Steve Bertrand’s latest book covers history of neighboring Everett

‘Modern Everett’ set for release soon
By Brandon Gustafson | May 08, 2019
Courtesy of: Steve Bertrand Steve Bertrand's latest book, “Modern Everett.”

Mukilteo resident Steve Bertrand is back at it again.

Bertrand, well-known in the area for his poetry and history books, as well as being a longtime track and field coach at Cascade High School, will have his latest book on history in the area –“Modern Everett” – released to the public soon. It’s his 26th published book.

He’s written books on Paine Field and Mukilteo in recent years.

“I wanted to write out of three areas I’ve lived and been influenced by – Mukilteo, Paine Field, and Everett,” Bertrand said.

Arcadia Publishing published Bertrand’s books on Mukilteo and Paine Field, but the company has fairly strict guidelines regarding size, he said.

“They have a specific formula. Really cookie cutter,” Bertrand said. “This topic, it just outgrew the format. It’s a lot larger – more pages – because I was getting over 300 stories in there.”

The book was a longtime project for Bertrand, who said it took roughly three years to complete.

Bertrand loves history, and hearing stories about the area he lives and loves.

“It’s been really interesting to just sit down with some of these people and hear their story,” he said. “I find it very inspiring how the connections between some of these families have carried on through the different generations.”

Everett has hit many milestones the last few years, such as the 125th anniversary of the city’s inception, the Port of Everett’s 100th anniversary, and Everett Community College’s 75th. He hopes his book will give people in the area a nice “walk down memory lane.”

The book’s chapters are broken down by decade.

Some topics covered are historical buildings such as the Rucker Mansion, the Butler-Jackson house on Grand Avenue, and the Carnegie Library.

“It’s really talking about how these buildings that make our community, but also how the people who occupy them make the community,” Bertrand said.

In  his book’s dedication, the author uses a Winston Churchill quote the Everett Historic Commission frequently uses: “We shape our buildings, and afterwards, our buildings shape us.”

Boeing’s choice of Everett to call home in the 1960s is also heavily featured. The famous aerospace company’s Boeing Everett Factory was built in 1967, and has tens of thousands of employees. Many live in the greater area, such as Mukilteo. The company’s location has also turned south Snohomish County into a hub for aerospace technology.

“(Boeing) could have gone anywhere else, but they came to us,” Bertrand said.

Bertrand also touches on when I-5 was constructed near Everett.

“It made the city much more accessible.”

Despite being a book on history, Bertrand dedicates space to recent events and their impacts going forward, such as commercial air service at Paine Field and the city’s current homeless situation.

“We’ve been trying to see (commercial air service) come to fruition since 1936,” he said.

What makes he book even more interesting is each story has a picture to accompany it.

Bertrand said he worked closely with the Everett Historical Commission on research, and the group helped with some photos. To get some other photos, Bertrand received a memorable experience.

“I took an hour-long helicopter ride – it had no side door or anything – and I circled the city and took photos, including of Hat and Smith islands,” he said.

Now that this book is complete, it’s on to the next project.

“It’s always fun to see something you’ve worked on come to fruition,” he said. “But now it’s on to something new.”

Bertrand said he already has plans for future books.

“I want to do a Mukilteo ‘here and then’ book.”

Another idea is doing a second book on Everett, since there’s so much to cover.

“What I’ve learned is history doesn’t stand still. It’s always ongoing,” he said.

The Mukilteo author said he has two main reasons for writing about history.

“The first is to preserve experiences. The second is to make sense of them.”

Now that the book is finished and is soon to be distributed, Bertrand looks back on the experience happily.

“I’m really glad I did it,” he said. “I gained a new appreciation for the area. I like the idea of continuing to learn about the community. It’s important to give back.”

Bertrand said the book is currently “in transit,” and will come out in the very near future.

Classic Day Publishing is publishing “Modern Everett.”

This story will be updated at mukilteobeacon.com when an official release date is set.

 

 

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