Harry and Lydia Anderson arrived in Bothell from Deer Lodge, Montana, in 1922 with their children: Ferne (Huber), Harry Jr., Leslie, Doris, Ruth, Dick, and an eleven-month-old baby girl, which was me.
My mom and dad rented a home in Bothell, awaiting an opportunity to purchase their own property. By about 1920, Puget Mill (Pope and Talbot) had logged off most of their timberlands and decided to sell tracts of the land. My parents purchased a five-acre plot about a mile north of Bothell Way on Lockwood Road (73rd Avenue NE) along Swamp Creek. Appropriately enough, this type of logged-off property was referred to as a stump ranch.
My dad and my two oldest brothers, Harry and Leslie, framed a house, and we moved into our new home in the spring of 1923. The family home was the first one on that street other than a little summer cabin owned by the Ragge family. The Ragges conducted a Sunday School class in this cabin for a few years beginning in about 1928.
Others followed our family to 73rd Avenue NE, including Sam Stuart plus the Knoble, Hughes, and Adams families. Three rather eccentric bachelors also became good neighbors. They were Sam Pestoff (a Russian), Fritz Fry, and a Mr. Benke. Other early families were Nels and Gudrun Johnson and daughter Arlene, Walt and Anne Ekland and their children Fred and Joanne, and the Terry family.
Another neighbor on 73rd Avenue NE was Grandpa Bell, who was from Canada. This sweet little man had an old Ford truck that ran through his garage many times because he usually said “whoa” and it didn’t.
From day one, our family planted fruit trees. There were two or three kinds of apples, a peach tree, pears, plums, prunes, and cherries. Our family raised chickens and rabbits as well as a pig or two. My mother canned and made jams, jellies, and pickles, so there was always enough to eat.
Kenmore was a great place to raise a family because there were lots of places to play. We could go wading, fishing, or play games. Our friends were neighborhood kids who were always welcomed in our home. They called our mother “Mom” and loved to eat with us. We didn’t have much in those days, but our mother was always home when we got there, and she had time for us. We knew we were really loved.
Lemm’s Corner at 73rd Avenue NE and Bothell Way was a good place to stop when we were walking the couple of miles to Kenmore Beach. We would play on the swing behind Lemm’s and get an ice cream cone. In the summer, we often stopped at Henry the Watermelon King’s fruit stand to get a watermelon for picnics, holidays, or Sunday dinners. He would sometimes just give us a watermelon if there was one that was cracked.
The Will Verd Lumber Company was also on the corner of 73rd Avenue and Bothell Way. One day as my father was going by the lumberyard, he asked if they needed a truck driver. The answer was yes. He worked at the lumberyard for forty-three years.
I went on to serve as a missionary in Japan for thirty-seven years. After my retirement in 1988, I returned home to Kenmore.
—Mildred Anderson[Editor’s note: Mildred Marie Anderson passed away September 18, 2005.]