Historic Talks

Talks given about Anacortes History by various speakers. 

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Win Anderson Speaks on Smuggler Kelly (2019)

On June 26th, 2019, Guemes Island Historian, Win Anderson came to give a talk about Lawrence Kelly, or as he's famously known, Smuggler Kelly. Anderson, a 40+ year resident of Guemes Island, was a founding member of the Guemes Island Historical Society and a noted journalist in the area. 


Anderson began his research when the Skagit Land Trust had reached out to him inquiring about Kelly after they had purchased Kelly's Point on Guemes Island. Learn about the grand adventure of the "King of Smugglers" and how he was able to maintain a successful smuggling career for over 47 years.

Bill Mitchell: The Misadventures of Wild Bill

From Tom Deach at the Guemes Island Historical Society: "I was hesitant when I first approached Bill about coming to Guemes Island to give a presentation for our Guemes Island Historical Society. After working up the courage, I went to visit him and meekly asked if he would be interested in such a project. My fears were allayed by his enthusiastic response: Sure when do you want me? Dreary winter was upon us so we settled on a spring date. The first video (May 14th, 2018) was the result of that request. Bill called it the “Misadventures of Wild Bill.” It chronicles the early days of the Mitchell family of Anacortes and Guemes Island with special emphasis on his Grandfather, Bill Bessner (the first “Wild Bill”) as well as other tales." 

-VIDEO FROM GUEMES ISLAND HISTORICAL SOCIETY-