Founded in 1958 and established at the Carnegie Library building in 1968, the Museum is a department of the City of Anacortes. In 1983, following a successful bid, the City acquired the National Historic Landmark, the W.T. PRESTON, as part of the Anacortes Museum. In 2005, the Maritime Heritage Center opened to interpret the history of the W.T. PRESTON and the two boats that preceded it.