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The second-oldest town in Washington is Coupeville, founded in 1853. Until the white settlement of the 1850s, the Lower Skagit Indians lived in four villages on Penn Cove, fishing and gathering plentiful plants and berries. Sea captains, such as Capt. Thomas Coupe, were drawn to the area’s deepwater port and the opportunities it offered to transport timber from surrounding forests. At the same time, pioneer farmers, like Isaac Ebey, marveled at the rich soil of nearby Ebey’s Prairie, where they planted crops and wrote to friends and relatives, inviting them to come and share the bounty. Together, captains of the sea and soil created a town of distinctive Victorian houses and enterprising businesses that inhabitants and visitors enjoy today.