December 7th, 2011

City father Amos Bowman

I discovered this undated photo of Amos Bowman in an old collection of transparencies. I shot the photo of a photo (published in a history of Skagit and Snohomish counties) while working at the Skagit Argus in downtown Mount Vernon. “An Illustrated History of Skagit and Snohomish Counties” was a compilation of work by a number of writers; published by Interstate Publishing Company in 1908. It was one of the treasures left behind by publisher Steve Mergler, who sold the Mount Vernon Argus to Ed Watson and George Dewey. The paper, renamed in the early 80s, is now owned by the Skagit Valley Publishing Company.

According to writer John Conrad of the Puget Sound Mail newspaper published on August 4, 1966, Amos Bowman came to Fidalgo Island in 1875. “Mr. Bowman bought 168 acres and at once started building a town. He built a wharf and a store, established a post office, newspaper and was instrumental in having, inside and outside, steamboat routes established from Port Townsend via Anacortes and the islands to Whatcom.” (Whew, quite a sentence!) The city he founded is named after his wife, Anne Curtis Bowman.

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About Photographer Steve Berentson

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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