March 4, 2023
The Bennison Block burns (1929)
Saturday, March 4, 2023
Today it’s recognizable as the location of the Heart of Anacortes and The Rockfish Grill. This Old Town block between 4th and 3rd streets has a deep history. Originally it was home to the Bennison Block, named after local real estate mogul, G.E. Bennison, who helped open many colorful early businesses on there. The Maryland Café, the Artistic Millinery Store and the McCallum and Taggert grocery store were some of the block’s early institutions. These early businesses were destroyed in 1929 when the block went up in flames. Some of the businesses moved across the street to the McCracken block, the location of Bennison’s real estate office. Interestingly enough though, Bennison did not just sell properties. He also sold insurance. Fire insurance.