The Gaches Mansion, now home of the La Conner Quilt & Textile Museum, has had a long and fascinating history here in the Skagit Valley. James and George Gaches, who owned a successful mercantile business, completed the Tudor-style Victorian mansion in 1891. The mansion changed hands through the years until 1973, when a tenant’s cigarette ignited the third floor, attic and roof. Over the next few years, supporters completed the critical repairs and restoration of the historic home. Thanks in part to a Heritage Capital Projects grant from the Washington State Historical Society, the 1891 Victorian Gaches Mansion is now the crown jewel of La Conner’s Historic District.
Built from 1891-1892, the residence was originally a spectacular 17-room, 3 story mansard-style Victorian mansion built by Millard Fillmore Hamilton, who platted the Quilcene townsite in the 1880’s. In the economic depression of the late 1890’s the Hamilton family lost the home. It was eventually purchased by WJ Worthington and his wife, Grace, in 1907. It is still known as the Worthington residence and, until her 2012 passing, was the private home of Eileen Worthington. Thanks in part to a Heritage Capital Projects grant from the Washington State Historical Society, much needed repair and maintenance work was completed on the home, ensuring it will continue to be an icon of the Quilcene community.
The Suquamish are a Lushootseed speaking people that traditionally lived along the Kitsap Peninsula. Many of the present-day Suquamish live on the Port Madison Indian Reservation in the reservation towns of Suquamish and Indianola. The ancestral Suquamish have lived in Central Puget Sound for approximately 10,000 years. The major Suquamish winter village was at Old Man House on the shoreline of Agate Passage at d’suq’wub meaning “clear salt water.” The Suquamish name translates into the “people of the clear salt water.” Thanks in part to a Heritage Capital Projects grant from the Washington State Historical Society, the tribe built a new Suquamish Museum and Arts Center, which opened in 2012. It will help continue the legacy of Chief Seattle and the Suquamish people long into the future.
Squaxin Island Tribal Museum
The Squaxin Island Museum Library and Research Center tells the story of the People of the Water through a series of exhibits and displays depicting the relationship between Squaxin Island Tribal members and the seven inlets of South Puget Sound. The hopes and dreams of the elders and those who have walked before have come true through this magnificent facility. Their culture - past and present - is preserved for people of all generations. Thanks in part to a Heritage Capital Projects grant from the Washington State Historical Society, the Squaxin Island Tribe’s Museum Library and Research Center is the highlight of any visit to the South Puget Sound area.
Maritime Heritage Park
An asset to the City of Bellingham, Maritime Heritage Park offers a number of recreational opportunities for people of all ages, including amenities such as an amphitheater, fish hatchery, multipurpose fields, a native plant trail, picnic tables, a salmon art trail, and more. With just a short walk, visitors can tour the Bellingham waterfront or see the nearby Bellingham Maritime Museum. Thanks in part to a Heritage Capital Projects grant from the Washington State Historical Society, Maritime Heritage Park will continue to be an important community resource to the people of Whatcom County.