Historic Walking Tour
Marine Supply & Hardware
202 Commercial Ave. Built 1900-1907
Note bracketed cornice and Italianate style. Building was not constructed at the same time, but unified and connected under ownership of E. Mike Demopoulos, whose marine hardware business opened here in 1920. Before then, the northern corner operated as the Anchorage Confectionery from 1907, while a restaurant and saloon operated in a separate building southward. [NR]
220 Commercial Ave. Built 1902 and 1907
Two-story brick structure built in phases by Alfred Olson, who operated the Skagit Saloon here. Original 1902 brick structure was one story and occupied only half of the current footprint (on south side) before growing up a floor and northward in 1907. See prominent bracketed cornice and rusticated stone belt course. [NR]
Fomo’s Grocery (later “Smokey’s” Grocery)
909 3rd St. Built around 1900
Virtually unaltered structure originally located at 310 Commercial, housing saloons and Semon Wine House until 1916 Prohibition, then Fomo’s Fruit & Grocery (a.k.a. California Fruit Store) from 1917 through late ‘20s, becoming Smokey’s Grocery and moving to this site around 1929. [NR]
4th Street Apartments
910 4th St. Built about 1905
Note purlins and braces at roof and polygonal bays. The ground level was built by Walter Ginnett and housed his bicycle and machine shop in 1905. In 1907, a second story was added and converted to Ginnett Apartments. The building immediately west of the apartments (317 Commercial) features pressed brick veneer. It was constructed in 1912 for E.A. Phillips grocery and hardware store. In the ‘80s it housed the Square Rigger night club.
402 Commercial Ave. Built 1890
The first brick building in Anacortes was elaborately ornate when constructed by Lewis & Dryden Engineers of Portland, Oregon. Originally chartered as the Bank of Anacortes, it closed during the depression of 1893. Alterations have removed some of its architectural character. Two bank vaults have survived. Purchased by W.V. Wells upon return from the Klondike in 1900, it has housed numerous retail businesses, with upstairs apartments still in use.
420 Commercial Ave. Built 1905
This brick two-story, built by attorney W.V. Wells, Judge Joiner and E.L. McClean, originally proclaimed “Empire Block” from its corner-facing pediment. It first housed Thornburg’s Department Store and was later known as the Medical-Dental Building.
419 Commercial Ave. Built 1890
At four-stories, the Majestic Hotel is one of the tallest buildings in town. A cupola tops this wooden construction for James McNaught, counsel for Northern Pacific Railroad. Its original location at 8th Street and I Avenue was where he had expected to establish the town’s business center. In 1904, the building was rolled eleven blocks to its current location. Original storefront windows and other features have been replaced. Building was damaged by fire and received extensive renovation during 2003-2005.
801 5th St. Built 1891
The shingled and gabled Queen Anne-style building, among the oldest surviving churches in Anacortes, is intact as built except for the loss of its large corner tower. Recently renovated, it is now an art and cultural center.
904 6th St. Built 1915 and 1922
The Elks (B.P.O.E.) built this concrete structure in 1915. In 1922, they completed a major expansion to hold increased membership and host the state Elks convention. The Elks moved out by 1935, leaving the space to serve as a community center. In 1947, it became the Anacortes City Hall.
901 6th St. Built by 1916
Anacortes American Publisher J.M. Post bought three lots at 6th and Q in 1910 to build a specially designed “fireproof” building with concrete press beds. The newspaper, founded in 1890, has operated from the site since 1916.
1013 5th St. Built 1899
Constructed at 418 Commercial Ave, this wood-frame storefront was built by P. E. Nelson, then, in 1911, purchased by W.M. Miller, who moved it to it’s current location. Modest cornice and carved brackets suggest Italianate derivation. Steve Plancich operated a grocery here in 1911. Later apartments were added and the front was modified.
W.M. Rodgers House
1119 5th St. Built around 1902
Note steeply pitched, pyramidal roof, eve brackets, pendants and multi-gable projections, and polygonal bay on west side beneath cantilevered second story. Home to Marinakos family, who ran the Maryland Café at 314 Commercial from 1922 - c.1941.
J.A. Matheson House
1201 5th St. Built around 1891
A gabled Queen Anne style mansion with Eastlake elements, including ornamental bay windows. Bought from original owners, John and Patience McDonald, in 1899 by Matheson, who came to Anacortes in 1891 to establish the first codfish plant on Puget Sound. Matheson Cod Fisheries was located on the waterfront at the foot of K Avenue.
Mae Temple House
1211 5th St. Built about 1900
A late Victorian era vernacular with two original polygonal bay windows. Owned by Mae Temple and her husband Stephen, who was superintendent of the Anacortes Light & Water Co. in 1902. The Temples also operated a stationary and sundries store at 608 Commercial called The Racket.
Katherine Flynn House
1215 5th St. Built around 1902
Built in the Queen Anne style. Original owner was widow of E.W. Flynn, who bought the property in 1901 from Seattle & Northern Railroad. Note truncated hip-roof with gables.
