0612 Looking Back

June 15, 1939 — EXPLOIT FLOAT of the Anacortes Marineer’s Pageant with pretty girls commanding the Pirate Ship, in the Oak Harbor Holland Days of last Saturday, June 10, spreading far and wide a cordial invitation to attend the Marineer’s Pageant August 3, 4, 5, 6.

June 15, 1899

E.I. Thompson, proprietor of the Bayview creamery, has been spending a few days in town. He is an enthusiast on the climate and resources of this section and thinks it a world-beater for the dairying business. The creamery at Bayview is doing excellently and its business is on the increase, as people are beginning to better appreciate the workings of such institutions.

Mr. Thompson is one of those residents of Skagit county who believes that Anacortes is destined to become the chief point for business in the county, and he does not hesitate to say that the sooner the county seat is moved here, and business is centered here, the better it will be for the whole county. All other counties bordering the sound have their county offices at their seaport towns, and take a pride in helping to build up such towns; and this, Mr. Thompson believes, is what the people of Skagit county should do.

June 17, 1909

Following are some significant extracts from the annual report of J.F. Craig, superintendent of the city schools of Anacortes, for the school year 1908-9, which closed early this month.

Largest enrollment ever recorded, total in all grades: 811.

Total enrollment in the high school proper: 76.

Total number of pupils promoted from eighth grade to high school: 30.

Total number of pupils enrolled at the close of the year in the different grades were: First grade, 139; second grade, 90; third grade, 103; fourth grade, 39; fifth grade, 110; sixth grade, 86; seventh grade, 69; eighth grade, 37. These grades are all advanced one step higher at the beginning of next year, with the exception of those who were not sufficiently strong to pass.

The number of pupils neither absent nor tardy throughout the year is an increase of 14 over last year, being 73 this year. There are also nearly 100 fewer tardy marks than the records show for last year.

June 12, 1919

With an elaborate program of entertaining and valuable features and with a number of pleasant surprises the fourteenth annual state convention of the Fraternal Order of Eagles was carried through to a most successful conclusion in Anacortes this week.

From the arrival of the earliest visitors until the departure of the last, the local committees were busy seeing that all had a good time. … A committee met the train Sunday noon to receive early arrivals and the few Eagles that came on that train evidently thought elaborate preparations were made for their reception when they came into the station to the strains of band music. They soon discovered that they were mistaken and that the band had not turned out for them. They enjoyed it, however, perhaps more than the returning bride and groom, Mr. and Mrs. Ralph H. Edwards, did. …

After refreshments at the Eagles hall and after the visitors had been assigned to their lodgings, Eagles and the general public filled the pennant-encircled amphitheater at the city park to listen to the Seattle Aerie band concert and the patriotic exercises. … W.A. Lowman had previously announced that the name of the park on which the crowd was gathered has been changed to Causland park in honor of Harry Causland of this city, who stands third on General Pershing’s list of hundred immortals.

June 13, 1929

The June meeting of the Anacortes School Board was held in the Columbian school Friday evening, June 7, at 7:30.

After signing vouchers incident to the paying of the regular monthly bills, the board took up the matter of painting the Nelson and Whitney schools this summer. It was voted to advertise for bids at once, same to be returnable no later than 4 p.m. on June 20th. It was voted to use a standard ready-mixed paint and to have labor and material bids separate.

Arch Torbitt of Seattle was unanimously selected as the architect for the new addition to the Whitney school.

June 15, 1939

Total current expenditures in handling 1289 Anacortes pupils, from kindergarten thru the 12th grade for the 1938-39 school year were revealed this week by the superintendent of schools as being $86,846.53.

The average costs of each pupil during the past school year was $64.36 for elementary pupils, $790.21 for junior high students and $110.73 for senior high students. The school year was computed as being 180 days.

Perfect attendance recorded during the past year showed 111 boys achieving this goal and 78 girls making a perfect record.

June 16, 1949

People are showing much more interest in Guemes Island during the past month,” says Wally Hanlon, operator of the Guemes Ferry this week.

Mr. Hanlon should know because his ferry service transports probably 99 percent of the automobiles, trucks and foot passengers back and forth from the Island to Anacortes.

Mr. Hanlon stated further that traffic to the island so far this year was holding about the same as last year. With the nice summer weather that has set in, Mr. Hanlon was of the opinion that a sharp upswing in traffic to Guemes Island was possible within the next few days.

June 11, 1959

The explosive wage-hour law currently bedeviling state, city and county governments will have little or no effect on the Skagit County budget, Auditor Al Johnson told the American today.

“The main county department involved — the Sheriff’s office — has adjusted hourly wages to conform with number of hours worked,” he said. “Salaries will not exceed the sheriff’s budget.”

This means a reduction in hourly pay if an employee must work more than the maximum time specified by the legislature last session.

The law, which requires payment of a minimum wage of $1 an hour and time-and-a-half for work over an eight-hour day or 40-hour week, has drawn the ire of civic officials from one end of the state to the other.

June 12, 1969

The Anacortes Housing Authority this week selected a builder’s proposal for a low-income housing complex for elderly persons. …

The plan selected, which the housing authority will recommend to the Federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), was submitted by S&S Contractors, Inc., of Redmond. The location is between R and Q Avenues on 8th Street, a 1.3 acre site now under option to that firm. The estimated cost is $798,000. …

Action on a separate 50-unit housing complex for low-income families was delayed to allow a call for revised bids.

June 13, 1979

A federal matching grant must pay for getting rid of sludge discharges into the Skagit River from the Anacortes water treatment plant.

Construction of a lagoon system to handle the wastewater will cost an estimated $793,300, city council learned Monday. … Representatives of a Seattle engineering firm attended the city council session, presenting a proposal for dealing with “sludge” the water treatment plant shoots back into the Skagit River after usable water is extracted.

The Department of Ecology (DOE) has been trying to get the city to clean up the discharge, which DOE says harms small fish along the banks of the river, for several years.

June 14, 1989

An historic city structure slated for demolition has been given a two-week reprieve, thanks to the efforts of a local citizen.

Meanwhile, a state agency official said the city’s handling of the issue did not comply with a federal historic-buildings preservation law.

Anacortes Planning Director Ian Munce said he issued an extension so local historian and mural painter Bill Mitchell could garner some support to save Curtis Wharf on the Guemes Channel. … The historic dock, built in 1903 and located at the foot of O Avenue, is owned by Ocean Pacific Seafoods of Burlington.

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