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!
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. Read more about Langley's colorful history 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!