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February 8, 2023
All Day
Anacortes, WA 98221
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Call for 200 axemen (1890)

Wednesday, February 8, 2023

It’s hard to imagine today but downtown Anacortes was once dense forestland. The storefronts were hemlocks, the restaurants pines, and there was no need for any roundabouts for the animal populated streets. This kind of living would not do for the first white settlers of Fidalgo. The moment the settlers made landing, the plowing of the forestlands began. Part of Anacortes’ initial boom was reliant on the timber industry. One of the largest clearing operations began on February 2 1890, when the local ANACORTES PROGRESS called for, “200 axemen to clear the east end of the city.” A month into the project, a NEW YORK SUN writer would observe, “…the town looks like a city just destroyed, rather than one just beginning to build.” Perhaps they were correct in this assertion, one city was being built up, but another had just crumbled.

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