Avon, Washington

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Avon, Washington is a former pioneer town in Skagit County, Washington. It is now an unincorporated community. It is located on the western side of the large bend in the Skagit River above Mount Vernon. The community most likely was named after Stratford-upon-Avon.[1]

History[edit]

The place of the original waterfront area is East of Bennett road and South of Avon St. In these early days access to the site was dependent on use of the river. Sections of the two log jams near Mount Vernon had been cleared by 1879, and sternwheelers were able to reach the area. It was full of giant cedars that were cut down to make room for the town. The cedar stumps were then harvested for shingle bolts and the rest of the clearing of the land took place. Early homesteaders were Thomas McCain in 1876 and Charles Conrad in 1881. Arthur Henry Skaling opened a store Oct 27, 1883 on land he purchased from W.H. Miller who had settled there the year before.[2] According to early resident Ada Hall, W.H. Miller settled this property in 1874 and built the first house there.[3] Soon Avon had a shingle mill, a post office, a boat builder, several stores, an implement company, a newspaper (The Avon Record), a restaurant, a hotel, a barber shop, stage line and two milliners. Methodists organized a church in 1884 and the present building dates to 1887 with Rev. Moore giving the dedicatory service.[4] Rev. Vroman was the first regular preacher.[5] The church was originally much closer to the river on the Eastern section of what is now called Avon st. It was moved around 1920 to its present location.[6] By 1889 the population reached 500.[7] The Avon school was at the SW corner of Avon Allen road and Bennett road. It was built in 1892[8] and the gymnasium structure is still there. There was also an IOOF Hall built in 1891[9] and stood at the SE corner of the town, which is now where Bennett road makes a curve to the West.[10] This building is no longer there. The post office closed in 1906 and mail was transferred to Mount Vernon.[11] After the flooding of 1909 many of the waterfront buildings were moved away from the river to be protected by the newly constructed dike.[12] As the importance of waterways for transportation and industry decreased, and the use of rail and autos increased, the waterfront town of Avon slowly ceased to be a town and became a quiet residential community. Most of the original buildings are no longer there except for a few homes built before 1900, the school gymnasium, and the Methodist church.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Meany, Edmond S. (1923). Origin of Washington geographic names. Seattle: University of Washington Press. p. 11. 
  2. ^ Willis, Margaret (Editor) (1973). Chechacos All: The Pioneering of Skagit. Mount Vernon, WA: Skagit County Historical Society. 
  3. ^ Hall, Ada (1957). Avon: The Town. collection of the Skagit County Historical Museum. p. 18. 
  4. ^ Willis, pg.188
  5. ^ Hall, pg.6
  6. ^ Willis, pg.73
  7. ^ Hall, pg.10
  8. ^ Willis, pg.181
  9. ^ Willis, pg.191
  10. ^ Dodd, pg.1 map
  11. ^ Willis, pg.203
  12. ^ Dodd, Harvey W (1973). Avon: 1900-1910. Mount Vernon. 


Coordinates: 48°26′32″N 122°22′43″W / 48.44222°N 122.37861°W / 48.44222; -122.37861