Twilight town

Marian Thompson Arlin's childhood home is one of the few remaining reminders of the once-bustling community of Cedar Falls. Today, while not quite a ghost town, it is closed to the public and serves only a small population of Seattle Public Utilities and Seattle City Light workers.

But for two nights last week the manicured laws, fading sidewalks lit by distinctive five-globe street lamps - that once made the town glitter like a mountain jewel - and a handful of green-trimmed white homes were open for public twilight tours Sept. 7 and 8.

Arlin welcomed visitors into the parlor of her childhood home, now known simply as Marian's House.

"It really was a nice, little town," Arlin said. She was born Aug. 1, 1920, in Bellingham - the train ride from Cedar Falls was too long for a pregnant woman to risk waiting until labor - to Charles Thompson, one of the Seattle City Light power plant operators, and Lyda Branam Thompson, one of the town's two teachers. Arlin lived in Cedar Falls until leaving for college in 1937. Her family left in 1941.

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