Burlington is a railroad town where you can hear the trains whistle when they go by, writes Seattle Sketcher Gabriel Campanario, who just visited the small Skagit Valley town for the first time.

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Sketched Sept. 26, 2016

It is unfortunate to learn about some places for the first time only when bad things happen.

That was the case for me with Burlington. Before last Friday’s mass shooting, I would have had a hard time placing this small Skagit County town on a map.

After making a sketch at Cascade Mall on Monday afternoon, I drove away from the shopping centers near I-5 to the heart of Burlington to get a better sense of the town. Along East Fairhaven Avenue, I came upon a charming business district with an impressive number of historic landmarks.

There I sketched the town’s visitor center, which is a replica of the original Great Northern Railroad Depot that once stood nearby; the old city hall building, which dates from 1926; and a Carnegie Library building that just celebrated its 100th anniversary.

I ran out of time to draw many other landmarks listed on a self-guided walking tour map I picked at the visitor center, but that just gives me an excuse to return to this railroad town where you can still hear the trains whistle when they go by.