Austin, WA

Austin flourished in its day

by Harry Josephson

Have you heard of the village of Austin? It existed and even flourished from the early 1900s until the mid-’40s. Geographically, it was located on the shores of Mutiny Bay and generally spread north and south, though its boundaries were at best loose. Austin has been described as “nestled between beach and timber” (from the book, Island County “A World Beater”). This community supported a general store and a post office and the Mutiny Bay School.

T.H. Marshall gave Austin its name after his son, Austin. Early residents remember well the Austin Dock (the current site of Robinson’s Boat House). The boat traffic coining into this dock included tour boats (some of the Mosquito Fleet) and the exciting arrival of the mailboat twice weekly

P.H. Cookson ran the general store and the post office. Principal business pursuits consisted of farming and fish traps. Prize-winning poultry raising also contributed to the economy.

This little pioneer seaside village slowly went out of existence as more building and development took place in the late 1930s and ‘40s.

The grade school became part of the Langley schools. The post office was absorbed into the Freeland Post Office, and the store closed. The building housing the store/post office was finally torn down 10 to 15 years ago. The general area in which Austin was located became the present Mutiny Bay community

However, Austin still keeps its identity. The voting precinct in this area in still called the Austin precinct.