Early Anacortes Newspapers Online 1882-1922


In a partnership with the Washington State Library, the Anacortes Museum and the Anacortes American, the earliest issues from the nearly 128-year-old newspaper have been digitized for browsing online. Anyone wanting to get a glimpse of the early days of Anacortes now have that resource at their fingertips. https://washingtondigitalnewspapers.org/

Northwest Enterprise

Anacortes’ earliest newspaper - the Northwest Enterprise, which started in 1882 - can now be viewed online thanks to the Library of Congress’ Chronicling America project. This is a great tool for historical and genealogical research, especially because of the keyword search function. While useful to researchers, it is also very entertaining for the casual history buff.

Rail meets steamship on the top of the Northwest Enterprise

National & Local Sources

Much of the news is drawn from national sources, but the local briefs paint a picture of the days when the population of Anacortes numbered in the dozens, and old growth forests still dominated Old Town.

Anacortes whale watching in 1884

Anacortes Newspaper (Partial) Timeline

From History of Skagit and Snohomish Counties, Washington, 1906

  • 1882 March 25, 1882 the first number of the Northwest Enterprise is issued by publishers Alf. D. Bowen and F.M. Walsh
  • 1883 Northwest Enterprise publishers transferred business to their chief patron, Amos Bowman
  • 1889 On August 3, 1889 C.F. Mitchell published and edited the first edition of the Anacortes Progress
    • Washington Farmer founded by Lesh R. Freeman in 1889 at Gibraltor
  • 1890 First edition of the Anacortes American was printed on May 15, 1890. Douglas Allmond and F.H. Boynton arrived in April of 1890 with two (railroad) cars and set up at 10th Street & M Avenue.
  • 1892 Allmond took over as sole publisher after August 12, 1892, when Boynton withdrew
    • Anacortes Courier, by J.B. Fithian, successor to the Progress in 1892
  • 1890s Anacortes News published by C.F. Mitchell during the middle ‘90s
  • 1895 Skagit County Churchwork by H.L. Badger about 1895
  • 1902 Frederick Ornes succeeded Allmond
    • Anacortesan surviving but a few months in 1902
  • 1903 Anacortes Sentinel established September 9, 1903 “as a Republican paper, by A.G. Morse.” Morse sold to Thomas & Davis who transferred it to Barnett on Dec. 1, 1904, who merged it into his American
  • 1904 Frank Barnett acquired the Anacortes American on January 1, 1904
  • 1905 Anacortes American “absorbed the Sentinel.”
Water tank for steamer ships built in 1885