Swinomish Tribe buys Similk Beach Course

Updated: February 3, 2014

The Swinomish Indian Tribe, which calls Northwest Washington its home, has purchased the Similk Beach Golf Course in Anacortes.

The Swinomish tribe bought the course from the Morgan-Turner family, which had owned the course since it opened for play in 1927. The course opened with nine holes in 1927 and then expanded to 18 holes in 1955.

The purchase puts the Swinomish Tribe in the good company with other Indian Tribes that own golf courses in the Pacific Northwest. It seemed like a natural purchase for the tribe because of their interest in golf and the location of the golf course being so close to the hotel and casino – and it gives the tribe land back it had been looking to reclaim for years.

The deal is part of a 250-acre parcel the tribe has been looking to get its hands on since 1873. The property was removed from its reservation via an executive order signed by President Ulysses S. Grant. Since the early 20th century the property had been owned by the Morgan-Turner family. Part of the property is tidal and beach land and the tribe says it plans to re-start shellfish farming. And part of the property comes with a golf course.

The Swinomish Tribe will continue to operate the golf course as a daily-fee course.