Senior Living in Mount Vernon, WA - Tiptoe Thru the Tulips
Posted by Donna Mae Scheib on May 14, 2019
Senior Living in Mount Vernon, WA – Tiptoe Thru the Tulips
Mount Vernon, WA, the county seat of Skagit County, is located 60 miles north of Seattle along Interstate 5 and 65 miles south of Bellingham. Early settlers, as well as modern settlers, have praised its location in the fertile Skagit Valley, on either side of the beautiful Skagit River. In 1998, Mount Vernon was named the “Best Small City in America” in the New Rating Guide to Life in America’s Small Cities. Mount Vernon is the central hub to the world-famous Skagit Valley Tulip Festival. From the Riverwalk Plaza to the 12-foot high smokestack downtown, painted with a tulip bouquet, it’s all about the World Peace flower. Every year in April, tulip bulb farmers such as RoozenGaarde and Skagit Valley Bulb Farms welcome hundreds of thousands of visitors to their very own primavera wonderland.
About 500 acres of tulips, daffodils, and hyacinths – 75 percent of the United States’ commercial production – welcome spring with rainbow fields every year, depending on the weather. In the month of April, the city of Mount Vernon and surrounding cities host a myriad of activities. Farmers, entrepreneurs, and artists of all kinds flying their doors wide to welcome visitors and showcase their wares. The month-long Tulip Festival includes such events as the Kiwanis Salmon Barbecue, the Tulip Festival Street Fair in downtown Mt. Vernon, and the World’s Largest Garage Sale, at the Skagit County Fairgrounds. Visit for food, fun, and all kinds of frolics!
Mount Vernon is the central hub for year-round agriculture in the “Magic Skagit”. Farmers markets are open from May to mid-October, featuring fruits, vegetables, and flora at the peak of their season. Peas, potatoes, vegetable seeds, berries of all kinds, and corn, join bulb plants year-round in the market stalls. The usually-mild climate is like Northern France in a marine west coast environment. Like the rest of the Skagit Valley region, it is tempered by the Skagit River.
A Great Place for Senior Living
Mount Vernon is also a great place for senior living, with medical facilities close by, many senior housing communities, and a busy senior center. Skagit Regional Health and Skagit Valley Hospital are centrally located here, with air ambulance flights to Harborview Hospital in Seattle if the worst happens.
People living in their own homes can take advantage of home health caregivers as they need them while enjoying the seasons and many activities in the area. Low-income and affordable options include the Skagit Village Apartments and Mount Vernon Manor. Alpine Ridge Retirement Apartments is an independent living community. Assisted living facilities such as Mountain Glen Retirement Center, The Bridge Assisted Living, and Ashley Gardens of Mount Vernon offer more specialized care along a continuum of care.
Mount Vernon Senior Center
The Mount Vernon Senior Center is a hub of activity in Mount Vernon and it’s not only for seniors. Facility rentals in the evenings are diverse, from a Hispanic teen dance group practicing for an upcoming quinceanera (15th birthday) celebration, Girl Scouts, AA and Al-Anon meetings, and more. Harmony Northwest Chorus, a member of Sweet Adelines Region 13, rehearses there each week, as well as giving regular concerts throughout the year.
The Mount Vernon Senior Center is open regularly from 8-4 Mondays-Fridays, with a full menu as well as Meals on Wheels, a gift shop open 3 days a week, ceramics, watercolor painting, and the Skagit Valley Spinners. For physical activity, enjoy line dancing, clog dancing, round dancing, square dancing, Tai Chi, and Yoga. Lifetime learning in March includes Spanish, downsizing, and playing the ukulele. Foot care and fingernail care clinics are offered regularly, as well as regular meetings of the Northwest Corner COPD and Chronic Conditions Support Group. For fun and games, a regulation pool table stands waiting, as well as pinochle, duplicate bridge, and regular groups playing Bingo, Bunco, and dice. The Skagit Valley Crones meet at the Senior Center, as well as the Mad Hatters, a subgroup of the Red Hat Society.
