Thrasher’s Corner, Bothell

Intersection of Bothell Everett Highway and 208th Street SE, Bothell

In 1928, Freda and Lyman Thrasher moved their three sons—William, Harold, and Lyman (Sonny)—to what became known as Thrasher’s Corner in Bothell. The Thrashers opened a gas station, garage, grocery, and towing company on their property at the southwest corner of the Bothell Everett Highway and 208th Street SE. (76) It is said that Thrasher’s Corner was so rural—it had dirt and plank roads—that it didn’t feel like part of Bothell. The area didn’t urbanize until the first stoplight was installed in 1980. (77)

In 1930, Freda and Lyman had their daughter, Ilean; by 1937 they had purchased the property across the street and relocated their businesses. While the three Thrasher sons were serving in WWII, another daughter, Sue Ellen, was born. In the 1940s, the family built a large brick house behind their store. They lived there for about 10 years before selling all their property and moving to Mountlake Terrace. Lyman died in 1965, followed by Freda in 1982. Their children and grandchildren live in Washington and California. (78)

Jane Poage, who lived at Thrasher’s Corner from 1928 until 1952, remembers Freda Thrasher as a “glamorous” woman who always wore bright red lipstick and was never seen at her store. At first, the Thrasher family living quarters were behind a curtained doorway in the grocery. But the Thrashers’ brick house, which was demolished in the 1980s, was upscale for its time. As a child, Jane bought penny candy from the Thrashers’ store with money she earned “candling eggs”—holding a light bulb up to a fresh chicken egg in order to make sure there is no chick in it. Jane was paid 5 cents an hour. The Thrashers, along with Jane’s father, Victor Boyd, and other residents created their own water system by digging trenches and installing pipes from a spring by Canyon Creek to their homes. In the 1970s, Jane’s son, Stuart, found a pipe that still ran from the creek to the corner. (79)

Jane Poage is the daughter of Camilla Boyd who lived at Thrasher’s corner from 1927 to 1994. Jane was born in 1928. (80) Jane’s great-uncle, Joseph Wilson, came to the US from Scotland in around 1899. Soon after, he bought 120 acres, which he cleared himself, to start a dairy farm at Thrasher’s Corner. There is still evidence of narrow-gauge train tracks that ran up the hill to North Creek, where there was a flume for carrying logs from Snohomish County to a shingle mill in Bothell. (81)

In 1920, Joseph Wilson brought his nephew, Victor Boyd, from Scotland to help him on the farm. Victor had been injured by mustard gas in WWI. Camilla was from Texas, but her parents sent her to live with a cousin—Dorothy Hale of Wintermute’s Corner—while she attended the University of Washington. Victor and Camilla met each other at a dance at the grange on the Bothell-Everett Highway—all community, church, and school events were held at the grange. Jane recalls waiting in her “formals” for the buses of soldiers from Fort Lewis to arrive at the dances. (82)

As a child, Jane attended the 101 School, which had two classrooms and outdoor bathrooms. Jane remembers crying on her first day of school because the flap on the back of her underwear came loose and was hanging below her dress. Jane’s mother, Camilla, hoped to teach at the schoolhouse, but they wouldn’t hire women. During WWII, Freda Thrasher and most of the other local women worked at the Seattle shipyards. Camilla was one of the few who didn’t work outside the home and Jane remembers that her mother was one of the only women who didn’t have a fur coat. Instead, the Boyds worked the family farm and sold rabbit pelts to Sears. At this time, there were only two gas stations in the area, Thrasher’s and Kennard’s—gas cost about 10 cents a gallon. Jane remembers Fred and Bunny Kennard, but the Boyd family purchased most of their gas from the grange. The grange was cheaper and it would deliver the gas. However, the Boyds did store their meat in the Kennards’ freezer. (83)

In the 1950s, the Boyd family sold the farm, although they kept part of their land. Tired of cows, Camilla finally got a teaching job with the Edmonds school district. (84) In the 1930s, Camilla and her husband, Victor, built the one-and-a-half story, “vernacular craftsman/ bungalow” that still exists at 2310 Maltby Road. The home was built from material salvaged from Green’s Funeral Home, which was originally located on Main Street in Bothell. (85) The Boyd family paid 10 cents for the salvage rights and sold whatever they didn’t use on their own home. Originally, the house had no indoor bathrooms, but one was added because Camilla’s mother was “appalled” at the oversight and sent them the money to install one. In 1975, Karin and Stuart (Jane’s son) Poage purchased and updated the home. The house still bears a sign that says “Camilland,” which is the name that Victor Boyd gave it. (86) Karin and Stuart’s son, Winslow C. Poage, resides in the A-frame, next door, at 2308 Maltby Road, which Jane and her husband, Douglas, built in 1963. Winslow’s children are the sixth generation to live on the Boyd family land at Thrasher’s Corner. Back in the 1960s, when Jane and Doug tried to get a loan to build the A-frame, banks didn’t want to finance it because they didn’t think A-frames would be popular or have any resale value.

The Poage’s describe the building as the house of their dreams; it cost $25,000 to build. Karin’s brother, Bill Bagnall, lives at 2316 Maltby Road in a house that was built by Victor and Camilla, in 1953, with money that Camilla inherited from her family’s oil interests. The original Boyd farmhouse was located at the northeast corner of Thrasher’s Corner; it no longer exists. (87)

(Additional research provided by Karin Bagnall Poage.)

(76) Kennard, Eleanor Campbell, “Kennard’s Corner.” Slough of Memories, Northshore History Boosters, Fred Klein, 1992. pp. 16-17
(77) Ibid
(78) Kennard, Eleanor Campbell, “Kennard’s Corner.” Slough of Memories, Northshore History Boosters, Fred Klein, 1992. pp. 16-17
(79) Poage, Karin Bagnall, Interview with Jane Boyd Poage and Douglas Poage. January 8, 2012
(80) Ibid
(81) Ibid
(82) Ibid
(83) Ibid
(84) Ibid
(85) Poage, Karin Bagnall, Interview with Jane Boyd Poage and Douglas Poage. January 8, 2012
(86) Poage, Karin, Email to Lauren Perez Hoogkamer. September 25, 2013
(87) Poage, Karin Bagnall, Interview with Jane Boyd Poage and Douglas Poage. January 8, 2012

2310 Maltby Rd. (Karin Poage, 2013)

2310 Maltby Rd. (Karin Poage, 2013)