James & Addie Cavanaugh House
1219 5th St. Built around 1902
Truncated hip-roof with projecting gables and modillion-like eave ornamentation that is repeated at porch. Home to father/founder of J.H. Cavanaugh & Sons shingle mill, established in 1902, operating at various locations along the mill row crowding Fidalgo Bay’s west shoreline.
1204 6th St. Built 1891
Classic Victorian era wood framed Italianate with distinctive brackets and bay windows, built in 1891 for Edward and May McTaggart. Purchased by Valentine and Barbara Funk in 1903.
Old St. Mary’s Church
1202 7th St. Built 1920, expanded 1929
A 1902 wooden church here moved west, making room for Joan of Arc Hall, built in 1920. St. Mary’s Catholic Church was constructed atop this one-story structure in 1929. The church incorporates simplified elements of early 20th century Tudor-Gothic revival style, including stepped buttresses, pointed arches and decorative window quoins.
Christ Episcopal Church
1216 7th St. Built 1891
Gabled wood-frame structure with exterior modifications. Quaint cathedral style inside with canopied sedilia around the chancel and hand-carved altar shipped around the horn from New York City. First minister was Rev. W.A. Platt, father of early banker John Platt.
Causland Memorial Park
M to N at 8th St. Built 1920-1926
The first park in Anacortes, purchased in 1903 as Great Northern Park, on what had been railroad land near the 9th Street & N Avenue train station. Canadian landscape architect, Jean Baptiste LePage, was hired to direct community volunteers and design the unique stone mosaic structures made of locally gathered rocks. Named for WWI hero Harry Leon Causland. Register nomination notes comparison of design to work of Anton Gaudi. [NR]
Historic Carnegie Library
1305 8th St. Built 1910
Designed by the Bellingham firm of Piper and Cox, ground-floor walls constructed of Skagit County cement, scored on exterior surfaces. The superstructure is of load bearing masonry, faced with buff-toned pressed brick, now painted. Front treatment represents Renaissance and Neo-classical themes so frequently employed in Carnegie library projects. Building has housed museum since 1968. Drop in! [NR]
808 Commercial Ave. Built 1890
Designed in the “Romanesque Revival” style by architects Pickles & Sutton. Note pilasters and brick corbeling on the second and third levels. Hotel was built by David Wilson of Tacoma, using bricks from local See’s Brickyard. Sold to Valentine Funk in 1901. West side addition constructed in 1926. Upper floors, vacant for decades, converted to apartments in 2007.
620 Commercial Ave. Built in 1913
Early cinema of concrete construction. Flat roof once supported prominent cornice. Built for Douglass Allmond by contractors Farmer & Duvall. Original tenants were Empire Theater and a separate jewelry store, acquired by Phil D. Burton in 1930. Extensive renovation, designed by architect Don McKee in 1958, expanded Burton Jewelers and added offices above.
602 Commercial Ave. Built 1891
One of the oldest, surviving wood commercial buildings in Anacortes. Remodeling in 1985 altered storefront, but original Italianate style remains obvious. Note parapets.
619 Commercial Ave. Built 1910
Built of brick, stone and concrete under the supervision of C.J. Marani, this three-story replaced an 1891 wooden structure, also built for the Moyer family. Elks Lodge was original tenant of top floor. Stores, offices and lodging have varied over a century of use.
701 Commercial Ave. Built 1906
Brick Romanesque Revival construction, a popular bank design application in early 20th century America. Scene of bank robbery at 3 p.m. on April 14, 1924. Four bandits stole $18,539.40 after firing four shots and knocking bank Manager, W.T. Odlin, senseless. Home to a succession of restaurants since 1930s, including Empire Café and Harbor Bar.
901 7th St. Built 1920
Neo-Classical style brick two-story designed by Emil Guenther for the Fraternal Order of Eagles, Aerie #249. Note frieze and a modillion course topped by a strong projecting cornice and “Eagles Hall” in the plinth. Ballroom host to many musical events for a century. [NR]
Great Northern Railroad Depot
611 R Ave. Built 1911
Designed by Samuel Bartlett, a rare half-timbered (Tudor) depot. Water table and sill course of Chuckanut stone, from near Bellingham. Roof was originally Bangor slate trimmed with red tiling. J.D. Broderick had charge of construction. Interior is finished in natural birch wood, with floor and base in mosaic tile and walls to 5-ft. in Tiffany enameled brick. [NR]
W.T. Preston Snagboat
703 R Ave. Built 1939
A National Historic Landmark, built at Lake Union Drydock in Seattle, this retired sternwheeler kept Puget Sound waterways clear of “snags” and other navigational hazards until 1981. The Anacortes Museum’s largest artifact since 1983. Tour the snagboat and the Maritime Heritage Center, astern. [NR]
Please admire private home sites from public sidewalks only. Business along the route welcome your visit and any questions you may have about their historic premises.