Jim Crook, whose family homesteaded the former British Royal Marine Camp at Garrison Bay after the U.S. -British boundary dispute was settled in 1872, embodied the island way of life.
Crook worked hard to be self-sufficient at a time when most farmers were deeply in debt. He farmed the land at English Camp. He spun wool and made his own clothes rather than buy clothing in town. When he couldn’t afford a carding machine, he studied an illustration in a catalog and made his own. He devised other agricultural and household inventions.
Items from the San Juan Historical Museum’s Jim Crook Collection have been digitized and are now available for the first time online as part of a cooperative project between the San Juan Island Library, the museum and the Washington State Library Rural Heritage Initiative.
Mike Vouri, Kevin Loftus and Laura Tretter present the Jim Crook collection Oct. 26, 6 p.m., in the San Juan Island Library fireplace lounge. The presentation is free.
Vouri is the interpreter for San Juan Island National Historical Park and is the author of three books on the joint military occupation and one on Friday Harbor. The historical park is a co-sponsor of this event.
Loftus is director of the San Juan Historical Museum, which is a co-sponsor of this event and the online collection.
Tretter is director of the San Juan Island Library, and catalogued the online collection in collaboration with the Washington State Library Rural Heritage Initiative.
Historical Museum’s Fall Auction Saturday
The San Juan Historical Museum’s Fall Auction is Saturday, 4 p.m. in Mullis Community Senior Center.
From 4-6 p.m., you can sample the “Taste of Friday Harbor” buffet donated by local restaurants and enjoy the beat of the One More Time Band while previewing auction items. The live auction begins at 6 p.m.
An intriguing feature of the auction is the opportunity to bid on spending a night at the historic 1894 jail on the museum’s property. Or, if jail is not to your liking, you can bid on a week on the Oregon Coast, local getaways, historic photographs or dinners in town.
Proceeds from the event will help the museum maintain its buildings, which are open to the public.
The museum’s 1894 King Farmhouse needs a new foundation, floor repairs, and new heating, wiring and window casings. The minimum estimated cost is $200,000.
The museum needs an endowment fund for ongoing maintenance, expanded programs and exhibitions.
The museum’s barn has one new wing, in which the Friday Harbor Fire Department Centennial Exhibit is housed. The museum needs about $25,000 to finish the other wing.
The museum, on Price Street next to St. Francis Church, hosts the Pig War Picnic on July 4, the summer Music on the Lawn concert series, the annual holiday party in December (for which the King Farmhouse is opened for caroling and hot cider), and the Silver Tea in May. In addition, the picnic tables and grounds are always available for public use.
Tickets for the auction are $20 and are available at the museum, from board members and at the door.
To donate an auction item or buy a ticket, call 378-3949.
Free guided tours of town Historic District
Every Saturday in October, the Town of Friday Harbor is offering free guided tours of the historic district.
Participants meet at Memorial Park (Spring and Front streets) at 9 a.m. The tour lasts 90 minutes, covering five blocks of the historic downtown.
Registration is recommended by calling 378-2810 during regular business hours. Or visit www.historicfridayharbor.org/contact.html.