German immigrant Jacob Anthes founded Langley in 1891 at the height of western railway expansion and the resulting development mania. Anthes purchased land on a likely spot above Saratoga Passage where steamers had easy access and land contours dictated that roads would intersect. He enlisted the financial backing of Seattle’s Judge J. W. Langley and set about building a town.
Langley boomed while supplying prospectors during the Alaska gold rush. It saw busts as well. One came after the Great Northern Railway changed its terminus to Bellingham, strangling Whidbey’s access to markets. Following World War II, traditional occupations like logging, farming and fishing didn’t compare favorably with tantalizing prospects offered by the G.I. Bill. Business lagged until well into the 1960s when Langley’s dramatic site on Puget Sound and low cost-of-living attracted flower children inspired by civil rights, anti-war, and Age of Aquarius visions. Here was a remote paradise to compose music, plant crops, and reinvent the world. They revived downtown, opening businesses like the Star Store, The Clyde Theatre and Linds Pharmacy.
Today telecommuters and retirees join the mix. Langley is a vibrant community where arts thrive as robustly as Himalayan blackberry bushes. You’ll find writers and poets observing everyone closely in local cafes. Plays, concerts and dance performances are part of the Whidbey Island Center for the Arts schedule. Galleries feature the work of internationally-known painters, potters and glassblowers. Our local musicians win Oscars and Grammies.
Langley’s pace is slowed by long conversations at the grocery store check-out line, and no one would dream of honking their car horn except to say hello. Our village-by-the-sea is a place Agatha Christie would be glad to call home.
April 15th, 2013
This is a great way to help us celebrate our local Gray whales - and their Spring return to our Puget Sound waters! Saturday, April 20th: Fun for the entire family, including educational events, displays, costume making and a parade! Sunday April 21st: Join us for a whale watch. …
March 11th, 2013
Here's some great news for folks who are visiting Langley - there's a new shuttle in town! According to an article in the South Whidbey Record, the shuttle will run on weekends and during special events. The shuttle was purchased by the Langley Main Street Association - and volunteers are needed to help drive the shuttle. …
February 23rd, 2013
The beautiful "Village by the Sea" is 100 years old, and for 29 of those years, Mystery Weekend has been brightening up the last weekend in February for locals and visitors alike. South Whidbey resident Loretta Martin does a masterful job of creating a tale of intrigue and deception that is challenging for even the …