In the early 20th Century, the area that is now Lynnwood was largely owned by the Puget Mill Company, a subsidiary of Pope and Talbot. Once most of the big timber had been cut, Puget Mill formed the Admiralty Logging Company to take care of the 'logged-over' land. The company built a demonstration farm at Alderwood Manor to teach the incoming gentlemen farmers the trade, and to entice them into buying land. During this 'back-to-the-land' movement of the 1920s, the company was able to sell some tracts of land as many as four or five times, as gentleman farmers would enthusiastically learn the skills, buy their plots, and then realise that they couldn't make the land pay and abandon their contracts. A freeway interchange now rests on the spot where the demonstration farm once sat.
When Lynnwood was first incorporated in 1959, there were approximately 6000 residents. By the year 2000, this had expanded to almost 34,000.
When you ask people in the Seattle area what they think of when you say the word 'Lynnwood', one of several answers generally comes to mind:
To be fair, recent construction projects do seem to have improved the traffic problems somewhat, as long as you're not someone who lives in Lynnwood and want to get on the freeway during the morning rush hour. And, while there used to be an annual 'Big Hair' contest in Lynnwood, this Researcher couldn't find any actual evidence that it is still ongoing.
The pregnant teenagers, now, they're another thing. Visually, Lynnwood simply appears to be full of adolescent girls who are either pregnant or pushing infants around in baby carriages, or both. Most of these teens can be seen at the mall, especially at the food court. However, it's probably not fair to assume that just because they seem to be everywhere in Lynnwood, this is 'Lynnwood's problem'. Statistics from the state show that Snohomish County is the second lowest in the state in unintended pregnancies, and their birth rate for teenagers is actually 20% lower than the state average. So, it seems like this is one of those things where people talk and point fingers, but perhaps without a real foundation. After all, teens from all over the northern Seattle and southern Snohomish County area hang out at Alderwood Mall - it does have air-conditioning.
The Alderwood Mall is probably Lynnwood's best known landmark - it's certainly the biggest. While the most popular destination at the mall is probably the food court, there are also several department stores, including Sears, JCPenney, Nordstrom, and the Bon Marche. The mall is also surrounded by several acres of strip malls, yuppie chains1, and discount stores - it's unlikely that any chain store commonly found in the United States can't be found within a few miles of Alderwood Mall.
Living in Lynnwood
The Lynnwood police department is very proactive, especially when it comes to traffic tickets. Drivers who have learned in other parts of the state that a speed limit sign of 30mph really means 'Don't go faster than 49 mph' quickly learn while driving in Lynnwood that such signs should be interpreted as 'We fund our city budget off speeding ticket fines from people who drive 31mph'. It is often safer to simply take the bus.
Children in Lynnwood attend schools in the Edmonds School District, along with children from Edmonds, Brier, Mountlake Terrace, and Woodway. Lynnwood High School is directly across the street from Alderwood Mall - you can imagine what that intersection looks like when the bell rings at the end of the day. Children and adults alike have access to the local library, which is part of the Sno-Isle Library System, serving Snohomish and Island counties.
Things to Do in Lynnwood
There may not be a whole lot to do in Lynnwood other than go to the mall, but there are several cinemas, and a plethora of restaurants. Two especially good area restaurants include Chevy's Fresh Mex2 and Talay Thai3. A decent pub with billiards is The Breaking Point4, and there's also an amusingly tacky bowling alley/skating rink combo.
If you're civic-minded, and don't mind some animal dung, the local no-kill animal shelter could generally use some volunteers. Or, for the civic-minded who like to stay a little more on the clean and fresh side of things, there's always the local Rotary Club.