A shipping center and local supply point for the fertile Skagit Valley. First settled in 1882 by John P. Millett and William McKay, it was named for Burlington, Vermont, by T. W. Soules. Logging operations in the surrounding forests became so extensive that in 1890 a sawmill was built and the Seattle and Northern extended its rail lines to the town. For a number of years it boomed, until the depletion of timber stands in the environs forced a change from logging and lumbering to dairying and farming. The mild climate and light, sandy soil of the area have proved well suited to growing strawberries on a commercial scale, one acre not infrequently yielding as much as seven tons.
Burlington is an active community that celebrates several festivals year-round including the Spring Craft & Garden Show in May, Berry Dairy Days Festival in June (formerly the Strawberry Festival), Highland Games and Scottish Faire in July and the Harvest Festival in September.