The Many Faces of Anacortes, or “How I Came to Love Amos Bowman”

Men with trenchcoats, men with canes, men with cameras, men with porkpie hats, men with bow ties, men with pinstriped pants and boxing gloves?

Welcome to Anacortes, where the town is small, but the men are dapper. Well, at the very least, they used to be.

It was mentioned in my last entry that Adam and I made a Valentine’s Day venture to a formerly-unexplored-by-us town called Anacortes. We really didn’t have a clue what to expect, and we truly didn’t care. We wanted to go somewhere new, and for all we knew (or cared), Anacortes would be a ghost town filled with nothing and no one except for time-traveling gentlemen.

Close. Very close.

Anacortes, Washington is on Fidalgo Island. It’s main point of interest are the ferries, which take you to British Columbia and the San Juan Islands. If you are not journeying to any of those places, you can always spend the day visiting with the various wood panel murals of men who I guess are important to the history of the town. Like this one, for example, who “sold furniture here from 1942-1946”.

It’s kind of laughable, but in the best kind of charming way. And don’t get me wrong, there are other things too. A couple thrifty/vintage stores, like “The Thrifty Kitty”, which donates all proceeds to a kitty rescue! What could be better. (We bought an old copy of Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights for me there). There’s a great bookstore and some eateries, too. And in full disclosure, I’m only talking about the historic section of Anacortes. There’s also a lot of normal, strip mall kind of stuff, but who goes to those places anyway?

But really, the town is oddly quiet, and almost Stepford Wives-y in a way (just a much humbler, cuter way). Adam completely disagrees with me, though. He thinks I’ve gotten too used to the noise of downtown Bellingham and it has clouded my ability to clearly evaluate places. Humph, maybe so. At any rate, Adam and I ended up having quite a fun and silly time looking at all the painted gentlemen.

The old-timey boxers were my favorite. I embarrassed Adam and made him stand with them for a picture with my incredible Fujifilm Instax camera (thank you to the most loverly friend, Shelby, who gave it to me as a wedding gift!). Shortly after I took the photo, we realized that we’d missed a GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY to have a pretty sweet picture of Adam fake-boxer-posing with these men. Ah, well. Next time.adam and the boxers

I said the boxing men were my favorite, but that was until I met Amos Bowman. Oh, Mr. Bowman. Amos Bowman, we now know, was the founder of Anacortes. You can read about him here. His wife, Anne Curtis Bowman, is the namesake of the town. Anne Curtis/Anacortes–pretty good, right?

We never would have been introduced to Mr. Bowman (and subsequently learned all about him), if it wasn’t for a moment of “husband-wish-granting his silly-wife’s-whims”:
We were on the main street out of Anacortes, heading back to Bellingham, when I saw the largest and most dapper mural of all. As we continued driving, getting closer and closer to leaving the big man behind, I said (and sounded, I’m sure, like a panicked 5-year old who doesn’t want to miss the pony show down the road) “Adam can we stop???” That poor man puts up with a lot. Without complaint, he made the soonest right turn and found a roundabout way of getting back to the mural, where I made him take a photo of me, pretending to hold a cane, just like Mr. Bowman’s.

We only took a photo with the Instax, and it didn’t turn out perfectly. But I love it nonetheless.

Well I think that about covers it. I suppose several photos of paintings of men may not be the most interesting topic to many, but I hope it held your attention in some way or another. I congratulate you if you’ve made it to the end of this blog entry! Well done, friend.

Here’s a few other men, in case you are wanting more:


And here’s one with the best man of all.


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