EXPLORE: Concrete, WA
We couldn’t resist checking out a town that is half ghost town and half not. What exactly do I mean by that? The town is still very much alive with both residents and those just driving through. Its most notable features though, those have to be the abandoned structures found throughout the city. I’m getting ahead of myself though. The town of Concrete is located about an hour and a half from Everett and thirty minutes from Darrington. We opted not to take I-5 together there, continuing on somewhat scenic Highway 9 from Arlington through to Sedro Woolley instead. What can I say, I’m a backroads kind of gal.
Once you reach the city you will find what is perhaps the best welcome sign of any city in Snohomish County or anywhere else. It is painted on the remnants of a concrete factory. The above picture honestly doesn’t do the structure justice, it is massive, standing as tall as buildings found in Downtown Everett.
The abandoned factory is one of two located in the city (one outside of it that is referred to as The Devils Tower, see our photo spread of it HERE). Finding the other will not be hard though as the town proudly has signs directing you to all of its historic sites. As you make your way in between the two, don’t miss out on all the other sites to see. Behind the building that houses the town hall and library, you will find a historic train passenger car from when the Skagit County Railroad which once came through the city. There is supposedly an engine somewhere as well, but we did not see it on our trip.
Moving on amongst the old churches, homes, abandoned school and other buildings, you will come to the city’s historic downtown. If you can ignore the cars parked along it, you will feel almost as if you have transported back in time. The best part of it, has to be the Concrete Theater which was built in 1923 and is still in operation today. I only wish we had time to go in and watch a movie so that we could see the interior.
Alas we didn’t, instead we made our way across the historic Henry Thompson Bridge which was built from 1916-1918, At the time, it was the longest single span cement bridge in the world, yep the entire world. That distinction landed it on the National Historic Register. Take some time to admire it, particularly the light posts then continue back towards the highway where you will find the second concrete factory. We could have spent all day taking in and photographing the old structures (as well as finding others, which there apparently are), but there was other important business to attend to. We had to sample the local food. Sometimes my job can be so hard. I’m not sure how sarcastic you should take that as considering it actually is rather, but it has perks.
Our stops of choice included Cascade Burgers, the local drive-in (as if we would choose anywhere else). They knew the way to my heart with their bacon and cheese covered fries. Could go for some of those right now. We also made a stop at 5b’s Bakery which is a quaint little cafe featuring delicious baked goodies and locally made bread.With full bellies we completed our loop, pressing on to Darrington, then back to Arlington and home. With so much still left to see and do, I am sure we will be back before the summer is out.