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BHS & Bothell History BHS School Pictures 1961-Today BHS & Bothell Newspapers

A History of Bothell

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Bothell 1892

Bothell 1899

Bothell 1905

Bothell 1909

Bothell 1915

Bothell 1955

In 1885, Brackett sold 80 acres to Pennsylvanian David Bothell (1820-1905). He was engaged in logging, lumbering and shingle mills for seven years and built a home into which he took boarders. When the house burned down, he sold his interest and built the Bothell Hotel.

Bothell sold his first building lot to Norwegians Gerhard Ericksen (1860-1920) and his wife Dorothea. Ericksen became the local postmaster on May 25, 1888. Legend has it that when asked by the Seattle Postmaster what the post office should be called, Ericksen said, "There are so many Bothells in town and that's a good name, so let's call it Bothell."

David Bothell filed the first plat of Bothell on April 25, 1889. (That same year on November 11, the Washington Territory joined the Union.) Bothell was incorporated as a city of the fourth class on April 14, 1909. David Bothell's son George was the first mayor.

Bothell comprised an area of 450.45 acres with a population of 599 compared to the current size of over 7,700 acres and a population of over 33,000.

Tracks for the Seattle, Lake Shore & Eastern Railroad were laid to Bothell in 1887 and by 1888 had been brought down the west side of the valley, then to the eastern edge of Lake Sammamish and on to Issaquah. Citizens could now take a train to Seattle.

In May 1913, with Gerhard Ericksen's help in the Legislature, a highway was completed from Seattle through Lake City and Kenmore to Bothell and Everett. Four miles of the road from Kenmore to Bothell were surfaced in brick.

Boats did remain as the chief way to cross Lake Washington, however, until the Mercer Island Floating Bridge was opened in 1940. Shipping ran as late as 1916 to Bothell, considered the head of navigation, with such steamers as the Evril, Duck Hunter, May Blossom (renamed City of Bothell - the 2nd with that name), City of Renton, Acme, W.E. Harrington, and Arrow following the river's curves. All departed from Madison Park (see page 1 for pictures).

Historical populations Census

Census Population Percent
1910 599  
1920 613 2.3%
1930 818 33.4%
1940 794 −2.9%
1950 1,019 28.3%
1960 2,237 119.5%
1970  4,883 118.3%
1980  7,943 62.7%
1990 12,345 55.4%
2000 30,150 144.2%
2010 33,505 11.1%



Bothell Redevelopment

Those of you who've been away will be amazed at the changes already completed and planned.




































Bothell is reinventing its downtown through $150 million in public improvements, including two major roadway changes on Highway 522. Eliminating the existing curve and other changes will create 25 acres for development as mixed-use retail, flanked by a park at Bothell Landing.

Vulcan study: The city agreed to pay $850,000 to Paul Allen's Vulcan Real Estate to develop a replacement for the 1939 white-stucco City Hall. It will include about 100,000 square feet of mixed-use commercial development and a public plaza.

Highway 522: Highway 522 is being realigned to relieve traffic congestion. In the process, Bothell gets new land parcels for redevelopment, three of those acres being added to the 14.5-acre park.

Festival Zone: The city plans to enhance Main Street by creating a "festival zone" that would be closed to traffic for special events.

Highway 527: The highway is being widened to create a landscaped boulevard with four lanes of arterial traffic, and the Wayne Curve is expanded to relieve traffic congestion.

Annexation: The city plans to annex 11 areas, including part of Snohomish County, adding about 4,600 acres and 27,000 people to the city.

Senior center: Working with private industry, the existing Safeway site is to be redeveloped into a senior housing complex; other housing is in the planning stage, as well.


Bothell 1899 - Railroad Depot

Bothell 1899  - Shingle Mill

Bothell 1915

Bothell-Seattle Rd before paving ("Stage")


Bothell 1959

Bothell 1959 Night









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Bothell High School History BHS School Pictures 1961-Today BHS & Bothell Newspapers