June 30th, 2022

Shell announces Anacortes decision: July 1953


It was 69 years ago next month that Shell Oil Company announced it would build a $75 million refinery in Anacortes. The decision represented a critical shot in the arm to the local economy, winning enthusiastic response from community leaders and citizens. A second refinery built by Texaco, followed with March’s Point operations beginning in 1958. Today the former Shell refinery is owned by Marathon, and the former Texaco plant is owned by HollyFrontier. The refineries still remain top producers to the regional economy.

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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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c/o Steve Berentson
1102 King Street
Anacortes, WA 98221

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