Anacortes in Washington

Wednesday, 15 June 2022 - 11:00 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
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Rockfish Grill and Anacortes Brewery © flickr.com - brewbooks/cc-by-sa-2.0

Rockfish Grill and Anacortes Brewery © flickr.com – brewbooks/cc-by-sa-2.0

Anacortes is a city in Skagit County, Washington, United States. The name “Anacortes” is an adaptation of the name of Anne Curtis Bowman, who was the wife of early Fidalgo Island settler Amos Bowman. Anacortes’ population was 15,778 at the time of the 2010 census. It is one of two principal cities of and included in the Mount Vernon-Anacortes Metropolitan Statistical Area. Anacortes is known for the Washington State Ferries dock and terminal serving Lopez Island, Shaw Island, Orcas Island, and San Juan Island, as well as Victoria, British Columbia (via Sidney, British Columbia), on Vancouver Island. There is also a Skagit County-operated ferry that serves Guemes Island, a residential island located across Guemes Channel, north of Anacortes.

Anacortes is within the historical territory of the Samish people. The Samish Indian Nation’s headquarters are in Anacortes. Lands that the Samish Nation owns within the city limits include its administrative campuses on Commercial Avenue and on Highway 20 in the Summit Park area; Fidalgo Bay Resort, site of landings during the annual Canoe Journey; the waterfront Cannery Building adjacent to Seafarers Memorial Park; the Samish Longhouse preschool and child care center; a proposed commercial development site on Highway 20 and Thompson Road; a two-acre housing development site on 34th Street; and a future cultural center site on 78 acres of trust land near Campbell Lake. Anacortes was officially incorporated on May 19, 1891. In 1877, railroad surveyor and town founder Amos Bowman moved his family to the northern tip of Fidalgo Island. Bowman began promoting the area as an obvious terminus for the Northern Pacific Railway as it was built through the north Cascades to the Pacific. Bowman established the town’s first newspaper, The Northwest Enterprise, to promote his vision of the New York of the West. Seattle and Northern Company began building a rail line from the town in 1888. Real estate and development boomed from 1888 to 1890 as a result of the railroad rumors, and the Oregon Improvement Company posted $15 million in bonds to develop the town. In 1891, the real estate bubble burst. Speculators lost money and the Oregon Improvement Company could no longer afford to complete tracks over the Cascades. The town failed to become the railroad terminus Bowman had envisioned. After the bust, the town became prominent for its fishing tradition, thriving canning industry, and timber mills.

Flounder Bay in Anacortes © panoramio.com - Chanilim714/cc-by-sa-2.0 Historic Wilson Hotel © Joe Mabel/cc-by-sa-3.0 © kallerna/cc-by-sa-3.0 Majestic Inn © Joe Mabel/cc-by-sa-3.0 Rockfish Grill and Anacortes Brewery © flickr.com - brewbooks/cc-by-sa-2.0 Anacortes Harbor from Altair-Americus Memorial Park © Joe Mabel/cc-by-sa-3.0 © Jmabel/cc-by-sa-3.0 © Jmabel/cc-by-sa-3.0 Cape Sate Park © Walter Siegmund/cc-by-2.5
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Anacortes Harbor from Altair-Americus Memorial Park © Joe Mabel/cc-by-sa-3.0
Anacortes is on Fidalgo Island. Rosario Strait and the San Juan Islands are to the West while to the South, Deception Pass separates Fidalgo and Whidbey Islands. To the East, the Swinomish Channel separates Fidalgo Island from the mainland. The weather is milder than other areas of the Pacific Northwest, because it lies within the Olympic Mountain rain shadow. Fidalgo Island gets 21 inches of rain per year, only half as much as Seattle. First known as Ship Harbor, Anacortes was established with a name and a post office in 1879 in the vain hope that it would be selected as the western terminus of the transcontinental railroad. The town was officially incorporated in 1891 shortly after the railroad bust, and became a lumber and fishing center. In the 1950s, oil companies built big refineries near Anacortes. Two of the five refineries operating in Washington are located near the town. One is owned and operated by Marathon Petroleum (opened in 1955, it was originally built and owned by Shell Oil and later operated by Andeavor [formerly Tesoro]), operating as the Marathon Anacortes Refinery, the other was owned and operated by Shell Puget Sound Refinery Company (opening in 1957, and originally built and owned by Texaco). However, HollyFrontier has now bought the refinery. Refining remains the area’s largest industry, but the economic base now includes yacht construction/shipbuilding, tourism.

Anacortes is a popular destination for boaters and those traveling on to the San Juan Islands. The city maintains a 220-acre (0.89 km²) city park on the northwestern end of Fidalgo Island named “Washington Park”. This park features camping, boat launching, and views of the San Juan Islands. The most prominent view is of Cypress Island. As a result of Anacortes’ proximity to the Strait of Juan de Fuca, the area provides opportunities for whale-watching. The waters off of Anacortes and Fidalgo Island are home to several varieties of marine-life, including three resident Orca pods. Anacortes Community Forest Lands, 2,800 acres (11 km²) with 50 miles (80 km) of mountain biking and hiking trails, are a rare amenity in a city the size of Anacortes. In adjacent Mount Erie Park, a number of rock climbing routes are popular on the cliffs of the south and west faces of Mount Erie. Mount Erie offers scenic vistas from its 1273-foot peak. Anacortes hosts many long-distance cyclists, as it is the western terminus of the Adventure Cycling Association‘s Northern Tier cross-country bicycle route, which ends in Bar Harbor, Maine. Anacortes is also home to The Business, a record store and concert venue voted Washington state‘s best record shop. Founded in 1978, the store is notable for its many musicians who have worked there, including Bret Lunsford, Phil Elverum and Karl Blau. The Business is located in the Alfred Olson Building which is part of the National Register of Historic Places.

Read more on Anacortes, Experience Anacortes, Wikivoyage Anacortes and Wikipedia Anacortes (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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