Anacortes has a rich and well-documented history, from the Anacortes Museum annotated photo library and historic files to topical books and recorded interviews. We’re proud to have Trail Tales interpretive signs and docent-led walks take their place among these rich resources, honoring the past while making it easily accessible to the public.
Over the past year, Friends President Betty Carteret and writer Jan Hersey of Biz Point Communications, with help from Anacortes Museum Education Curator Bret Lunsford, spent some six months crafting the 16 new interpretive signs unveiled this spring and summer. Bootlegged liquor, glacial erratics, intrepid swimmers . . . as the Trail Tales editorial team developed the interpretive sign copy and identified interpretive walks topics, we learned many fascinating stories from a wide range of sources.
Juggling chronological, factual, and cultural information with strict space limitations required difficult decisions about what to include and what, regrettably, to leave out. Now, however, through this and subsequent newsletters and updates to the Trail Tales website, we’ll be sharing many more of the stories left “on the cutting room floor.” One of the topics that begged to be examined was the connection of Anacortes’ people to their shoreline. Ultimately, we illustrated this through a focus on the city’s history of crabbing, which you can read at the Trail Tales website “To Market and Table” page.
Following is a wonderful quote that didn’t make the original cut, illustrating that today’s thriving farmers market indeed has deep roots in the community. It’s excerpted from the museum’s extensive oral history interviews that Bret is now expanding and making more accessible to the public.
"In the early days the Indians would come up in their canoes, to where the Depot is now, and they would have baskets of clams they dug, baskets of berries they picked and they would want to trade them either for pots and pans or clothes, most. So they would leave the baskets and all. I got very interested in the baskets as I grew up. We had them all over the house. Mother used them of course. I was very fascinated how they were made and the way they were constructed. That’s the reason why I collected baskets, not because I knew they would be valuable someday. There were six houses down there. In fact, that is where I was born. The Great Northern bought that area and were going to put in a new depot; they’d move the houses, so people had to move out." - Mary Babarovich Luvera, interview courtesy Anacortes Museum
Painting by Jennifer Bowman, on display at Anacortes Maritime Heritage Center