W.T. Preston & Maritime Center
The Maritime Heritage Center and W.T Preston are open April through October, six days a week during the summer months and weekends only in the spring and fall.
For more information phone (360) 293-1915.
Explore Anacortes Waterfront History
New artifacts and vintage movies from along the waterfront have been added to the Maritime Heritage Center exhibit, including mural-size photographs of cannery row and mill row views from 100 years ago plus the six-foot wooden wheel and telegraph of the ferry Vashon. The exhibit provides an overview of shoreline activities, including boat building, mills and canneries, commercial and recreational boating and shipping and transportation over the seas. Admission to this exhibit is free, while guided tours of the W.T. Preston require a ticket ranging from $3 to $5.
The Anacortes Maritime Heritage Center and W.T. Preston, our National Historic Landmark steamboat, are located on the Anacortes waterfront at 703 R Avenue.
Anacortes Waterfront Exhibit
An overview of Anacortes' rich waterfront history will include exhibits and artifacts relating to exploration, the fishing and cannery industries, ship building, ferry and Port of Anacortes history, lumber mill operations and the rise of recreational boating in the 20th Century. The Maritime Heritage Center is next door to the National Historic Landmark W.T. Preston steamboat. For more information, call 360-293-1915.
Funk Fishing Photos Exhibit Extended at the Anacortes Maritime Heritage Center
Weekend hours have begun for the spring season at the Anacortes Maritime Heritage Center and W.T. Preston, our National Historic Landmark steamboat located on the Anacortes waterfront at 703 R Avenue.
The center is extending the spotlight on Wallie Funk’s Fishing Photos, drawn from the Anacortes Museum’s new book by Funk, Pictures of the Past. Eight exhibit panels feature beautiful enlargements of Wallie’s images as he captures in detail a journey with the local commercial fishing fleet. Visitors are virtually able to join Wallie Funk on the Alaska-bound purse seiner Deception in 1958 as he documents an Anacortes rite of passage - a season on a salmon fishing boat. Wallie’s trip begins on a dare and continues as he catches some of the great photographs in Pictures of the Past: Admission to this exhibit is free, while guided tours of the W.T. Preston require a ticket ranging from $3 to $5.
In addition, new artifacts and vintage movies from along the waterfront have been added to the Maritime Heritage Center exhibit, including mural-size photographs of cannery row and mill row views from 100 years ago and the six-foot wooden wheel and telegraph of the ferry Vashon. Accompanying the Funk exhibit is an overview of Anacortes Waterfront history, which will provide an overview of shoreline activities, including boat building, mills and canneries, commercial and recreational boating and shipping and transportation over the seas.
The six days a week schedule at the maritime center and Preston runs in June, July and August.
Excerpts & Quotes From the Funk Fishing Photos Exhibit
“The story became a real-life experience when we had been routed out of bed at our 12th Street home by members of the crew, who came equipped with a duffel bag for a few travel essentials. ‘Don’t forget your camera, you might want to take a picture,’ someone shouted.”
- Wallie Funk, Pictures of the Past
Never-Ending Gear Work
Before, during and after the fishing season there was always work to be done on the boat, skiff, net and other gear on a salmon purse seiner. On spring days the crews were busy at net sheds and docks at Cap Sante and along Guemes Channel.
Inside Passage to Alaska
“Ports of call along the breath-taking Inside Passage included Ketchikan, Warm Springs Bay, St. Petersburg and eventually the jump-off for our phase of the trip, Elfin Cove, the last stop before the Deception and others in the then-expanded fleet embarked on the often treacherous crossing of the Gulf of Alaska to Kodiak.” - Wallie V. Funk
Setting for Salmon
While the Kodiak-bound fleet passed through Southeast Alaskan waters, Wallie documented some of the Anacortes boats that were already fishing. By 1958 the new Puretic Power Block had relieved part of the strain on backs and arms by pulling in the net hydraulically, which the crew then piled as it dropped from above.
While making money is and was the focus of commercial fishing in Alaska, doing so required three months of living with co-workers in tight quarters. Everyone played multiple roles in fishing, maintaining the boat and gear, cooking meals, cleaning and laundry - all toward a safe, profitable season.
“What is most memorable to us, as we recollect the trip, is the camaraderie that existed not only among crews of each vessel, but among those who were traveling the route together on other vessels. It was as if they all were their brothers’ keepers as the challenges en route to the fishing grounds required reliance on one another as well as respect for individuality.” - Wallie V. Funk