Sandy Beach Corner, Lake Stevens


Intersection of Vernon Road, Lundeen Parkway, Callow Road, and Lake View Drive, Lake Stevens

Between 1943 and the mid-1950s, the Schmidt family owned and operated the Sandy Beach Grocery at Sandy Beach Corner. (134) Before WWII, the Schmidt family lived on Long Island, New York. Heinrich ‘Henry’ Schmidt worked as a cruise conductor for the Cunard Line. Born in the US but raised in Germany, Henry spoke six languages, but the family only spoke German at home. Henry’s grandfather, also named Heinrich, and his father, Friedrich, were gold miners. According to family lore, Heinrich hid his gold by sewing it into the lining of his coat, creating an armor that protected him from being shot as he traveled. When US-German relations began to break down, US Customs requested that the Schmidt family change their name to Smith. Instead, the Schmidts chose to become stateless by denouncing German Emperor Wilhelm II. (135)

While living in New York, Henry befriended the young Edward R. Murrow. (136) According to Henry’s daughter, Anna Schmidt Lucas, “[Henry] absolutely talked [Murrow] into being a broadcast journalist.” When WWII began, the Cunard ships were shut down and repurposed as hospitals. Out of work, Henry took a Greyhound bus to Stanwood to work for his brother’s laundromat. After six months, Henry called for his wife, Sophie, to bring his father and their two children, Anna and Fred. Sophie, who only spoke German, packed the car and drove the whole family to Washington. The whole budget for the 10-day trip was $100; the family spent nights in living rooms all across the country. Many of the Schmidts’ belongings were shipped, but they lost almost everything when the train carrying their possessions caught fire. When the family arrived in Everett, people were shocked that a woman had driven all the way from New York. (137)

Henry and Sophie had a third child, William, soon after moving to Washington. At this time, Henry was working at an Everett shipyard, but he would later be employed as a bookkeeper at the Scott Paper Company. In 1943, the Schmidts purchased and remodeled the Sandy Beach Grocery and gas station, built in 1922. While adults worked on renovating the store, Anna had to skip the fifth grade in order to care for her siblings. (138)

The gas station had two pumps, which the Schmidts had to renovate. Inside the store were shelves with toiletries and several varieties of soda. The store also had a meat counter with groceries and a backroom for storage. According to Anna, the family’s living quarters, in the same building as the store, were very small. The kitchen only had a small wood stove, a table, and a few old cabinets. The living room also had a small stove. The entire family slept in one long bedroom. Along one of the walls was a rack for keeping all of their clothes. (139)

Business boomed because the store was close to the popular Lundeen Park. Anna remembers pumping gas, changing oil, wiping windows, and checking tire pressure for customers. However, Anna, still in elementary school, also worked outside of the home and store to earn extra money to replace the piano she had to leave behind in New York. Her first job was sweeping her uncle’s laundromat for 30 cents, but she became displeased with that work when her uncle reduced her pay to 25 cents on occasion. Her next job was selling cigarettes, milkshakes, and newspapers at a convenience store. A self-described “slickeroo,” Anna was able to sell an unpopular brand of cigarettes by telling an unsuspecting customer that they were a hot item that would soon sell out. Additionally, she worked at the movie theater selling tickets and popcorn. Anna was paid in silver dollars and soon raised $300 for a new piano, which people would come to the Sandy Beach store to hear her play. “I did pretty well for being a third grader,” said Anna of her early working days. (140)

Anna often did heavy work at home, such as helping her brother jack up their house, since Henry wasn’t good with tools. However, Anna describes her mother as a “strong, strong woman” who was like a son to her own father. One day, Anna heard a policeman warn the family that a thief was on the loose. A few days later, she witnessed a man come into their store and demand that Sophie give him their money. Anna said her “heart stopped,” but her mother just said, “You want my money, I give you my money.” Sophie then bent down, pulled out a cleaver and nearly cut the man’s head off—she had stored the cleaver there for just that purpose. The man never tried to rob them again. (141)

The Schmidt family eventually purchased a bigger house across the street from the grocery, which they owned until about 1955. After high school, Anna attended the University of Washington where she majored in education and double minored in music and German. While she was teaching at Everett High School, Coach Jim Ennis, a local legend, recruited her brother, William, to play for him. In order to transfer schools, William had to move in with Anna. In Ennis’ 42 years as a coach or athletic director he mentored the University of Miami’s Coach Dennis Erickson and Washington State’s Mike Price, as well as other noteworthy players and coaches. (142)

Henry Schmidt always told his children not to get a job where they had to “punch a clock.” Taking that advice to heart, William became a chiropractor and, in 1963, Anna purchased “Beefy’s” from Leon Gardner and transformed it into the Herfy’s fast food franchise. At its peak, Herfy’s had more than 10 locations in Washington and Alaska. Gardner retained the rights to the name and logo, which he sold to the Campbell Soup Company for $2.8 million. (143) While running the company, Anna raised four children but she never liked “diapers or house work or any of that stuff.” (144) However, she said she had to balance being both a business owner and a mother because that was what was expected. She turned her restaurants into drive- throughs so that she wouldn’t have to leave her kids in the car while she checked on her staff. (145) Her brother, Fred, was the company’s general manager. (146) The Herfy burger sold for 19 cents, which was a suspiciously low price. Anna told The Everett Herald that, at first, customers thought it was horse meat, but the price was part of her plan to encourage high volume sales. (147) Anna owned and operated the franchise until 2000, when she sold it to the Campbell Soup Company. (148) The family retains the rights to the Herfy name in Snohomish County. (149) Loyal customers still remember the Herfy’s brand.

Anna married William Lucas Sr., they have four children: Linda, William, Mary, and Michael. Linda is the former president of the Snohomish County Museum and Historical Society; William is an entrepreneur/inventor; and Michael owns the famous Seattle restaurants Slim’s Last Chance and the Pig Iron Bar-B-Q.

(134) Hoogkamer, Lauren Perez, Interview with Anna Schmidt Lucas and Linda Lucas. October 20, 2013
(135) Ibid
(136) Ibid
(137) Ibid
(138) Ibid
(139) Ibid
(140) Ibid
(141) Ibid
(142) Christilaw, Steve, “Legendary Everett Coach Dies—Ennis Inspired Many, Friends Say.” Seattle Times, August 10,1990
(143) Erickson, Nancy, “From Burgers, Shakes, Sweet Smell of Success.” The Everett Herald, March 15, 1975. pg. 1C
(144) Hoogkamer, Lauren Perez, Interview with Anna Schmidt Lucas and Linda Lucas. October 20, 2013
(145) Ibid
(146) Erickson, Nancy, “From Burgers, Shakes, Sweet Smell of Success.” The Everett Herald, March 15, 1975. pg. 1C
(147) Benbow, Mike, “Teen Hangout Hang it Up.” The Everett Herald, unknown date
(148) Hoogkamer, Lauren Perez, Interview with Anna Schmidt Lucas and Linda Lucas. October 20, 2013
(149) Benbow, Mike, “Teen Hangout Hang it Up.” The Everett Herald, unknown date

  • 10425 Vernon Road (Hoogkamer, 2013)

    10425 Vernon Road (Hoogkamer, 2013)

  • Sandy Beach Grocery (Linda Lucas, 1950s)

    Sandy Beach Grocery (Linda Lucas, 1950s)

  • LEFT: Herfy’s #1 on Broadway, Everett (Linda Lucas), RIGHT: Anna Lucas (The Everett Herald, 1975)

    LEFT: Herfy’s #1 on Broadway, Everett (Linda Lucas), RIGHT: Anna Lucas (The Everett Herald, 1975)