Last month I visited Washington state, and we took an impromptu family drive to the quaint city of Anacortes. I heard about this place quite some time ago, because it has a dance group named after my Baba’s hometown of Vela Luka, so I wanted to check it out. We explored the Museum, Causland Memorial Park, the Maritime Heritage Center, and the W.T. Preston . It is a very pleasant community, and we experienced an enjoyable day together concluding with yummy ice cream from the Mad Hatter! The take away for this trip was the addition of two books on My Heritage page. Croatian Fishing Families of Anacortes by Bret Lunsford tells the stories of early Croatian fishing families who immigrated to the Anacortes area — many of whom arrived from the sister city of Vela Luka, Croatia — Suryan, Franulovich, Oreb, Barchot, Padovan, Milat, Separovich — surnames of distant cousins on my personal family tree! This hardback book contains many family stories and a lot of large black and white photographs about each family and their life’s work — I purchased my copy via mail from the Croatian Club of Anacortes, but it is also for sale at the Maritime Heritage Center.
I appreciated all these families so much more after reading Lost at Sea by Patrick Dillon, an intriguing book I picked up at the museum. This true story opened my eyes to the dangers experienced by Anacortes fishermen who ventured off to Alaskan waters. The names of several Croatian fishermen were sprinkled throughout the book which made me feel connected to them, Anacortes, and my new Alaskan home. This was a great read if you are interested in history and details about the big crabbing industry in the North! Available a the Anacortes Museum and on Amazon.com. Hoping to explore Anacortes more in the future! ~ Enjoy!