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Rail meets steamship on the top of the Northwest Enterprise
Anacortes’ earliest newspaper - the Northwest Enterprise, which started in 1882 - can now be viewed online thanks to the Library of Congress’ Chronicling America project. This is a great tool for historical and genealogical research, especially because of the keyword search function. While useful to researchers, it is also very entertaining for the casual history buff.
Anacortes whale watching in 1884

Much of the news is drawn from national sources, but the local briefs paint a picture of the days when the population of Anacortes numbered in the dozens, and old growth forests still dominated Old Town.

Water tank for steamer ships built in 1885 


From History of Skagit and Snohomish Counties, Washington, 1906


1882       March 25, 1882 the first number of the Northwest Enterprise is issued by publishers Alf. D. Bowen and F.M. Walsh


1883       Northwest Enterprise publishers transferred business to their chief patron, Amos Bowman


1889       On August 3, 1889 C.F. Mitchell published and edited the first edition of the Anacortes Progress


                Washington Farmer founded by Lesh R. Freeman in 1889 at Gibraltor


1890       First edition of the Anacortes American was printed on May 15, 1890. Douglas Allmond and F.H. Boynton arrived in April of 1890 with two (railroad) cars and set up at 10th Street & M Avenue.


1892       Allmond took over as sole publisher after August 12, 1892, when Boynton withdrew


                Anacortes Courier, by J.B. Fithian, successor to the Progress in 1892


1890s     Anacortes News published by C.F. Mitchell during the middle ‘90s


1895       Skagit County Churchwork by H.L. Badger about 1895


1902       Frederick Ornes succeeded Allmond


                Anacortesan surviving but a few months in 1902


1903       Anacortes Sentinel established September 9, 1903 “as a Republican paper, by A.G. Morse.” Morse sold to Thomas & Davis who transferred it to Barnett on Dec. 1, 1904, who merged it into his American


1904       Frank Barnett acquired the Anacortes American on January 1, 1904


1905       Anacortes American “absorbed the Sentinel.”