Perrinville Corner, Edmonds


Intersection of Olympic View Drive and W 76th Avenue, Edmonds

Located at the intersection of Olympic View Drive and W 76th Avenue is the unusual Perrinville Corner, named for founders Gertrude and Carl Perrin. Gertie, the second of ten children, was born in Missouri to William and Mary Osborn. (38) When she was eight years old, the family moved to California because her father loved to travel. From Redwood, California, she saw the smoke and felt the shaking as the 1906 earthquake devastated San Francisco. In 1910, when she was 16, Gertie had a short-lived marriage to a man named Warren. The next year, Gertie—no longer married—moved with her family to Edmonds, Washington. In 1913, the 20-year-old Gertie married Andrew A. Henson, but after 12 years this marriage also ended in divorce. In 1930, she met Carl Perrin who had just moved to Edmonds. Carl was originally from Arkansas, but had been living in Idaho and Eastern Washington. (39)

Carl Perrin said he had been a police officer in Spokane for five years before becoming manager of the restaurant where he met Gertie, while she was waitressing. (40) However, the Washington State Reformatory has a record—which matches Carl’s age and place of birth—for a Carl Perrin who was arrested in Spokane for second degree burglary in 1928 and released in 1929 after serving one year of a 1-15 year sentence. (41) According to the Spokesman-Review, Carl was a police officer between 1920 and 1923, when he was forced to resign due to “alleged neglect of duty.” In January of 1928, Perrin was arrested for stealing $520 from the Briggs cigar store, in Spokane, after gaining information about the shop by saying he was a newly hired policeman. Perrin fought the police officer who caught him in the act. He later told the judge that he stole the money because his wife was “ill and destitute” and he was only a laborer with a fourth grade education. He claimed to have been under the influence of alcohol during the crime. (42) It is not known whether Gertie knew of Carl’s past, but they married on April 2, 1931. Their son, Carl O. ‘Skip’ Perrin, Jr., was born on June 18, 1932. (43)

Throughout her life, Gertie managed at least five restaurants in Edmonds and owned several antique shops, including a doll shop called “Gertie’s Doll Hospital,” which was lost in a 1945 fire. It was the first antique shop in Edmonds. (44) In 1938, Carl became tired of city life and wanted to move back to the country. The adventurous Gertie is credited with telling him, “If I’m going out in the sticks, I’m going to start me a town.” Carl didn’t think she would really do it. (45) The Perrins paid $15,000 for 10.5 acres at three corners of the area that would become Perrinville; (46) they later acquired a total of 35 acres. Starting with a log cabin, they built a town, building by building, around themselves. In 1939, Gertie paid 10 cents to the Everett courthouse to have the name Perrinville made official. The Perrins also built the first grocery store and gas station and paid for the sewer, phone, and water lines to be installed. During this time, Carl owned the Perrinville Roofing Company. (47) In 1945, he was the first roofer to advertise in the Edmonds directory. (48)

Mrs. Perrin was also known as Ann-Teak Gertie because of the antique shop she opened in Perrinville. (49) In 1956, she told the Seattle Post-Intelligencer that she still had a thimble she found when she was a child because she loved old things. By the 1950s, she had already been in the antique business for at least 25 years. Her first shop, “Gertie’s What Not Shop,” began when two women asked to buy a glass slipper-shaped perfume bottle and a cornucopia vase she had decorating her window. She then traded old fruit jars for other items to increase her inventory. (50)

Carl died on June 9, 1965, but Gertie continued to build Perrinville. She welcomed a car wash manned by “scantily-clad young women.” (51) In 1977, furniture dealer Chic Kravagna designed and built the shopping center (seen here) to look like an historic town. (52) In 1990, Perrinville opened its own post office, although the “town” is technically part of Edmonds and Lynwood. Gertie eventually sold all of her property, except the house and shop where she lived until her death on October 4, 1991—she was 98 years old. She ran her antique shop until 1990. Gertie and Carl’s son died in 2010. (53)

In 2007, Perrinville resident and stained glass artist Edith Faste described the town as a home for the creative and unusual. (54) She recalled a Mrs. Campbell, known as the “Goat Lady” because of the animals she kept. Campbell didn’t own a form of transportation so she would stand in the middle of the street to stop traffic until someone offered her a ride. Another notable resident was Mr. Prill, who ran for President of the United States as part of the Greenback Party. Upon losing the election, he opened the “Save-You-Time” grocery store. In another incident when a bear broke into the local Marlin Candy Company to eat candy apples, it was caught and skinned by the owners—the Ted Olson family. Many of Perrinville’s residents were well known artists or art collectors, such as Mr. Girkey whose collection of Eskimo art is now housed in the Burke Museum. (55)

In 2010, Jeannie Gertrude ‘Gertie’ Perrin was profiled by the Snohomish County Women’s Legacy Project.

(38) Gaeng, Betty Lou, “Jennie Gertrude “Gertie” Perrin. The Women’s Legacy Project of Snohomish Country, 2010
(39) Ibid
(40) Ibid
(41) Corrections Department, Reformatory, Admissions Registers, 1908-1923, Office of the Secretary of State, Washington State Archives, Digital Archives, http://digitalarchives.wa.gov
(42) “Nabs Ex-Sleuth in Robbery Act,” Spokesman-Review. Thursday, January 5, 1928. pg. 6
(43) Gaeng, Betty Lou, “Jennie Gertrude “Gertie” Perrin. The Women’s Legacy Project of Snohomish Country, 2010
(44) Ibid
(45) “Where in the World is Perrinville: Interview with Edith Faste.” November 5, 2007
(46) Ibid
(47) Gaeng, Betty Lou, “Jennie Gertrude “Gertie” Perrin. The Women’s Legacy Project of Snohomish Country, 2010
(48) Gertie, Perrin, Notes. 1988
(49) Lynch, Frank, “The Antique Shop on Snake Trail Road.” The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, March 7, 1956
(50) Ibid
(51) Gaeng, Betty Lou, “Jennie Gertrude ‘Gertie’ Perrin. The Women’s Legacy Project of Snohomish Country, 2010
(52) Nelson, Robert T., “Perrinville Huh?” The Seattle Times, November 19, 1987
(53) Gaeng, Betty Lou, “Jennie Gertrude “Gertie” Perrin. The Women’s Legacy Project of Snohomish Country, 2010
(54) “Where in the World is Perrinville: Interview with Edith Faste.” November 5, 2007
(55) Ibid

  • Perrinville, (Seattle P-I, circa 1987)

    Perrinville, (Seattle P-I, circa 1987)

  • Perrin Wins Float Prize, (Unknown source and date)

    Perrin Wins Float Prize, (Unknown source and date)

  • Gertrude Perrin, (Seattle P-I, 1956)

    Gertrude Perrin, (Seattle P-I, 1956)

  • Gertrude Perrin (Michael O’Leary, 1981?)

    Gertrude Perrin (Michael O’Leary, 1981?)

  • Carl Perrin (Helen Reynolds, 1945)

    Carl Perrin (Helen Reynolds, 1945)

  • Carl Perrin (Washington State Reformatory, 1928)

    Carl Perrin (Washington State Reformatory, 1928)

  • Perrinville Corner (Hoogkamer, 2013)

    Perrinville Corner (Hoogkamer, 2013)

  • Perrinville Corner (Hoogkamer, 2013)

    Perrinville Corner (Hoogkamer, 2013)

  • Gertie’s former house and store (Hoogkamer, 2013)

    Gertie’s former house and store (Hoogkamer, 2013)

  • Gertie’s former car wash (Hoogkamer, 2013)

    Gertie’s former car wash (Hoogkamer, 2013)