Latitude / Longitude:
48° 23′ 0″ N, 122° 21′ 47″ W
Pacific (PST) (UTC-8)
Skagit City was a town at the divergence of the North and South Forks of the Skagit River, in the U.S. state of Washington. The Barker’s Trading Post along the river, opened in 1869, was partially or fully responsible for drawing people to settle at the townsite, which became an important river transportation center at least one point along its history, most notably 1872. The city prospered until shortly before the 1880s, after the upstream community of Mount Vernon, Washington began to prosper. By 1906, only one building remained of the entire town, and after World War II, it had disappeared entirely.
The first white settlement in the Skagit River forks area was in 1868, when a small store was established there by a man named Campbell. The Barker’s Trading Post, established by John Barker in 1869, was a trading post near the divergence of the Skagit River into two distributaries named the North Fork and the South Fork. While the South Fork was navigable, the North Fork was the smaller channel that flowed into marshes, estuaries and sloughs in the northern part of the delta of the Skagit River. Two huge logjams, which often included tree trunks longer than 100 feet (30 m), shortly upstream in the river impeded navigation further upstream, which diverted more water traffic to the trading post rather than to upstream communities. This series of logjams was later destroyed, allowing ships to travel further upstream, and also spelled the end for Skagit City.
Today, the city of Cedardale, Washington, is the closest city to the former townsite, and the name “Skagit City” has become simply a placename on the northeastern tip of Fir Island at where two distributaries diverge and carry Skagit River water into Skagit Bay, which branches off the Strait of Juan de Fuca. The city, however, played an integral part to the current settlement of Skagit County.
Also in 1877, floods on the Skagit River tearing through the newly excavated channels carried away more logs from the slowly dissipating jams. In late 1877, the logjam blocking the mouth of the Stillaguamish River had been entirely destroyed.