History and Fun Facts
Jasper Gates and Joseph Dwelley established their homestead on the banks of the Skagit River in the 1870s, and other settlers soon followed. Harrison Clothier moved there to teach school, and he and E. G. English established a store in the new township that grew quickly. Like many other areas in the Pacific Northwest, logging was the main industry. As the logging camps grew, the town followed, supplying hotels, saloons, stores, and other businesses. The growing town was named Mount Vernon, for George Washington’s plantation on the banks of the Potomac. (A few visitors to Mount Vernon, Washington expect to visit attractions only found in Virginia, and vice versa.)
In the 1890s, Mount Vernon, Washington was officially incorporated and became the county seat. A web of railroads throughout the region carried passengers and freight, and the Skagit River became a more important waterway. The new city was built and rebuilt as fires and floods devastated the region around the turn of the new century. Many people chose to escape the frequent floods to dwell on the hill. Schools such as Lincoln and Roosevelt were built there, as well as the hospital.
The Lincoln Theatre opened in 1926 and is located on First Street in downtown Mount Vernon. It was known for vaudeville and the Wurlitzer theatre organ. Only 98 original Wurlitzer theatre organs remain in continuous use in the United States today, and patrons are often treated to concerts before various shows.
Who Calls Mount Vernon Home?
- The Galloping Gourmet, Graham Kerr, made his home in Mount Vernon for many years. Actor Jim Caviezel, who has played many roles in his career, from Private Witt in The Thin Red Line to Jesus in The Passion of the Christ to the Apostle Luke in Paul, Apostle of Christ, was born in Mount Vernon. So was actor Chad Lindberg, co-host of the TV series Ghost Stalkers.
- Singer Cheryl Bentyne, formerly of the Grammy-Award winning jazz vocal group The Manhattan Transfer, went to Mount Vernon High School and Skagit Valley College. Bread singer-songwriter David Gates became a cattle rancher, living with his family in Mount Vernon.
- Mount Vernon has its share of sports stars. Multisport athlete Mark Hendrickson, noted for baseball and basketball, was born in Mount Vernon. Baseball pitcher Kyle Kendrick went to Mount Vernon High School. Ice hockey right-winger and US Olympian T. J. Oshie were also born in Mount Vernon. The legendary “Godfather of Freeriding”, snowboarder Craig Kelly, grew up in Mount Vernon, not far from the Mt. Baker Ski Area, Stevens Pass, and Snoqualmie. For fans of the offbeat, world champion poker player Scott Clements calls Mount Vernon home. As of 2018, he cashed in over $7, 650, 000.00.
- Science fiction and fantasy writer R. Garcia y Robertson lives in Mount Vernon, and the late N. Bruce Hannay, physical chemist, and vice-president of Bell Telephone Laboratories was born there.
Options for Senior Living
Alpine Ridge Retirement Apartments is an independent living community located in northern Mount Vernon. One- and two-bedroom units are offered for those who income-qualify and are age 62 and over. Community amenities include an activity room, beauty/barber shop, on-site laundry, library, TV/theater lounge, billiard room, and wellness center.
Mountain Glen Retirement Center offers retirement apartments, an independent living community, and assisted living options for those seniors who can no longer live on their own. Retirement apartments also offer several centrally-located entertainment and activity options including a fireplace lounge, a fountain courtyard, exercise rooms, a beauty/barber shop, puzzle room, library, along with other community spaces. Assisted living services to include 24-hour licensed nurses with assistance in bathing, medications, and other activities of daily living; and personal laundry and meal service, with a social activities program.
The Bridge Assisted Living is an assisted-living facility located on LaVenture Road. Personalized care plans are tailored to the needs of every individual resident, a full calendar of activities, as well as meals, served in the dining room. Transportation can be scheduled, as well as aa assistance with activities of daily living, a 24-hour emergency response system, a hair salon, barber shop, housekeeping, and laundry.
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