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La Conner
La Conner, Washington
La Conner 32308.JPG
Location of La Conner, Washington
Location of La Conner, Washington
Country United States
State Washington
County Skagit
 • Total 0.48 sq mi (1.25 km2)
 • Land 0.40 sq mi (1.03 km2)
 • Water 0.08 sq mi (0.22 km2)
56 ft (17 m)
 • Total 965
 • Density 2,384.42/sq mi (919.98/km2)
Time zone UTC−8 (Pacific (PST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC−7 (PDT)
ZIP Code
Area code 360
FIPS code 53-36780
GNIS feature ID 1534592

La Conner is a town in Skagit County, Washington, United States with a population of 965 at the 2020 census. It is included in the Mount VernonAnacortes, Washington Metropolitan Statistical Area. In the month of April, the town annually hosts the majority of the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival events. The center of town, ”the Hill,” roughly bounded by Second, Morris and Commercial Streets and the Swinomish Channel, is a historic district and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


La Conner was first settled in May 1867 by Alonzo Low and was then known by its post office name, Swinomish. In 1869, J.S. Conner bought the settlement's trading post and in 1870 had the name changed to honor his wife, Louisa Ann Conner. The French-appearing "La" representing her first- and middle-initials. La Conner was once the county seat of Skagit County.


La Conner is located at the coordinates 48°23′26″N 122°29′44″W / 48.39056°N 122.49556°W / 48.39056; -122.49556 (48.390495, -122.495646).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 0.51 square miles (1.32 km2), of which, 0.41 square miles (1.06 km2) is land and 0.10 square miles (0.26 km2) is water.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1890 398
1900 564 41.7%
1910 603 6.9%
1920 516 −14.4%
1930 549 6.4%
1940 624 13.7%
1950 594 −4.8%
1960 638 7.4%
1970 639 0.2%
1980 633 −0.9%
1990 656 3.6%
2000 761 16.0%
2010 891 17.1%
2019 (est.) 949 6.5%
U.S. Decennial Census

As of 2000 the median income for a household in the town was $42,344, and the median income for a family was $52,083. Males had a median income of $40,074 versus $26,875 for females. The per capita income for the town was $24,308. About 8.8% of families and 11.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 20.3% of those under age 18 and 8.1% of those age 65 or over.

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 891 people, 467 households, and 224 families residing in the town. The population density was 2,173.2 inhabitants per square mile (839.1/km2). There were 526 housing units at an average density of 1,282.9 per square mile (495.3/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 87.1% White, 0.7% African American, 5.1% Native American, 1.0% Asian, 3.4% from other races, and 2.8% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 6.2% of the population.

There were 467 households, of which 18.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 36.6% were married couples living together, 8.8% had a female householder with no husband present, 2.6% had a male householder with no wife present, and 52.0% were non-families. Of all households 45.8% were made up of individuals, and 24.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 1.91 and the average family size was 2.70.

The median age in the town was 52.8 years. Of all residents 16.8% were under the age of 18; 4.3% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 18.3% were from 25 to 44; 34.5% were from 45 to 64; and 26.2% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the town was 45.1% male and 54.9% female.


La Conner 32328
La Conner's Rainbow Bridge crossing the Swinomish Channel

La Conner's Rainbow bridge connects La Conner to Fidalgo Island which includes, the gated Shelter Bay Community, the Swinomish reservation, and the city of Anacortes. The center of town—roughly bounded by 2nd, Morris and Commercial Sts., and Swinomish Channel—is a historic district, listed on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP). Also on the NRHP is the Bethsaida Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Church Parsonage east of town.

Arts and culture

In La Conner you'll find plenty of evidence of the creativity that has flourished there since the 1940s. The Museum of Northwest Art showcases a permanent collection of northwest artists, as well as revolving shows throughout the year. The town is also home to the Skagit Historical Museum, with perhaps the best view in town, and the Quilt Museum, located in one of the oldest homes in town, the Gaches Mansion.

Besides art museums, there are many gift shops, galleries, clothing stores and fine dining establishments in town. The town also boasts plenty of charming small inns and Bed and Breakfasts.

La Conner is located at the edge of the largest tulip-growing region in the world, the Skagit Valley. In Spring, the local fields are filled with ribbons of color as the valley hosts the annual Tulip Festival the entire month of April. The protected farmland around the town is said to be some of the richest in the world, and the region grows everything from strawberries to wheat, with many local farmstands selling their wares on the highways and in town.

La Conner has a vibrant and rich art history. Musicians such as Bonnie Raitt, Steve Miller, & Taj Mahal all played the infamous 1890's Lounge in La Conner early in their careers.

Visual artists, painters, & photographers have flocked to La Conner and the surrounding Skagit Valley for decades because of the abundance of natural light, scenic beauty and wildlife. Fishtown an informal artists' community housed in a cluster of old cabins and fishing shacks on the Skagit River delta in La Conner, Washington, USA, housed many artists from the late 1960s to the mid 1980s. Famous artists such as Guy Anderson, Morris Graves, & Richard Gilkey called La Conner and the surrounding area home.

The town of La Conner is home to several fine art galleries, including Cassera Arts Premiers, Blackfish Gallery, La Conner Seaside Gallery and Alek's Art Studio.

Each spring, La Conner attracts tens of thousands of visitors to view a wide array of tulips. Also, it hosts the Arts Alive! show during the first weekend of November, where local artists display and sell their artwork.

The town is also famous for its many wild turkeys. In 2005, the town named the wild turkey as their "Official Town Bird." On August 8, 2006, however, a debate was heard in town council about whether the birds should be removed because of nuisance complaints about noise, fecal matter, and ingestion of garden materials. As of October 2010, the town council declared the turkeys to be a nuisance and have since taken action to have them removed from the town limits.

Sister cities

La Conner has the following sister cities.

Notable residents

Author Tom Robbins is a long-time resident of La Conner. Many of his books, most notably Another Roadside Attraction, have chapters set in the vicinity.

Pacific Northwest photographer Art Hupy (1924–2003) settled in La Conner in 1977 and founded the Museum of Northwest Art in 1981. Many influential Northwest artists including Guy Anderson, Clayton James, and Barbara Straker James have close ties to La Conner.

Radical labor activist Hulet M. Wells (1878–1970), a 1912 Socialist candidate for mayor of Seattle, president of the Seattle Central Labor Council, and founder in 1931 of the Unemployed Citizens' League of Seattle was born in a cabin near La Conner, where his Canadian-born parents homesteaded in 1877. Jailed at McNeil Island Penitentiary for his opposition to World War I, Wells was one of the leading public faces of Washington radicalism during the first decades of the 20th century.

Joe Shell (born in La Conner in 1918) is a former member and floor leader of the California State Assembly and was the intraparty opponent of Richard M. Nixon for the California Republican gubernatorial nomination in 1962. His father was an Indian agent at the time on the Swinomish Reservation.

In addition to these, there is also Brian Cladoosby. He has been the Chairman of the Swinomish Indian Senate from 1997 onward. In 2013 he was elected to be the (21st) President of the National Congress of American Indians and still serves today, as well as being the President of the Association of Washington Tribes.

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See also

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