The Fishtown Project: A Movie about an Artist Community

We are creating a documentary about Fishtown, a community of artists at the mouth of the Skagit River in Washington State. The dwellings at Fishtown were humble shacks which had been abandoned when net fishing was outlawed at the mouth of the Skagit River. About a dozen artists moved into them and were productive from the late 60s into the 80s. Fishtown was approachable only by a circuitous route by land or by boat. The Fishtown artists took their inspiration from the "Northwest Mystics," Morris Graves, Mark Tobey, Guy Anderson and others. They worked in literature and visual arts. Much like the NW Mystics, the artists of Fishtown were greatly influenced by Asian art and literature.

Update March 15, 2022:
For the last few weeks we have been wrangling files and cleaning up drives in order to start the final editing. In the last couple days work has turned to the footage that was shot of Charles Krafft at Fishtown. As far I know it is the only video of fishtown.

As usual, donations to the project are humbly accepted at the very bottom of this web page. If you have not signed up for the Fishtown newsletter, you can do so at the bottom of this page.. An issue will be forthcoming in a day or two.

Update February 13, 2022: We finished an interview with Steve Herold in the last several days. Steve's interview together with sessions with Hans Nelsen, Charlie Krafft, Sara Amies, Paul Hansen, and Bo Miller finish the planned interviews. We will have to sort through photos; I am in need of shack photos! Please let me know if you have anything. Please scan at 300 dpi. Thank you!

The majority of funding on this project has been personal. Lately we have been the recipient of readers' generosity; we thank them again. However, we are now approaching the point at which it will be necessary to call in specialists to finish the project. If you can, we would appreciate any contributions to the project. Under the newsletter sign-up section at the bottom of this page you will reach a secure donation site. Thank you!

(below: drone footage ends with view of the Fishtown neighborhood.)

There's a good Wikipedia article on Fishtown.

Here's a blog with entries regarding Fishtown citizen Hans Nelsen.

There was a Fishtown show at Kobo gallery in 2007.

Fred Owens has written on topics relating to Fishtown. Step carefully.

A memory of a boat trip to Fishtown.

Images of the beautiful Skagit Valley.

Charles Krafft, mayor of Fishtown and one of the 37 least powerful people in Seattle.

A poem by Fishtown poet Robert Sund about the hike to Shi-Shi Beach, his summer residence. Spoken by Bill Yake

Profile of Charles Krafft.

Wikipedia article on Fishtown.

VR images of the 2010 Fishtown Show at the Museum of Northwest Art in Laconner

Robert Sund rowing near Bo Miller's shack

Above: Robert Sund nears Bo Miller's place on the Skagit.

Please share with me any items or people that you believe should be included.
In particular, we need photos of the shacks at Fishtown. Please let me know if you know of anythat you might have or the location of others...thanks!
Thanks to all of you who have supported the project in the past. It is moving ahead. I have recently received footage of Robert Sund circa early 90s. Please sign up for our mailing list.

People always ask me how they can get to Fishtown. The answer is that you can't. It exists only in memory and the work that was done there.

I am a recipient of a generous grant from 4Culture; I am currently working on funding for the rest of the film. If you you can donate see the donation area below. If you have materials or can be of help in any way please contact 206 399 2010 or email me at

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Donations cheerfully accepted below. Thank you!