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Mount Vernon

The seat of Skagit County, it was named for Washington’s Potomac home. The Skagit River has played an important part in the development of the town; in 1870 fur traders, finding it navigable, established a post here. Prospects of gold along Ruby Creek stimulated the activity of the settlement, and when hopes of striking pay dirt faded many of the prospectors began logging and farming in the Skagit Valley. By the 1940s, the bulk of Mount Vernon’s pay roll was provided by two pea canneries, two milk condenseries, an egg-storage and poultry plant, and a chicken and turkey hatchery. A shingle mill and a brick and tile plant added to the income of the city.

During the last week-end in July, Mount Vernon has an annual celebration, whose official insignia is a work hat worn with a hickory shirt. Gay booths line the streets; considerable hilarity is added by the ladies of the American Legion Auxiliary, who in gala attire police the town, “arresting” and trying “offenders” who fail to wear the official Hickory Shirt and Hat.

Images

1935 Mount Vernon brochure.

Source: Washington State Historical Society

Ca. 1907 view of the Pacific Coast Condensed Milk Co. in Mount Vernon, showing the Skagit River in background.

Source: Washington State Historical Society

Ca. 1911 view along First Avenue in Mount Vernon.

Source: Washington State Historical Society

Ca. 1940 view along First Avenue in Mount Vernon.

Source: Washington State Historical Society

Points of Interest Points of Interest icon

President Hotel

Completed in 1926, the President Hotel was built on the site of the earlier Windsor hotel which was built in 1909 and burned in 1926. The owners of the Windsor Hotel built the President and incorporated portions of the original 1909 brick exterior walls in the new building. The hotel provided the finest lodging in Mount Vernon for decades, catering to travelers and business people. The building also housed the Mount Vernon State Bank, which occupied the prominent corner storefront — the same location it held in the earlier Windsor Hotel. The bank vacated the space in 1948.

Lincoln Theater and Commercial Block

The Lincoln Theater and adjacent commercial block is a blunt wedge-shaped building which occupies half of a city block in downtown Mount Vernon. Designed in a modified Mediterranean Renaissance style in 1926 by Seattle architect William Aitken, the theater was built to accommodate both live stage and film presentations. The theater was the leading Skagit County showcase for vaudeville acts, travelling road shows, local musical concerts and big screen Hollywood features for 50 years after its completion.