NAME: Hamilton
COUNTY: Skagit
CLIMATE: Cool winter and summer.
COMMENTS: Semi-ghost.
REMAINS: Many original buildings.
Hamilton is known for both its coal and iron discoveries. Coal was discovered in 1874 and iron in 1881. Two mountains, opposite each other and separated by Cumberland Creek, Iron Mountain on the east and Coal Mountain on the west, was the site for the platting of Hamilton on the north side of the river below the two mountains in 1877. Although there was activity during the 1880s, development of the mines was greatly inhibited by the inability of vessels to navigate the Skagit River to a point where the ore could be loaded and virtually no roads existed. By 1890, steamers were able to navigate the river and serious work to develop the mines began. Hamilton was touted to be the coming "Pittsburgh of the West," and its population boomed. 1,500 people lived and worked there in 1890. The town suffered enormous damage from floods when the Skagit River overflowed, the first in 1892, the second in1894, and a third in 1896. But the town survived and mining prospects continued to fuel development. What water didn't take, fire did. In 1925, a huge fire decimated most of the business district. The town remained an entity but never recovered. Today, there are about 200 residents, some of whom are gathering artifacts for a Hamilton museum that the rich history of the town is not forgotten. Submitted by Henry Chenowith.