Heritage Tours:

Search for a tour by category:

Search site:

string(50) ""


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.


Ca. 1960 view of Burlington.

Source: Washington State Historical Society

Ca. 1960 view of Burlington.

Source: Washington State Historical Society

Ca. 1910 view of Burlington, showing the Skagit State Bank and other buildings.

Source: Washington State Historical Society

Points of Interest Points of Interest icon

Carnegie Library

Burlington’s first library was established in 1911 by the Alpha club, an organization founded for that purpose earlier that year. The club operated the library until 1916 and continued to support it thereafter. Local philanthropists made donations to form an endowment for the purchase of books. In order to qualify for a $5,000 Carnegie grant, the city pledged to support a library and obtained a lot on one corner of the school grounds. The building was designed by Seattle architecture firm Blackwell and Baker and was dedicated in 1916. The building served the community for over 60 years until a new, larger, facility opened in 1979 across the street.

Burlington Fire and Police Station

The Burlington Fire and Police Station was completed in 1956 and represents the development and growth of the Burlington Volunteer Fire Department. The Burlington Volunteer Fire Department was first organized circa 1912 and grew over time and was previously housed in a livery stable building across the street from the existing building. The building also serves as a representative example of a mid-1950s style fire station, where the design of fire stations becomes a reflection of the use of the building and a utilization of modern materials. Designed by Donald Malcom Wilson, the Burlington Fire and Police Station is the only known building credited to Wilson to date.