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"Anacortes/ˌænəˈkɔːrtəs/ is a city in Skagit County, Washington, United States. The name "Anacortes" is a consolidation of the name Anna Curtis, who was the wife of early Fidalgo Island settler Amos Bowman. Anacortes' population was 15,778 at the time of the 2010 census. It is one of two principal cities of and included in the Mount Vernon-Anacortes Metropolitan Statistical Area." Ref. Wikipedia
"Anacortes is known for the Washington State Ferries dock and terminal serving Lopez Island, Shaw Island, Orcas Island, and San Juan Island, as well as Victoria, British Columbia (via Sidney, British Columbia) on Vancouver Island. There is also a Skagit County-operated ferry that serves Guemes Island, a residential island located across Guemes Channel, north of Anacortes."
Anacortes was officially incorporated on May 19, 1891.
In 1877, railroad surveyor and town founder Amos Bowman moved his family to the northern tip of Fidalgo Island. Bowman began promoting the area as an obvious terminus for the Northern Pacific Railroad as it was built through the north Cascades to the Pacific. Bowman established the town's first newspaper, The Northwest Enterprise, to promote his vision of the New York of the West.
Seattle and Northern Company began building a rail line from the town in 1888. Real estate and development boomed from 1888 to 1890 as a result of the railroad rumors, and the Oregon Improvement Company posted $15 million in bonds to develop the town.
In 1891, the real estate bubble burst. Speculators lost money and the Oregon Improvement Company could no longer afford to complete tracks over the Cascades. The town failed to become the railroad terminus Bowman had envisioned.
After the bust, the town became prominent for its fishing tradition, thriving canning industry, and timber mills.
Anacortes is on Fidalgo Island. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 15.53 square miles (40.22 km2), of which 11.75 square miles (30.43 km2) is land and 3.78 square miles (9.79 km2) is water.
Anacortes is on Fidalgo Island. It is surrounded by the north Puget Sound and San Juan Islands on three sides, and by the Swinomish Channel and the flats of Skagit Valley to the east. The weather is milder than other areas of the Pacific Northwest, because it lies within the Olympic Mountainrain shadow. Fidalgo Island gets 21 inches of rain per year, only half as much as Seattle.
First known as Ship Harbor, Anacortes was established with a name and a post office in 1879 in the vain hope that it would be selected as the western terminus of the transcontinental railroad. The town was officially incorporated in 1891 shortly after the railroad bust, and became a lumber and fishing center. In the 1950s oil companies built big refineries near town. Two of the five refineries in Washington are located near the town. One is owned and operated by Tesoro (originally built and owned by Shell Oil), the other is owned and operated by Shell Puget Sound Refinery Company (originally built and owned by Texaco). Refining remains the area's largest industry, but the economic base now includes yacht construction/shipbuilding, tourism, and residential services for the nearby Whidbey Island Naval Air Station.