A County, “Skagit” is Born
Mount Vernon beat out LaConner and Anacortes to become the County Seat in 1884, it was incorporated on June 27, 1890 with a population of about 1000. By 1889, more than a dozen sternwheelers worked up and down the Skagit River serving the needs of homesteaders, prospectors and loggers at numerous mining and logging camps. The Great Northern Railway finished construction of their rail line through Mount Vernon in 1891. Major floods in 1892 and 1894 motivated the construction of a massive levee system. These floods were likely the reason homes were constructed on “the hill.” As the residential population began to shift to the hill, public buildings including Lincoln and Roosevelt schools were constructed there. By 1912, population was listed at 2600. For more history, click here. From HistoryLink.org
Mount Vernon History
Mount Vernon’s earliest recorded settlers, Jasper Gates and Joseph Dwelley, likely first stopped in the area in 1870 because the Skagit River was not navigable beyond this point due to enormous, ancient log jams. In 1876 the log jams were removed allowing travel and commerce to flow with Mount Vernon positioned as an important transportation and trading center along the river. In 1877 Harrison Clothier purchased about ten acres from Jasper Gates along the riverfront for $100. Clothier and partner Ed English built a store, secured a post office and laid out four blocks of a town site he named Mount Vernon in recognition of George Washington’s Potomac River estate. In 1883-84, Whatcom County was divided and its southern portion became what is now known as Skagit County. Photo Credits: City of Mount Vernon.