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Mount Vernon History

Early History

Jasper Gates and Joseph Dwelley first settled on the banks of the Skagit River, where the City of Mount Vernon now lies, in 1870. Later on, Harrison Clothier came to the community to teach school and got into business with a former student, E.G. English. They were later recoginized at the city's founders.

Today Mount Vernon boasts a fine school system, a vibrant downtown shopping district and a prosperous retail district on Riverside Drive and College Way. It boasts the lion's share of professional services for Skagit County.

Mount Vernon is the home of the county courthouse, jail, and administrative buildings and serves as the county seat. It is located in the downtown area.

Skagit Valley Hospital, in conjuction with Affiliated Health Services, makes Mount Vernon a center for medical services in Northwest Washington.

New Middle School

A new middle school and elementary school were built recently. The premiere high school boys' basketball team has been a perennial visitor to the state tournament, and has the highest winning percentage of almost any team in the state over the last 20 years.

The boardwalk along the Skagit River is a fairly new feature that has been developed through the efforts of the Chamber of Commerce and the city. This area was originally a trading post in 1877, but was destroyed by a fire in 1891. Front Street was washed away by the Skagit River in the ensuing years, and so was part of Main Street until the erosion was stopped by building a revetment.

Mount Vernon's Events

Mount Vernon's most famous event has got to be the Annual Skagit Valley Tulip Festival. It runs the first two weeks of April. People are everywhere, bicycling, walking in the fields and taking pictures.

Another wonderful event is the Highland Games the first weekend in July. There are booths where you can search for your Scottish Tartan. You can watch the dance contestants or the caber toss. Many Scottish items are for sale.

The Lincoln Theatre

The Lincoln Theatre is a historical landmark and serves as a center for performing and cinematic arts throught the year. It is a non-profit organization that boasts 4,000 members. It offers 3 films a month, featuring independent, foreign, and other films not readily available locally, as well as a once a month Classic from the 1930's, 1940's, or 1950's. Live concerts are presented by such artists as David Grisman, John Renbourn, and The Flying Karamazov Brothers. Community groups that regularly use the Lincoln include the Skagit Valley Children's Theatre, Skagit Symphony Chamber Players, Kiwanis Club Comedy Night Series, and Theatre Arts Guild Annual Children's Musical.