Mill Creek’s History Tells a Story

Mill Creek’s History Tells a Story
Posted on 03/28/2019
An image of the historical panels on display at City HallWhen trying to tell Mill Creek’s history, it’s not as easy as mapping out dates on a timeline. Rather, Mill Creek’s history is a complex story with many intertwining threads. Now the community can help ensure that story is complete.

With a $12,500 grant from the Snohomish County Historic Preservation Commission Community Heritage Program to identify key moments in time, the Art and Beautification Board initially thought that the City’s history would be laid out in chronological order with panels for each decade. But shortly after the project began, it was clear that the City’s story centers on key themes.

“We discovered that from the beginning it was more than just a cluster of houses and homeowners that thought it would be a good idea to form a city; there was in fact a vision for what could and would happen,” said Matt Buchanan, chair of the Art and Beautification Board. “From our inception there was a desire to make Mill Creek a safe place to live and from there to make it a great place to live.”

The A&B Board identified five key themes to incorporate into a visual history of Mill Creek. These themes include:
  • Living Off the Land: A look at the area prior to development, including earliest known inhabitants and original settlers.
  • From Farms to a Planned Community: Showcases the development of a planned community and appealing amenities.
  • The Big Decision: Centers on the decision to incorporate, as well as a visual look at annexation over time.
  • A Place Called Home: Shares how the City became home to its residents with schools, shopping areas and other community assets.
  • Community Beyond Our Boundaries: Showcases what makes Mill Creek truly a community and why people continue to call it home.
The timeline panels are on display this spring in City Hall South, 15728 Main St. Comment cards are available for people to provide feedback. Images of the panels also are available in a PDF at

Final design will occur later this year. The goal is to produce the panels by early 2020 to hang in the covered bridge area just north of 153rd Street SE in Mill Creek Town Center.