Anacortes Museum

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Check out a new article on the Spanish Influenza outbreak of 1918, by Museum Curator Elaine Walker

Public Places Close 1918“With schools and businesses closed, nurses exhausted and many people caring for sick loved ones at home, it feels to us like the COVID-19 pandemic is historically unprecedented. However, Anacortes citizens faced an almost identical situation 100 years ago when the Spanish Influenza swept the world.”

So begins an in-depth article, Spanish Influenza in Anacortes, by our Curator of Collections, Elaine Walker, who put her reporter’s hat back on to research and write about these stories from Anacortes history. She has also assembled the original stories, found in online Anacortes American’s, which can be read in the original historic pages or in this chronological compilation, Spanish Influenza articles AA 1918-1920.  READ MORE…

Anacortes Museum Closure Effective March 17

Anacortes Museum will close effective Tuesday March 17, 2020 with staff access only. Museum staff will be available by phone and email during normal business hours. Many museum resources are available on our website.

Here is a list of Anacortes Museum activities you can do from home or anywhere:

  • Our photo database has over 55,000 keyword searchable photographs, representing the artifacts in the Online Anacortes Museum Collection. You can browse random images or search for “salmon cannery” or “Anacortes veneer” and fine tune your results. Also, you can help us identify, add to and correct our photo descriptions by clicking the “send feedback” tab on website photographs.
  • The new Anacortes Museum Channel on YouTube has local historic films and new museum features.
  • Anacortes High School Rhododendron yearbooks are available to browse online.

 Visit our Research Page on the website. If you don’t find the answer you are looking for then send an email to

Chuimei Ho POSTPONEDPresentation Postponed: Chinese in Early Northwest

The Anacortes Museum event on Chinese in Early Northwest America will not occur on March 25, 2020 due to the Skagit County Public Health Emergency and Health Officer Recommendations that the community should consider postponing events and gatherings for large groups of people. When it is rescheduled, we will place it on our calendar and announce it publicly.



Museum Youtube Content

The Anacortes Museum offers many ways to study and immerse yourself in the history of Fidalgo and Guemes islands. From our exhibit panels to our massive online database of old photographs, the museum prides itself on not only being a time machine for our town, but being one that is able to interpret history for a modern audience. We’ve gotten a little more modern with the launch of an official Anacortes Museum Youtube Channel.

Rare historical footage and films, from as early as the 1950s, have been released from our archives and are up for public viewing. Marvel at the legendary Anacortes Seahawks basketball teams, learn about the extensive waterfront history of Anacortes told by those directly involved, witness the breathtaking destruction of the “Little Chicago” fires of 1957, and more!

The museum has also begun producing exclusive original content for the channel. Whether it is a documentary exploring the early days of the Scott Paper Pulp Mill or an interview and performance with local musician John Van Deusen on our 1866 pump organ, there are more documentaries being produced in-house to look forward to.

Be sure to check our social media frequently for updates from the channel, or feel free to subscribe at


Welcome to Organ Territory!

Recently we’ve started an exciting new project here at the Anacortes Museum. For years our antique 1866 Packard pump organ sat soundless in our exhibit. Its exquisite design fascinated visitors, but they were barred from its true purpose by a small piece of paper stating, “Please Do Not Touch.” Perhaps, we thought, it was time to take Anacortes’ oldest pump organ out on a spin.

Thus, Organ Territory was born and the organ finally has the chance to sing again!  In collaboration with local musicians, we are releasing intimate monthly organ recordings from inside the Carnegie Gallery. After performing, the musicians sit down with us for an interview with conversations exploring the history and community of Anacortes, and learn how these talented artists have sprung up from the fertile musical soil in Anacortes.

Our first recording was with indie rock/power pop/punk star John Van Deusen. Topics of discussion ranged from fatherhood to his love for city planning. The second episode featured alternative/folk artist Pearl Tottenham who spoke about what it was like to grow up in the Anacortes music scene. Both of these episodes feature the musicians playing unreleased music on our antique organ. You can find our first two episodes and all future episodes on the Anacortes Museum Youtube channel.


Anacortes Museum

Located in the historic Carnegie Library Building.


Tuesday through Saturday
10 AM- 4 PM 

1 PM- 4 PM

Anacortes Museum Carnegie in 2017

1305 8th Street, Anacortes WA 98221


Free Admission

W.T. Preston

Our National Landmark sternwheel steamboat. 

Open weekends April + May, Saturday 10:00-4:00, Sunday 11:00-4:00

Preston by Robert Geczi April 16, 2005

703 R Avenue, next to our Maritime Heritage Center

Tour Cost: $3-$5

Anacortes Maritime Heritage Center

Located on the waterfront of downtown Anacortes.

Open weekends April + May, Saturday 10:00-4:00, Sunday 11:00-4:00


Maritime Heritage Center

703 R Avenue, next to the Great Northern Depot and the W.T. Preston.


Free Admission  

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