Maritime history — by name

Maritime Place Names - Contributed photo
Maritime Place Names
— image credit: Contributed photo

Author Richard Blumenthal’s fascination with Puget Sound’s inland waters started at an early age.Richard Blumenthal

He began boating on Lake Washington at the age of five and then learned of the secrets of the areas numerous islands while cruising the region’s waterways, including the San Juans, with his family.

Blumenthal has recently turned that lifelong passion into a historical text documenting the maritime names and places of Washington state’s inland waters, “Maritime Place Names: Inland Washington Waters”.

Blumenthal will be at San Juan Historical Museum (405 Price St.) to talk about and sign his manuscript Saturday, April 20, beginning at 6:30 p.m.

In cataloging the various names and places of the inland waters, Blumenthal relies heavily on the observations of the region’s earliest explorers to offer readers an impression of what Puget Sound looked like some 150-200 years ago.

The text includes every named island, bay, point, inlet, pass, harbor, channel, strait, shoal… well, you get the picture… identified on the nautical charts of today.

In addition, Blumenthal identifies the individual that named each place, often noting the hardships that those early explorers encountered along the way, as well as the when, why and for whom of each.

It also documents the chart on which those names first appeared and the history of settlement of each.

Suggested donation is $5; admission for museum members is free. For more info, 378-3949,


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