Langley's gonna be a good town some day.
Captain of the Fairhaven, a steam-powered purse-seiner (1884)
The good Captain was right…"some day" has come to Langley!
Upper Left: The Fairhaven
Lower Right: The Langley Marina today
Langley is a waterfront village perched like a signet ring on the lush 60-mile
long finger of Whidbey Island, the second-largest saltwater island in the continental
United States. The town faces north and east and is nestled into a watershed
that drains into a small harbor. Whidbey Island floats in Puget Sound between
the Olympic and the Cascade Mountain ranges carved out of volcanic deposits
left behind by massive glaciers that extended to Seattle and beyond.
Whidbey's geologic fire-and-ice history is reflected in miniature by the provocative
human history of the City of Langley: a fuel source for wood-fired cargo and
fishing boats plying Saratoga Passage and Puget Sound; settled by legendary
ferryboat captains, rugged loggers, and young risk-takers like Joseph Anthes
who, in 1890 at the age of 25, purchased the land where Langley would eventually
grow and thrive.
Langley was named for a Seattle judge and partner of Anthes, and the City was
governed for a time in 1919 by an enthusiastic all-women council (the nation's
first). The town came to life in logging and farming times, beset and nearly
destroyed by dock-wrecking, farm-defeating storms, then rebuilt to support
northward migration inspired by Alaskan gold rush fever. To read more about
Langley's colorful history, click here.
Today Langley enjoys a small-town (estimated 2007 population: 1063) atmosphere within an hour's journey (including the car ferry trip) from urban Seattle. The town's signature characteristics include: bustling center of local commerce, strong seasonal economic impact from visitors, deep pool of resident artists and performers, artisans in nearly every medium, farmers, community involvement in local government, festivals, home of the county fair, beaches, forests, pocket parks, a 250-seat performing arts center that presents local as well as world-class entertainment, a small marina, and the oldest cemetery on Whidbey Island.
Welcome to Langley!