Lynden Wa. Welcomes You

Lynden Wa. Welcomes You

Lynden Wa is another one of those uniques city townships in Washington that constantly draws people from around the country and  around the world.

Located in Whatcom County and established in 1874 on the Squahalish Indian village.  Early beginnings of the location was to establish a place for early pioneers to settle.

Lynden Wa & Northern Neighbor…Canada

Lyden is a mere 5 miles to the Canadian border.  The wide open valley near the Nooksack River certainly does give you feelings of those early pioneer days.

The Nooksack River empties into Bellingham Bay near the city of Bellingham some 15 miles south of the city.

Nooksack Indians (Native Americans) were well established in the area long before the 1860 non-Indian settlers began to arrive.

Nooksack River running wild and very cold...brrrrrrrr

Nooksack River running wild and very cold…brrrrrrrr

Dutch Influence

Today, Lynden is well known for its orderly, conservative, and highly religious community.  The Dutch influence is clearly evident when observing the township.

Up until the early 1900’s the mainstay industry was logging as was much of the state of Washington.  However, because of being such an inviting place, many Dutch settlers moved into the area because of its fertile soil.

Now it was clear that dairy farming was taking over the area.  Quickly it became the dominant industry.   Ideal for vegetables too, such as beans, carrots, beets, barley, oats and hops, the railroad barons could see fortunes being made by exporting these goods.

The only downside to the railroad and to the town, was that the R.R. was 6 miles away in Clearbrook to the northeast of town.

Here Come The Hollanders!

D.J. Zylstra ( a Dutch Hollander) was considered to be one of the early city “fathers” that encouraged other Dutch families to move into the area.  In fact, his home on Front Street  was the first place Dutch families would go to when arriving in Lynden.

The “Hollanders” as the non-Dutch folks would call them, influenced the life and lifestyle of all who lived in Lynden.

Most Hollanders would follow the teachings of John Calvin (Calvinists) and were regarded as very conservative in socially and theological matters.

However, as the community grew with businesses and schools, the next generation grew up speaking English as their first language rather than the Dutch language spoken by their parents and grandparents.

Captivating downtown streets

Captivating downtown streets

Religious Schools Influence the Community

In the fall of 1910 the Lynden Christian School opened.  By 1945 the school grew to offer classes from first through high school.

Because of the Dutch way of thinking when it comes to religion, they would keep business and religion separate.  Not working on Sundays was a normal thing for the Dutch township.

Sometimes though, this proved to be a bit inconvenient for the rest of the non-Dutch businesses.  Restaurants, hardware, sundries stores of all kinds, would be closed.

However, the non-Dutch community learned to live with it because of the pleasant surrounding and living conditions that the Dutch families offered.

Dutch influence is seen

Dutch influence is seen everywhere

World War II

The second WW had displaced many thousands of individuals in  European lands.  Many chose to immigrate to the U.S. to start over.  Lynden was the ideal location.

During the 1950’s the percentage of Dutch families was well past the 50% mark.  Making the city of Lynden a “Dutch” community.

During the 1980’s a Dutch festival started with a two day festival and Dutch theme throughout the city.  Especially was this evident on Front Street with windmills, bakery and restaurants highlighting Dutch themes.

Lynden Today

Though the twenty first century has its influence on Lynden, all in all it remains a Dutch city.  The  ambiance that is found there is enjoyed by all who visit this peaceful, clean, friendly city here in Washington.

One thing you’ll note right away are the uniquely wide streets with pristine lawns on either side.  The story goes that in the early days the streets needed to be wide enough so horse drawn carriages and buggies could turn around anywhere in the streets.

Fair grounds

Northwest Washington Fair grounds

Unusual Entrance To Lynden

Strange but true, Lynden is one of the very few cities in the entire world with the main entrance into town running between two cemeteries.

Lynden also has the world record for having the most churches per square mile and per capita.  That may have a bearing why it has such a low crime rate even though it is a border town to Canada.

During the month of August, the city grows to some 200,000 people as they make their way to the Northwest Washington Fair grounds.

