NAME: Blanchard
COUNTY: Skagit
CLIMATE: Cool winter and summer.
COMMENTS: Semi-ghost.
REMAINS: Many original buildings.
The town was named for a George Blanchard, an early homesteader who took up land for logging in 1885. Blanchard was an ideal place for a town. The Chuckanut Mountains were heavily forested with prime timber, while the low-lying deltas south of Blanchard were extremely fertile for farming. In the early part of the twentieth century, the population of Blanchard exceeded 1,000. There were stores, saloons, meat markets, a pool hall, barber shop, Methodist Church, and large boarding houses for some workers. Blanchard secured financing from an easterner, Ravand K. Hawley, and proceeded to expand his logging business by acquiring more land on Chucknut Mountain. He formed the Blanchard Logging Company and continued operations until about 1900 when financier Hawley died forcing the sale of some of the company's assets. It was then the Blanchard family left the town for good. When logging activity began to diminish, the town began to die. That was in 1925. Then came a new enterprise. The Rock Point Oyster Company. Under the direction of an E.N. Steele, a State Senator, the oyster business flourished in time. The operation stayed in the hands of the Steele family until 1991, when it was sold to Taylor United, Inc. of Shelton, Washington. Submitted by Henry Chenowith.