La Conner History
La Conner is the oldest town in Skagit County, with a heritage dating to the first white settlers in 1864. Thomas Hayes opened a trading post on the site that is now Totem Pole Park. Shortly after, John S. Conner and his wife, Louisa, purchased the post and established a post of office. The town's original name of Swinomish, was changed to La Conner, after Louisa A. Conner. From its heritage as a trading post and port-of-call for steamships, the town has retained and restored much of its picturesque New England waterfront flavor. The surrounding farmlands were reclaimed from the river and the sea by diking and draining the land. In spring, extensive bulb fields bloom into a maze of yellow, red, and lavender.
Image credit: www.lovelaconner.com
Visiting La Conner
The Rainbow Bridge, built in 1958, is named for its graceful shape. Its bright orange color makes it a distinctive landmark in this friendly town and historic village on Swinomish Channel. WSDOT database shows the bridge’s navigable clearance as 75 feet vertically, 360 feet horizontally. Boat moorage is available at both basins in the Port of Skagit’s La Conner Marina, at city owned floats along the Swinomish Channel, and at restaurant facilities. The south basin guest docks are only a block from the beginning of La Conner’s shopping district: during summer there is a golf cart shuttle service from the north basin guest docks. Specialty shops are open year around, seven days-a-week, along the waterfront and side streets. High quality goods, art galleries, three museums and a variety of restaurants attract thousands of visitors from distant places. Don’t miss the town’s boardwalk for exceptional views of the Swinomish Channel. The town has provided off-street and on-street parking. Stop by the Visitor Information Center at 413 Morris St. and pick up a Coupon Book ($1 donation) with over 60 coupons, good for the entire year.
The iconic Rainbow Bride spanning the Swinomish Channel in La Conner
Image credit: Connie Coleman, www.lovelaconner.com
Things To Do
Points of interest include the Skagit County Historical Museum and the 1891 Gaches Mansion. The county museum offers a large selection of memorabilia from pioneer days, and affords beautiful views of farmlands, looking east to the Skagit Valley. Museum hours are Tuesday-Sunday 11am to 5pm. The Gaches Mansion, built in 1891, is home to the La Conner Quilt & Textile Museum, showing fiber arts from around the world. The Museum of Northwest Art features internationally recognized Pacific Northwest artists. On First Street, the Fireman's Museum houses a fire engine built in New York in 1848.
For more information visit the La Conner Chamber of Commerce Harbor Guide Program and website.
The historic Gaches Mansion