Sandy/Browns Point in 1922

Waterfront community as seen from a dock, 1922, Historic Photo

The Sandy Point community as viewed from the dock, May 6, 1922.

Before it was called Sandy Point, it was called Brown’s Point, but even before that, this pleasant location was the site of a permanent Snohomish village called TSEHT-skluhks (‘ragged nose’).

The village had a potlatch house and clam beds which drew visitors from as far away as the Samish. Captain George Vancouver noted in his journals that Master Joseph Whidbey on his visit in 1792 saw two hundred people at this location.

in 1859 a 19-year-old Portuguese-born sailor named Joseph Brown jumped ship and settled among the tribe in the village. Six years later he married 14-year-old Mary Shelton (likely a relative of Chief William Shelton who was born there in 1869).

Joseph built an impressive house up on the bluff, and he and Mary became the parents of 14 children. He hung a lantern out at night for passing ships, and the point became known as “Brown’s Point.”

At first, school was held in their home in 1889, but the next year a school was built at Brown’s Point, and another school 10 years later on Decker Street which then was a skid road in the woods. This was followed by yet another structure in 1901 on land donated by the Browns.

Mabel Anthes, daughter of Langley founder Jacob Anthes recalled attending school with five of the Brown children. School was in session for only three months of the year.

In 1915 the Browns sold much of their acreage at Brown’s Point to 16 developers from Everett who formed the Sandy Point Recreation Company in 1916. They developed it into a summer colony and changed the name to "Sandy Point." Joseph died in 1921, and Mary died in 1928. The area has remained a residential community since then: the houses have gotten a little bit larger, but the dock is in pretty much the same place!

To view more photos from our past, visit our online historic photo archive.