This attractive riverfront town, the county seat of Skagit County and founded in 1871, is surrounded by dairy pastures, vegetable fields, and bulb farms—the town is famous for its annual Tulip Festival in April, when thousands of people visit to admire the floral exuberance. After a giant logjam on the lower Skagit was cleared, steamers began churning up the river, and Mount Vernon soon became the major commercial center of the Skagit Valley, a position it has never relinquished. Rising above downtown and the river, 972-foot-high Little Mountain is a city park with a view. It used to be an island until the mudflats were filled in by Skagit River silt. Glacial striations in rocks near the top of the mountain, dating from the last continental glaciation (10,000–20,000 years ago), were made when the mountain (and all of the Puget Sound region) was covered by some 3,500 feet of ice.
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