EVERETT (30 alt.), county seat of Snohomish County, lumbering center, seaport, and distributing point for a fertile agricultural and dairying area, lies on a promontory between the sluggish Snohomish River, with its muddy delta, on the cast and north, and Port Gardner Bay, an arm of Puget Sound, on the west.
In the business district, near the center of the city, substantial middleaged buildings border broad avenues that run east-west across a ridge extending southward from the river to the high bluffs of Rucker Hill.
Noticeable among the older structures are a few newer, more modern buildings. On the hill and along the bayside to the north are attractive residences, surrounded by broad, close-clipped lawns, brightened in season by daffodils, rows of irises, blossoming shrubs, roses in profusion, beds of flaming gladioli, and golden autumn leaves; even the sombreness of winter is broken by the sheen of laurel leaves and the orange and red berries of thorn and holly. Between these residential districts and the business and industrial areas are scattered sections where the mass of the population lives.
The industrial life of the city centers in the area along the bayside and the river front. Here, fringing the city, are factories and mills with their stacks and burners, smoking volcanoes by day and glowing infernos by night. Except when a holiday or curtailed production brings a temporary lull, the air reverberates with the whine of saws, the strident blasts of whistles, the hiss of steam, and the clank of wheels as engines shunt cars of freight on the sidings.
Moored along the docks are freighters, their strong booms swinging incoming cargo to the docks and outgoing cargo, mostly lumber and lumber products, to the decks and into the holds. Quickly the gangs of longshoremen load and unload the slings, expertly using their claw-like hooks, and alert to the hazards of snapping cables and shifting cargo. Trucks rumble over the docks, which vibrate on supporting pilings. Dotting the bay are numerous pleasure craft, trawlers, sturdy tugs with rafts of logs in tow, and rowboats, in which fishermen drift for hours with the tide or row, face forward, with the peculiar skill and ease acquired only through years of practice.
The prevailing westerly winds are usually brisk and occasionally become gales that whip the slate-gray waters of the bay into whitecaps. Sometimes a pall of fog settles over the area, and then foghorns moan their warnings to shipping. The salt air is charged with the pungent odor of seaweed from the brine-soaked tidelands, the resinous tang of newly cut lumber and of smoke from the burning slabs and sawdust, the clean odor of tar from nets and creosoted pilings, and the musty smell of rotting logs, heavy with barnacles. At night the low, musical throb of Diesel engines and the impatient chugging of gasoline motors float across the water, or the whistle of a train, clear and resonant, echoes through the moisture-laden air.
Here is registered the heartbeat of Everett. When mills and factories are running and wages are steady, customers crowd the local stores, bills are paid, houses are painted or re-shingled, and old cars are exchanged for new ones. But when the pulse is weakened by curtailed production and consequent unemployment, not only does local business diminish, but the neighboring farming area, which finds a market for its produce in the city, also suffers.
The first white man to leave a record of discovery of the bay along which rise today the smokestacks of Everett was Captain George Vancouver, whose ship furled its sails at Possession Sound on June 4, 1792; he took possession for Britain, changing the name of the entire region from New Albionto New Georgia, in honor of King George III. Two other place names commemorate Vancouver's visit: Port Gardner Bay and Port Susan.