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Catalog Number WF 0059.A,B,C,D,E,F,G
Description In 1891 a railroad line was completed between Anacortes and Fidalgo City (present Dewey Beach), a distance of eleven miles. Four new, dark maroon, electric passenger rail cars, each capable of accommodating 80 passengers, were purchased, the first ones in the Northwest. Photographs of the time show a railroad labeled Fidalgo City and Anacortes Electric Railway located on P/Commercial Avenue. The line may have proceeded south on P Avenue until it intersected with the Seattle Northern Line, then continued to Weaverling Spit where the company built a trestle across Fidalgo Bay to Munk's Landing on March's Point. (The bridge was used as a wagon bridge until c. 1920s.) Seattle Northern had just built a trestle a little south of it in 1889 which still stands (part of the Tommy Thompson Trail). From there the railroad proceeded southerly, near the present route of Highway 20, to Dewey.

The line had to be completed by January 1, 1891, to secure a land grant, but because delivery of equipment had been delayed the Anacortes businessmen who had chartered the railway received an extension. On Sunday March 29, 1891, eighteen passengers boarded a railway car for the first trip to Fidalgo City. The farther the car traveled from the powerhouse the more the electrical voltage decreased, causing the car to slow to a crawl. Including repair stops the trip took three hours. On the return trip it became necessary for both crew and passengers to frequently get out and push.

Following this ill-fated trip, the company operated one of its four cars occasionally on a ten minute three mile trip in Anacortes. The railroad had been planned and mostly built during the boom days of 1890. By 1891 the boom was over and the company was unable to raise the funds to build an adequate powerhouse to make the line run properly. Consequently the company went bankrupt. The four cars and machinery were seized and taken to Seattle, ending any hope for the Fidalgo City and Anacortes Electric Railway
Photographer EWING, David B.
Collection Wallie Funk Collection
Subjects Photograph
People
Transportation - Railroad
Place - Anacortes, WA
Credit line Donated by Wallie Funk, Wallie Funk Collection
Place Anacortes, WA
Search Terms Anacortes and Fidalgo City Electric Railroad Company
electric railroad
power plant
Weaverling Spit
trestle
Fidalgo City and Anacortes Electric Railroad
Object Name Print, Photographic