Posted by: wadahp | April 13, 2010

CELEBRATING OUR PAST: Anacortes Preservation Board Sponsors Historical Signage


A ceremony was held on April 6 outside Anacortes High School’s Brodniak Hall to mark the installation of a series of interpretive historical panels, located in key spots around town, that depict scenes from Anacortes’s past.  This new project, which seeks to raise awareness of our City’s rich history and cultural heritage, is being spearheaded by the Anacortes Preservation Board in partnership with the Anacortes Museum and Maritime Center.

Using historic photos from the Wallie Funk collection and other resources from the Museum’s archives, the panels depict old Anacortes and provide residents and visitors alike with information about our community’s past.

Funding for the panels comes from Apex Warehouse demolition mitigation money set aside by Skagit County under the auspices of the Washington State Department of Archeology and Historic Preservation.  The Preservation Board was given the responsibility for developing a project that raised public interest in preservation.

Initially, five panels will be installed by the Parks Department and the Anacortes School District.  One will be placed at the top of Cap Sante, showing a panoramic view of the wood-processing industries that encircled Fidalgo Bay 100 years ago.  Another will go by The Depot with a circa 1915 photo that features an old steam locomotive pulling into the station.  The Depot is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and in the Anacortes Register.  A third was installed along the Tommy Thompson Trail with photos of several now-demolished mills and factories.  A fourth will go along the newly built portion of the Guemes Trail depicting Ship Harbor canneries from about 1900.  A fifth panel of the old Columbian School, a magnificent example of Romanesque Revival architecture before it was demolished in 1965, was installed outside Brodniak Hall near the bell that once hung in the Columbian School bell tower.

Special thanks go to Gary Robinson of the City’s Parks and Recreation Department, School Superintendent Chris Borgen and School Board President Kris Lytton for all their assistance in locating and installing the panels.  Preservation Board member Jim Young handled the project specifications and bidding and Adjunct Board member Jean Oakley designed the panels.  Museum Director Steve Oakley coordinated among the various City entities and Museum staff members Evelyn Adams and Terry Slotemaker assisted with research.



  1. Nice job Anacortes! Can’t wait to see them.

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