0807 looking back

AUG. 7, 1969 — COLORFUL MALL — Uncountable thousands thronged Anacortes’ three-block mall during the weekend Arts & Crafts Festival. Spectators viewed exhibits under clear skies for the eighth year in a row as the festival’s now-traditional luck continued and rains held off until Monday. Gross sales of $7,000 were reported. (Anacortes American archives)

Aug. 10, 1899

Bathers are having a good time these days in Fidalgo bay. The little cove inside Cap Sante is quite shallow, and as the tide floods the water is delightfully warm in the cove and every day many people may be seen swimming, or trying to learn to swim.

With very little expense the water frontage inside Cap Sante might be made one of the attractions for visitors to Anacortes, as well as a source of pleasure to residents.

Aug. 5, 1909

Next Wednesday evening, August 11, the Anacortes opera house will be the scene of one of the most elaborate tournaments of famous wrestlers ever held on Puget Sound and word has already been received that many of the sports of all parts of the northwest expect to be here to witness the event.

John Berg, champion of Europe and well known throughout the United States and particularly in this state, is personally managing the tournament and has succeeded in enlisting the best wrestling talent on the Pacific coast.

Dr. B. F. Reller of Seattle, who has been twice defeated by Frank Gotch, champion of the world, but who has never been defeated by any other man, has signed to throw Fred Gunderson of Anacortes, champion heavyweight of Northwest Washington, one fall within 12 minutes.

Aug. 7, 1919

Fishermen coming in from the salmon banks at the Cape bring news that the fish are beginning to run in numbers that indicate at least a fair catch for the canneries this season. Recent hauls from traps owned by local canneries tend to substantiate the report and the canneries are getting ready to run full force within a short time.

Frank Ferry, of the Mutual Packing Company, was at the Apex cannery the first of the week, and says that the fish are still feeding at the banks and that he believes they will begin to come up to spawn within a short while. He believes present indications point to a fair sized run which will keep the canneries busy …

The Coast Fish Co. reports a haul of 2,300 sockeyes from their Henry Island trap last Sunday. This is the largest haul of fish that has been made from any local trap so far this season, and, while it is only fair sized, it indicates at least that the fish are on their way up to the fresh water.

Aug. 10, 1939

Anacortes was assured of a municipal playground this week when word was received Wednesday that the WPA project totaling slightly over $8,000 had received the approval of President Roosevelt. …

The project calls for an expenditure of federal funds total $6,642, together with the city’s portion of the project which will be in the neighborhood of $2,000.

Under the project an area between twenty second and twenty-third street, between M and N avenues, will be cleared up, drained and graded to make a city block suitable for the installing of playground paraphernalia.

Aug. 4, 1949

With the first week of fishing for the Puget Sound seine fleet a shortened week by a late start, local canneries started operations in a small way last week to open the fishing season.

Fisherman’s Packing corporation reported a pack of only 15,000 for opening day Tuesday, with Wednesday doing a little better with 30,000 sockeye, half of these being brought to the local cannery by one tender, the Uwanta, which heaped them on her decks to make the trip.

Thursday’s operation at Fisherman’s Packing dropped to 15,000 again.

Aug. 7, 1969

“Absolutely no trouble during the Anacortes Arts & Crafts Festival – everything went smoothly,” was the opinion of Police Chief Pete Dragovich. There had been some apprehension about riots or vandalism in the open-air mall, but no incidents were reported.

Aug. 8, 1979

It was a time for dancing in the streets, for laughing, singing, eating, enjoying.

Anacortes residents and tourists alike last weekend celebrated this city’s 100th birthday during the 18th annual Anacortes Arts and Crafts Festival. Some festival organizers are saying the event drew the largest crowds Anacortes has seen in a long time.

According to Dave Mead of the Anacortes police department, 20,000 persons flocked to the festival on Saturday alone. Final attendance estimates have not yet been made.

The warm, sunny weather coupled with a number of unique attractions at the typically excellent arts fair drew record crowds – and made business brisk for the crafsmen and other vendors with booths along Commercial Avenue.

Aug. 9, 1989

Almost 100 years ago, the Anacortes Hotel was built in much the same way it’s being demolished – brick by brick, wall by wall.

The building, located at Eighth Street and J Avenue, was built in 1890 – a boom period in the history of Anacortes. Land sales were brisk and hopes were high for the booming of the railroad. Rumors abounded naming Anacortes as a terminus for the first transcontinental railroad.

Headlines in the Anacortes American put Fidalgo Island in a league with Manhattan Island, and hailed Anacortes “the Liverpool of the Pacific.”

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