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/
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.
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 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