In 1898 the Esary brothers, with the assistance from Porter Garrison and Sons, established one of Camano's major logging companies in the area surrounding the Schoolhouse.They also collaborated as landowners and developers. From 1908 to 1910 the Camano Commercial Company operated a narrow-gauge logging railway that climbed the hill along the north side of nearby Chapman Creek. Between 1890 and 1910 local entrepreneurs touted "Camano" as a growing, vibrant "metropolis" with unlimited potential. Land sold for $20 an acre, and waterfront acres sold for $75.
In the early 1900’s, the Camano Land & Lumber Co. donated property in Camano City at the corner of Orchid Road and Chapman Road to independent School Dist. #18. In 1905-1906, the one room Camano City Schoolhouse was constructed on the southern portion of this property. Up through 1936, the Schoolhouse served to educate the community’s children. In 1936, Camano students started attending school in Stanwood. The Camano City Schoolhouse continued as an important part of community life and was used for many years as a community gathering place.
Maude Hayden, an Iowa farm girl, learned that the new Camano City Schoolhouse was looking for a teacher. With her new teacher certificate in hand, she boarded the transcontinental train to Seattle. She was awed by views of the Olympic Mountains and the vast expanses of water. Records show that $40 was her monthly annual salary, for which she taught all subjects to all grades.
Fire and Rescue services on Camano formally began in 1945 and the Schoolhouse property ownership was transferred to the Camano City Fire District No. 1 for $200. In 1946, a two-bay Fire Hall was built to provide a base for volunteer fire fighting coverage. (The Fire Hall building was enlarged to the present four-bay building in 1980.)
The Schoolhouse became the Community Hall, managed by the “Sparklers”, the Fire Department Women’s Auxiliary. The “Sparklers” provided community support, and even for a time provided actual volunteer fire fighter coverage. Minutes from their meetings, held mostly at the Camano City Schoolhouse, reveal a detailed record of the meetings, card parties, fund raisers, etc. held to raise funds for the volunteer fire fighters, and the equipment they needed. After 1977, the “Sparklers” gradually became inactive and use of the Schoolhouse for community events declined.