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Welcome to Our Website

The Anacortes Museum, Maritime Heritage Center and W.T. Preston exist to preserve and interpret the history of Fidalgo and Guemes Islands and to nurture in the community an awareness and appreciation of its heritage. 

Anacortes Museum (1305 8th St.) open Tuesday - Sunday.

WEEKENDS ONLY at the W. T. Preston and Maritime Heritage Center (703 R Ave.) in September and October.

Following the current health guidelines, the Anacortes Museum, W. T. Preston and the Maritime Heritage Center have opened to visitors again. Look for our “Museum” open flag during our Tuesday – Sunday schedule (closed Monday) at the Carnegie Gallery at 1305 8th Street and WEEKENDS ONLY at the Maritime Heritage Center / W.T. Preston in September and October.

Masks are required for entry. Social distancing is encouraged.

Thank you for your patience – and welcome back!

Anacortes Museum open Tuesday - Saturday, 10am - 4pm and Sunday from 1pm to 4pm.

W. T. Preston and Maritime Heritage Center are open WEEKENDS ONLY in September and October: Saturday, 10am - 4pm and Sunday from 11am to 4pm. The W.T. Preston and Maritime Heritage Center are closed November - March


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The Abominable has returned to Anacortes! After a year in lockdown, the iconic Burl Ives characters are open to the public and ready to make more happy holiday memories with you and yours! Make your way down to the Island of Misfit Toys (the Anacortes Museum Carnegie Library), and take some holiday selfies with all your favorite characters!

Each year since 2017, the Anacortes Museum has celebrated the bumbles and misfit toys with a December tribute to Rudolph and friends.

Most of the 18 large Christmas cutout murals featuring Rudolph, Sam the Snowman, Santa and other characters from the 1964 animated Christmas TV special "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer," which featured Burl Ives as the narrator and voice of Sam the Snowman. These Christmas decorations were placed out each year in Anacortes on Burl and Dorothy Ives' street frontage at 2804 Oakes Ave., to the community's great delight. The Ives' moved to Anacortes in 1989. He died here in 1995 and she died in 2016. The murals are painted on wood and range from about 2 feet to 7.5 feet in height by Eddie Strivens of Anacortes.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is a 1964 Christmas stop-motion animated television special produced by Videocraft International, Ltd. (later known as Rankin/Bass Productions) and currently distributed by Universal Television. It first aired Sunday, December 6, 1964, on the NBC television network in the United States, and was sponsored by General Electric under the umbrella title of The General Electric Fantasy Hour. The special was based on the Johnny Marks song "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" which was itself based on the poem of the same name written in 1939 by Marks' brother-in-law, Robert L. May. --Wikipedia

In 1990, Ives and Dorothy moved to Anacortes, Washington, where they lived at 2804 Oakes Avenue. He indulged his hobbies and became involved in his community, helping to raise funds for a pediatric facility and cultural center. But soon Ives' health began to suffer. On April 14, 1995, Ives died with Dorothy and his three stepchildren at his side

Burl Icle Ivanhoe Ives, born June 14, 1909, in Hunt City Township, Ill., grew up in a large, musical family. His father, Frank, was a migrant farmer. As they kept house and tended the family, Burl's mother, Cordella, and grandmother, Kate White, taught Burl and his six brothers and sisters how to sing Irish, Scottish and English folk songs.

He narrated the still-popular animated television movie "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer."


FEATURE ARTICLE: The Spanish Influenza outbreak of 1918

by Museum Curator Elaine Walker

Public Places Close 1918“With schools and businesses closed, nurses exhausted and many people caring for sick loved ones at home, it feels to us like the COVID-19 pandemic is historically unprecedented. However, Anacortes citizens faced an almost identical situation 100 years ago when the Spanish Influenza swept the world.”

So begins an in-depth article, Spanish Influenza in Anacortes, by our Curator of Collections, Elaine Walker, who put her reporter’s hat back on to research and write about these stories from Anacortes history. She has also assembled the original stories, found in online Anacortes American’s, which can be read in the original historic pages or in this chronological compilation, Spanish Influenza articles AA 1918-1920.  READ MORE…


Our Museums

Anacortes Museum

Located in the historic Carnegie Library Building.


Tuesday through Saturday
10 AM- 4 PM 

1 PM- 4 PM

Anacortes Museum Carnegie in 2017

1305 8th Street, Anacortes WA 98221


Free Admission

Anacortes Maritime Heritage Center

Located on the waterfront of downtown Anacortes.


Tuesday through Saturday

10 AM - 4 PM 


Maritime Heritage Center

703 R Avenue, next to the Great Northern Depot and the W.T. Preston.


Free Admission  

W.T. Preston

Our National Landmark sternwheel steamboat. 


Preston by Robert Geczi April 16, 2005

703 R Avenue, next to our Maritime Heritage Center

Tour Cost: $3-$5

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