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History of Machias
Machias at the turn of the century was a bustling community with a railroad depot, many stores, a school, a church and a post office where the trailhead is now located. The trailhead building is a replica of the original depot. The concrete slab across the trail from the building is the original slab where the water tower once stood. (Note the square marks at each corner where the legs of the water tower were
Charles Niemeyer, Sr., from Machias, Maine, secured title to the land from the US government. Mr. Niemeyer and neighbors Horace Andrus and W. A. Clark cut down trees and built a road so they could move their families, furniture and animals in sleighs drawn by oxen to the valley. On October 4, 1888, Mr. Niemeyer granted a right-of-way to the railroad.
In 1890 L. W. Getchell and others bought 80 acres from Mr. Neimeyer to begin the town. Before the town was officially started, a post office and a small store named Rudd existed. A grocery and supply store owned and operated by A. Sapp was the first business. A saloon and blacksmith shop, two more mercantile stores, a small candy store, two hotels, a hardware store, restaurant, meat market and athletic hall followed. In 1903 residents built a two-room school and the Congregational church patterned after a church in Machias, Maine.
The main industry was lumber. Several lumber and shingle mills operated within a few miles of the town and shipped their product by rail from the depot. Most of the town was destroyed by fire in 1914.
The above information came from the article Machias Trailhead Historic Photos
Select the above link to see photographs, courtesy of Ruby Elders, Machias Historical Society.
This 1910 map shows both Lake Stevens and the town of Machias which is located east of Lake Stevens. The town was platted and named in 1888 by L. W. Getchell after his home town of Machias, Maine.
Machias Trailhead Sign.
Note the use of recycled signs.
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