Whatever your reasons are for visiting Lynden, you’ll come away with that “warm and fuzzy feeling” because of the wonderful environment you’ll be immersed in.

Bald Eagles along the Nooksack River

Bald Eagles along the Nooksack River

Why not come and see for yourself? Share this site with your friends…

Written by:  Tom McDaniel

Images by:maggiewilliams,thenowtroopers,sevenstreetfarm,homeaway,livingwilderness

Deception Pass Bridge

Deception Pass Bridge

South of Anacortes and La Conner, you’ll come to Whidbey Island in the Puget Sound (pew-jet) area.   If you love the out of door like most folks here in Washington, then the North end of the Island where Deception Pass State Park is located is where you want to find yourself.

What is Deception Pass?  It is a 4,134 acre state park.  Thousands of feet of salt water shoreline and some 33,000 feet of fresh water shoreline is what will greet you as you enter the park.

Rugged cliffs dot the shoreline where they drop off into the highly turbulent waters that make up Deception Pass.

The bridge on a foggy morning

The bridge on a foggy morning

Here, as I’ve mentioned in previous blogs, you will still find some the famous “old growth” that made Washington a logging capital to the U.S. lumber markets along with  Massive forests, tremendous amounts of wildlife, dunes of sand, lakes, fantastic shoreline views and don’t forget the beautiful Pacific Northwest Sunsets.

NAVY Noise

While enjoying the park, from time to time you may also enjoy the “show” the local Naval Air Station puts on from time to time.  Some times it goes for a couple of hours.  These are the training missions for the fliers that can occur during the day or even into the nighttime hours.

What To Do

Stocking Cranberry Lake with trout

Stocking Cranberry Lake with trout

It’s not really a matter of trying to figure out what to do, but more like which will I choose to do?!   You’ll have so many choices that it would be almost impossible to enjoy all of the activities.

There’s picnic time, crabbing, snorkel or scuba diving, boating (be sure and bring your boat), freshwater and saltwater fishing, kayaking, beach walking and finding trophies along the way, mountain biking, hiking, challenging someone to horseshoes, sailboarding, circle fires, along with two amphitheaters.

Don’t forget the horse trails, hiking trails, and biking trails.

So…which will you choose?

Deception Pass beckons you to visit.

Deception Pass beckons you to visit.

Playground For The Kids

Bring the kids.  The playground can round out your full day of other activities by letting the kids burn off all that “extra energy” while you relax.

Bridge Connects The Islands

Crossing between Fidalgo and Whidbey Islands could only be done by boat, up until August 1934 when construction on the bridge finally began.

Wallace Bridge and Structural Company was used to build the two spans that would eventually connect the islands.  Labor was done by locals that were out of work along with those of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC).

Before the bridge though, was a small ferry system run by five foot tall Berte Olson, the first woman to be a ferry captain in the state of Washington.

Since the ferry system she used was a bit unstable to say the least, often times not running because of the choppy water and windy conditions, it was frustrating to those who needed to cross.

Being her source of income, she fought tooth and nail to have the bridge building stopped.

She lost her battle, but her story is very interesting.

The Park

Once you have discovered the bridge, then you’ll want to continue your enjoyment of the park by visiting  Cranberry Lake, the West Beach, Rosario Beach along with the Tide Pools, Pass Lake, North Beach, Hoypus Forest, Cornet Bay, Bowman Bay and Kukutali Preserve on Kiket Island.

Welcome to Deception Pass

Welcome to Deception Pass

So you see, there is an entire plethora of activities here in the Pass.

Plan your visit and come see what you are missing.  Leave your comments below.
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Written by:  Tom McDaniel

Images by:60before60,visitskagitvalley,evertrail,goskagit,delzane

What is night? Beautiful!

What is Anacortes at night? Simply Beautiful!

Anacortes (anna-core-tess) is in the state of Washington.  Located on the north end of Fidalgo Island.  Many ask what is Anacortes?   Some think of it as some type of wild animal.  For instance, a big snake like the Anaconda.

Sorry to disappoint you, but it is not a snake but what it is, is a unique place to live and visit.

