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PUD history

Snohomish County Public Utility District No. 1, or the “PUD,” was created on November 3, 1936, by a majority vote of the people, for the purpose of providing publicly owned electric and water utility service to the people of Snohomish County and Camano Island. The vote to create the PUD was part of the public power movement in the Pacific Northwest.

In the early years, the PUD was primarily in the water distribution business, beginning operations on January 17, 1946. The Lake Stevens Water System was the first project to be organized and built. Other projects followed, like the Beverly Park Water System and Sunnyside Water System.

On September 1, 1949, the PUD became primarily an electric utility with the purchase of the electrical distribution system to serve all of Snohomish County and Camano Island from Puget Sound Power & Light Company. The purchase price was $16 million, raised through the sale of $19.5 million in electric revenue bonds.

In the early 1980s, the PUD built its own Henry M. Jackson Hydroelectric Project (a hydroelectric generating facility located on the Sultan River). In 2008, the utility acquired the Woods Creek Hydroelectric Project and brought the Youngs Creek Hydroelectric Project online in 2011. Both are located in the Sultan area. In 2018, the PUD brought both the Hancock Creek and Calligan Creek hydropower projects online, which are located near North Bend.

Learn more about public power roots in Washington state! >

Historical photos

PUD's first headquarters
Our first headquarters building at Colby Avenue and Pacific Avenue. We moved into our current headquarters building on California Street in the late 1950s.
Electric Building Headquarters
The Electric Building, our present headquarters facility, before California Street was paved (circa late 1950s).
Early PUD line crew
An early line crew
PUD Billboard
A PUD billboard sits above the intersection of Colby Avenue and Hewitt Avenue (early 1950s).
Early PUD building sign
The PUD sign that stood along Hewitt Avenue near our Electric Building headquarters served as a local Everett landmark for many years.
Line crew on poles
Line crew on poles… before the days of hard hats.
Early line truck
An early line truck
PUD Booth at Evergreen State Fair
The PUD display at the 1956 Evergreen State Fair in Monroe.
Edmonds Office
One of the original PUD local offices was located in downtown Edmonds (the nearby Hall’s Lake office opened in 1957). The jeep in this photo was used by the meter reader.
Line installation
Installing a 55,000-volt line along Norton Avenue for the Weyerhaeuser Substation (December 1957).
Construction of morning glory spillway
Construction of morning glory spillway at Jackson Hydro Project.