Keeping history alive at Northern State Hospital


August 9, 2023

A view of preserved historic buildings on the Northern State Hospital campus

Adam M. Sowards

SPANISH REVIVAL - Most of the buildings on the Northern State Hospital campus feature Spanish Revival architecture. Some buildings, such as this one, have been maintained. Many other buildings have sustained vandalism and weather damage since the facility closed in 1973.

To keep history alive, it must be tended like a garden. On Saturday, July 29, community members gathered at Northern State Hospital in Sedro-Woolley to nurture memories of family members of patients and staff. About 300 people came to Public History Day at the grounds to share artifacts and stories and learn from experts about the hospital, which closed 50 years ago.

"Personal stories are the most powerful," said Sharon Howe, the research librarian at the Sedro-Woolley Museum, one of the sponsors of the event.

So Public History Day's purpose was to collect materials and memories for local...

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