Skagit County turned 140 years old last week


December 13, 2023

It’s often said that crime doesn’t take a holiday. Nor did Washington state politics back in 1883.

It was while Whatcom County lawmakers had gone home for the Thanksgiving holiday that Territorial Governor William A. Newell signed a bill lopping off Whatcom’s lower half and designating it as the new Skagit County.

The bold action came just prior to Thanksgiving Day, which in 1883 was officially designated on Nov. 29 – the final Thursday of the month – by President Chester A. Arthur.

The president’s proclamation had been issued after the Territorial Council in Olympia had kill...

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