Henry Egashira
  • Bob Heirman
  • Loren Kraetz
  • Louise Lindgren
  • Ray McClure
  • Shirley Prouty
  • Myrtle & Marty Rausch
  • Margaret Riddle
  • Jan Roberts (Darigold)
  • Lita Sheldon
  • Terrie Welch

Snohomish County would like to thank the following individuals, organizations and collections for use of their photography:

  • Bob Heirman Photo Collection
  • Bob Miller for Twin City Foods
  • Camera Craft for Twin City Foods
  • City of Arlington
  • City of Lake Stevens
  • City of Snohomish
  • Clare Media Group
  • Crown Portrait Studios for Twin City Foods
  • Darigold
  • Densho
  • Egashira Family
  • Everett Public Library
  • Joe G. Kennedy for Twin City Foods
  • Joe Mabel
  • Photo Collection of Louise Lindgren
  • Nakashima Family
  • Northwest Railroad Museum
  • Photo Collection of Jean Bedal Fish & Edith Bedal
  • Randy Smith
  • Skagit River Journal
  • Snohomish Historical Society
  • Stanwood Historical Society
  • Stillaguamish Genealogical Society
  • Stillaguamish Valley Pioneer Museum
  • Stillaguamish Tribe of Indians
  • Stolee Creative
  • The Everett Herald
  • Twin City Foods
  • University of Washington Special Collections
  • U.S. National Archives
  • Washington State Railroad History Society
  • Wikipedia Commons
  • “Blue Railroad Train” Performed by the Cactus Blossoms, Published by Johnny Bond Records
  • “Swamp Stomp” and “Every Step”, Courtesy of YouTube Audio Library
  • Tobias Queen
Snohomish County Historic Preservation Commission
  • Brandi Link, Chair
  • Chris Jenkins
  • Lauren Kraetz
  • Shirley Prouty
Project Team

Project funding made possible by Washington State Department of Archeology and Historic Preservation, and The Federal Highway Administration