National history month, celebrated locally

  • Wed May 1st, 2019 2:09pm
  • Life
Contributed photo/San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau.

Contributed photo/San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau.

Submitted by the San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau

A rogue barnyard animal starting a war sounds like the beginning of a bad joke. But here in the San Juan Islands, locals know it’s a true story. Discover the saga of the “Pig War,” and other colorful stories during History Lives Here – National Historic Preservation Month,, in the San Juan Islands.

• May 5, 6, 11 and 12: “Walk to Salmon Bank,” come join rangers and volunteers from the San Juan Island National Historical Park at the banks as they bring to life this unique piece of history in the Pacific Northwest. The Salmon Bank is an underwater shelf extending off the southern part of San Juan Island into the Strait of Juan de Fuca. When salmon migrate from the sea into the island channels, the shelf forces them up toward the surface, making them easier to catch. Humans have been fishing for salmon on this stretch of water for thousands of years beginning with the Coastal Salish people who first inhabited the area.

• May 6: “Marjorie Walker: Artist, Bohemian,” islander Marjorie Walker was born to a wealthy New York family, attended the prestigious Art Students League in New York, and traveled the world before finding her way to San Juan Island in 1949 to become the island’s first professionally trained artist. This talk will cover her fascinating life before and after she discovered the island.

• May 18: “Lime Kiln Lighthouse 100th Birthday,” Lime Kiln Lighthouse was the last major lighthouse built in Washington State, and it’s celebrating its centennial in 2019! Tour this iconic San Juan structure on Thursdays and Saturdays through the summer from 7 p.m. until sunset with volunteers from Friends of Lime Kiln Society.

• May 25: “Post-War Architecture: Considering the Ubiquitous with Fresh Eyes,” join Town of Friday Harbor’s historic preservationist Sandy Strehlou for a walkabout to see examples of residential architecture from the Post-WWII era. Learn about this ubiquitous era of architecture and how it illustrates the significant social, economic and aesthetic changes that resulted after the troops came home.

With three historical museums and the San Juan Island National Historical Park, visitors can experience San Juan Islands history all year. Check out the interactive Museum of History and Industry in Friday Harbor and Encampment at the National Historical Park. Take a self-guided tour of Friday Harbor which has more than 150 historic sites within its walkable one-mile radius. Twenty-six of these are described in the Historic Friday Harbor on Foot Tour. Don’t forget to check out the Veterans Museum at the American Legion, showcasing a unique collection of military memorabilia, weapons, uniforms and other artifacts from San Juan Islands’ veterans.

For more information visit the San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau at


Contributed photo/San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau.

Contributed photo/San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau.