The wooden stairs that ran from the bluff top to the bayfront were not technically in the North Waterfront, but they merit mention because of their importance to the area. No written record shows when the stairs were built, but there is little question that their main function was to give the employees of bayfront companies a way to get to and from work. Frank Platt, whose family once had a small grocery store at 1202 Grand Avenue, recalled in a 2008 interview the stairs that led from 12th Street just off Grand Avenue down to the water. “I think they were used mainly by Hulbert workers,” he said. “I know the steps were there by 1920, probably a lot earlier. When you got to the bottom, you crossed over to the mill on a big cedar log that floated in the water. We kids played around the mills and stairs all the time”
Other sets of stairs existed at 14th, 19th, and 21st streets, just west of Grand Avenue. In addition, paths, like an early one at 10th Street, led down to the water. The stairs at 14th and 19th each had over 100 steps. In the 1999 booklet Collected Memories: Recollection of Alvin B. Pettersen, there is a short 1966 article by Pettersen, and an old photo with people sitting on one of the sets of stairs. Pettersen remembered the 19th Street set as being the longest, with more than 100 steps. Myrtle Lowthian recalled that as a girl she used to go down and back up 101 steps taking lunch to her mill executive father, but she didn’t say which set she used. Roland Hublou, retied Everett dentist and commercial fisherman, lived at 1402 Grand Avenue as a youngster. In a 2008 interview, he still could picture the 14th Street stairs. “There were 144 steps. My brother used to run up and down them to get in shape for track when he was in high school.” To the casual viewer, there was no trace of the stairs as of 2010. It is possible remains are hidden in the brush along the bank, but searching for them would be quite an effort.