Local journalist pens new history book about Roche Harbor; book signings July 11 and 18
June 30, 2009 · Updated 3:20 PM
New from Arcadia Publishing and local author, Richard Walker, is the latest volume in the Images of America series, "Roche Harbor."
Roche Harbor’s deep, protected waters and abundant resources inspired poets, one of whom wrote in 1903, “A rock-bound coast hems in a wealth of verdant pastures sweet; / Deep forests cover vale and hill where fresh and salt waters meet.”
For millennia, this was the home of the Lummi and Songhees people. The British established a military camp near here in 1860 to maintain their claim to the San Juan Islands. Limestone was quarried here for 90 years, helping to build West Coast cities as well as personal fortunes. Roche Harbor continues to be a favorite gathering place for boating, fishing, and kayaking — a gateway to the splendors of the American San Juan Islands and the Canadian Gulf Islands.
This photo history provides a colorful look at Roche Harbor life from pre-settlement to present day. Working with Roche Harbor archivists as well as owners of private photo collections, Walker selected more than 200 images and interviewed people with ties to each period to compose this visual history of Roche Harbor and the people who have called it home.
Many of the images are published for the first time.
The book's 128 pages are organized in eight chapters: "This Place Called Whelaalk," "The Settlement Era," "Lime: San Juan Island's Gold," "A Community Called Roche Harbor," "A Doctor in the House," "Characters, Legends and Lore," "The Birth of the Boatel," and "The Village Era."
Also available is a set of 15 postcards featuring images from "Roche Harbor." The set enables the buyer to own copies of images from the book.
Walker is editor of The Journal of the San Juan Islands and is a periodic writer for regional and national publications. He is a trustee of the San Juan Historical Society.
Two meet-the-author and book signing events are scheduled: July 11, 1-3 p.m., at Griffin Bay Bookstore; and July 18, 2-4 p.m., in front of Roche Harbor Grocery Store.
The book is available at area bookstores, independent retailers, and online retailers, or through Arcadia Publishing at (888) 313-2665 or
Arcadia Publishing is the leading publisher of local and regional history in the United States. Its mission is to make history accessible and meaningful through the publication of books on the heritage of America’s people and places. Other Arcadia books of local interest include "Orcas Island" by the Orcas Island Historical Society and Museum; "The Pig War" by Mike Vouri; "Friday Harbor" by Mike Vouri, Julia Vouri and the San Juan Historical Society; and "Ferries of Puget Sound" by Steven J. Pickens.
by Richard Walker
Images of America Series
by Richard Walker
Postcards of America Series
15 postcards per set