The name Anacortes comes from a very early settler to the area named Amos Bowman.

Amos wanted to do something special for his beloved wife, so he named the area Anacortes which comes from his wife’s name of Anna Curtis.  A little “short cut” with her name and up comes Anacortes.

Welcome to Anacortes

Welcome to Anacortes

March Point

My first visit to Anacortes was the March Point area where my family and friends went crabbing.  If you like crab, then you’ve got to check out the fantastic crabbing in the area.

We had a small boat and a couple of crab nets with floats attached to the top so we could find them after tossing the basket nets into the water about 100 feet from the shore.

With a huge fish head wired to the inside of the basket, we waited about 20 or 30 minutes and then went to haul up the net basket.  This had to be done super fast as you can see the basket getting closer to the surface, the crabs literally are jumping out!

The faster you pull, the more you come up with.

What made this crabbing taste so great, is that with a beach campfire, and a large pot of the local salt water, we just cooked them on the spot.  Minutes later, dipping in melted butter, we all had our complete fill of crab.  All 12 of us!


After reading a few of my earlier posts on Seattle, the Seattle Space Needle, the Aquarium, Floating Bridges and Ferry systems, along with the GreenLake Park area, you’ll want to expand your understanding of the state of Washington, Mount Rainier, and the Seattle area to include it’s surroundings.

Directions To Anacortes

From Seattle head north along I-5 till you get to the Mount Vernon area and then head west on West Division Street which will connect you to Hwy. 536 which in turn, connects to I-20 that takes you directly into Anacortes.

On the other hand, if you stay on I-5 northbound a bit further you’ll come to Burlington.  Look for the westbound sign for I-20 which takes you past March Point and right into Anacortes.

“New York of the West”

Similar in nature as La Conner located just south of Anacortes, in the early days, many Indian groups or tribes, dotted the area.

The Samish and Swinomish tribes abounded.

Not having industry to contend with, the entire region was home to some of the largest trees in the U.S.

(Go to “Home” at top of this page and scroll all the way down to the bottom.  You’ll see some of those early trees that grew in the area.)

Old growth Douglas fir absolutely dominated the skyline.

Amos Bowman envisioned a “Western New York” and tried to promote Anacortes as an urban center for all to enjoy.  He failed.

Anacortes Today

Now famous for the Washington State Ferries terminal and docking port, Anacortes serves Lopez Island, Shaw Island and beautiful Orcas Island along with all of the San Juan Islands and up into British Columbia Canada with Victoria and Vancouver Island.

Enjoy a ferry ride for whale watching

Enjoy a ferry ride for whale watching

With ideal surroundings, boaters, fishermen (and women) flock to the area.   Outdoor camping and travel trailers are all welcome.

Enjoy tent or motorhome camping

Enjoy tent or motorhome camping

Being so close to the Strait of Juan de Fuca, whale watching has proven to be a real drawing influence to people from all around the world.

A Scenic Hike

Some 50 miles of mountain biking and hiking trails wind there way throughout the region.  Even for those adventurous souls that  enjoy rock climbing, you’ll be pleased at the many challenges that Anacortes offers you.

Mount Erie is also a challenge if you enjoy hiking.  It’s 1273 foot peak will give you a view that you’ll not soon forget.

Hiking scenery

Hiking scenery you’ll enjoy in Anacortes

On the other hand, if you are not into walking or rock climbing, then don’t forget the long-distance cyclists.  It is sponsored by Adventure Cycling Association “Northern Tier” that will get you started near Anacortes and end in Bar Harbor, Maine.

Don't forget about Anacortes shopping!

Don’t forget about Anacortes shopping!

Fun Stuff

Shipwreck Day , Anacortes Arts Festival, and Oyster Run are events that will bear looking into for young and old alike, and don’t forget to see the “Pirates” of Seattle!

Oyster Run downtown

Oyster Run downtown Anacortes…Come join the Fun!

Why not come in and join us?

Anacortes would welcome your visit. Share this site.

Written by: Tom McDaniel

Leave your comments below…I love to hear from folks!

Images by:anacortes,visitanjuans,activerain,shipharborinn