> It’s hard to see detail on a photo this size, but even so, changes on waterfront property owned by the Port of Anacortes are obvious. I got some help from Harbormaster Dale Fowler, who scanned this late 80’s photo and recalled the Anacortes of yesteryear. In this photo taken from Cap Sante, you’ll note there is no Harbormaster’s Building to the right. The brown building near the center was home to the Anacortes Yacht Club, now located near the North Basin of Cap Sante Boat Haven. Also gone are the Captain’s Place restaurant (under construction here) and Cap Sante Marine (since re-located to south end of town). Shoreline rip-rap has been replaced with a beautiful walkway (esplanade) and amenities. Gone entirely are the boathouses, most of which suffered major damage in a December 1990 wind storm. In fact, all of the slips in this photograph have been replaced by modern, cement slips. The marina fuel dock has been moved nearer to the harbor entrance, and there is a new boat lift. The large white building on Commercial Avenue in this photo was then Prairie Market, now Sebo’s hardware. On the site of today’s Safeway gas station was Mendum’s service station. In back of that was Anacortes Hometown Hardware, owned by Joe Culley and a partner. Kentucky Fried Chicken was located on the corner of 12th and Commercial. The city’s fire and police departments operated out of the 12th Street building now called the Department of Safety. Still running along the route of today’s Tommy Thompson Trail was the Burlington Northern Railroad, bringing cargo into and out of the Port and cannery areas. This city’s undeveloped waterfront continues to be a subject of much discussion, especially in political circles. Imagine several miles of waterfront improvements similar to those made at the Cap Sante Boat Haven. The Port, now in the process of completing an environmental cleanup near Seafarers’ Memorial Park, continues to proceed with improvements. Stay tuned for the rest of the story…
A fourth generation Skagit County native who was moved kicking and screaming from this island community in 1960. I finally reclaimed an Anacortes address in 1980, and I have been in constant celebration of my return since that time. Many of us who call Anacortes home love Fidalgo Island for its natural assets: among them are rugged beaches, pristine lakes, thousands of acres of forestland and some awesome views of the Skagit Valley and surrounding islands. Another element of my love affair with this community is its people, both natives and immigrants. They will “star” in many of my journal entries.
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