Anacortes was founded in 1879 by a railroad surveyor. He promoted the city as the “New York of the West”. With the promise of eventually being a major terminus for the railroad, people flocked to the area, but the idea never came to fruition. The Anacortes city website explains it best, “smugglers, bootleggers, sailors, fishermen, lumberjacks and other adventurers created an atmosphere of a frontier town, which would remain a part of Anacortes for decades to come. This was balanced by teachers, ministers, boosters and laborers who, thanks to hard work in a land rich in resources, survived periodic hard times and a rowdy past to succeed in becoming a proper city.” Downtown Anacortes is filled with buildings from the late 1800s to the early 1900s (many of which are listed on the National Register of Historic Places). The steamboat, which has been pulled out of the water and placed next to the train station, is one of only two snag boats in the United States. (A snag boat is a steamboat with an apparatus used to remove debris from inland waters.) There are over 150 cartoon cutouts all over town created by a local artist, a quadriplegic who studied art after becoming paralyzed as a teenager in an accident on nearby Whidbey Island. The cutouts are part of the Anacortes Mural Project, which showcases a century of the town’s history.