Museum News

New things are happening every day at the museum. Here you can find news related to events, projects and newly discovered information.

2020 Speakers at the Anacortes Public Library

The Anacortes Museum will host a series of presentations in 2020 on the multicultural history of early Anacortes and the Pacific Northwest. The authors and presenters will explore diverse subjects, relating to both opportunities and barriers regionally, and focusing on particular immigrant communities in Washington State as well as the Coast Salish people who have been here since Time Immemorial.  

Croatian Fishing Families of Anacortes with Bret Lunsford 

Wednesday, January 22, 2020 – Anacortes Public Library - 7 p.mCroatian Fishing Families

Anacortes has been influenced by immigrants from many places; those from the Dalmatian Coast of what is now Croatia began arriving around the 1880s. This presentation will follow the patterns of Croatian immigration to Anacortes, navigate the fishing industry as it evolved, and visit the neighborhoods of historic Anacortes to learn about small-town life here in a bygone era. 

Japanese American Exclusion during WWII with Clarence Moriwaki

Wednesday, February 26, 2020 – Anacortes Public Library - 7 p.m. 

In MarchExclusion Act of 1942, 227 Japanese Americans were forcibly removed from their homes on Bainbridge Island by the U.S. Army. Starting with this small community, a national strategy began, with more than 120,000 Japanese American men, women, and children forcibly removed and incarcerated during World War II. Clarence Moriwaki shares the story of Bainbridge Island to provide a human, historical account of this national tragedy, and to ask the question, “Are there parallels to what’s happening in America now?” 

Chinese in the Early Northwest with Chuimei Ho & Bennet Bronson 

Wednesday, March 25, 2020 – Anacortes Public Library - 7 p.m.Chineseinearlyamerica2

The presenters have authored the books, “Three Chinese Temples,” and “Coming Home in Gold Brocade: Chinese in Early Northwest America,” putting Anacortes Chinese in a wider context. They also manage a research website ( to encourage collaboration in exploring the history of Chinese immigration in the Pacific Northwest, from the first known arrival in 1788. 

Interwoven Lives: Indigenous Mothers of Salish Coast Communities presentation by Candace Wellman 

Wednesday, April 22, 2020 – Anacortes Public Library - 7 p.m. 

InterwovenLives_2In this companion work to “Peace Weavers,” her previous book on Puget Sound’s crosscultural marriages, award-winning author Candace Wellman depicts the lives of four additional intermarried indigenous women who influenced mid-1800s settlement in the Bellingham Bay area. She describes each wife’s native culture, details ancestral history and traits for both spouses, and traces descendants’ destinies, highlighting the families’ contributions to new communities.

Marine Tech students refinish more W.T. Preston wooden doorsMarine tech Margeson Kinney Preston door story

January 3rd, 2020

Year by year, local students at the Northwest Career & Technical Academy are helping to preserve the W.T. Preston, door by door. Over the past few years, students working with Wes Fridell, Marine Services Instructor at the NCTA, have collaborated with Dave Margeson, Maritime Curator at the Anacortes Museum, to refinish the custom-made doors on the snagboat. The doors are unhinged from the boat, and the work is done at the Academy.

This project began as an outgrowth of student visits to the W.T. Preston, a National Historic Landmark sternwheeler located near Cap Sante Marina. “When our class took the tour, Dave was interested in having some re-finish work done on some of the Preston's exterior doors,” Fridell stated. “We both felt that it just might be right up the students' alley.”

The W.T. Preston requires frequent maintenance of all kinds, and is closed yearly from November through March for preservation work. Other projects on the list this season are replacement of stairs and preparation for a Heritage Capital Projects grant application to help fund major projects.

Photo Caption: Dave Margeson and Nick Kinney, a senior at Burlington Edison High School, pose next to the wheelhouse door refinished last year by students at the Northwest Career and Technical Academy. Kinney will be assisting with work on another door in 2020.

Farewell to Kate

January 2nd, 2020P1160093

The Anacortes Museum team is saying goodbye to our Education and Media Curator Kate Clark, a talented artist who is leaving the museum to pursue two significant art commissions. Congratulations, Kate!

She has been an innovator, bringing in new people, projects and ideas, and instrumental in expanding the museum's social media presence. It has been a pleasure to work with Kate for the past almost-two years. We look forward to seeing the creative work she will accomplish in her next endeavors.