Yost and His Lumber Mill: A Seminal Piece of the History of Edmonds

The Yost Lumber Mill occupied the space at the foot of Dayton Street in the heyday of Edmonds' industrial years. Today, the site is home to a number of local businesses, including Arnies, the Waterfront Cafe and Just Frogs & Friends Amphibian Center.

On a rainy day in 1890, Allen M. Yost, his wife Amanda and their eight children stepped off the steamer at the Edmonds wharf. Although he had but $9 in his pocket, Yost was determined to build a future for himself and his young family in the newly incorporated city of Edmonds.

And build he did. The first half of the 20th century saw the Yost family involved in an array of enterprises including , water and , , and . Looking back now, it can be safely said that no single family has had a greater impact on the town.

But on that cold morning in 1890, all this was in the future.

A skilled carpenter, Yost had come to the right place. Edmonds was booming in the last decade of the 19th century. and others were of marketable timber,, workers and families were flocking in and the population was mushrooming. Rumors of the led to wild land speculation. Fortunes were being won and lost.

For Yost, this meant more carpentry work than he could handle.

By 1894, he was prospering. He bought into the Currie Lumber Mill and by the end of the year increased his holdings and became the principal owner. The next year he moved the mill to the Edmonds waterfront at the foot of Dayton Street. Renamed the A. M. Yost and Sons Mill, it produced shingles and lumber and became a fixture of Edmonds' industrial waterfront.

With much of the bowl area already logged off, Yost moved to secure a dependable supply of timber for his mill. He purchased 500 acres of prime forest south of Edmonds. Several years later, after removing the marketable timber, he sold the land to Richard Whitcomb, who developed it as the Woodway residential area.

As easily accessible timber became more scarce, Yost transitioned the business away from production, concentrating instead on sales of lumber and building materials. In the early 1930s the original wooden mill was replaced with a two-story reinforced concrete building to house this business, the Yost Lumber Yard.

The building persisted into the mid 1970s, when it was demolished to make way for The Landing, a restaurant, retail and office complex that stands today.


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