Chief Seattle Thelma Dewitty Thomas Foley Carrie Chapman Catt Anna Louise Strong Mark Tobey Helene Madison Home
Search Encyclopedia
Facebook
Advanced Search
Featured Essay Sponsor of the WeekBooksDonate
Home About Us Contact Us Education Bookstore Tourism Advanced Search
7064 HistoryLink.org essays now available      
Donation system not supported by Safari     Donate Subscribe

Shortcuts

Libraries
Cyberpedias Cyberpedias
Timeline Essays Timeline Essays
People's Histories People's Histories

Selected Collections
Cities & Towns Cities & Towns
County Thumbnails Counties
Biographies Biographies
Interactive Cybertours Interactive Cybertours
Slide Shows Slideshows
Public Ports Public Ports
Audio & Video Audio & Video

Research Shortcuts

Map Searches
Alphabetical Search
Timeline Date Search
Topic Search

Features

Book of the Fortnight
Audio/Video Enhanced
History Bookshelf
Klondike Gold Rush Database
Duvall Newspaper Index
Wellington Scrapbook

More History

Washington FAQs
Washington Milestones
Honor Rolls
Columbia Basin
Everett
Olympia
Seattle
Spokane
Tacoma
Walla Walla
Roads & Rails

May 5, 2015 – May 11, 2015

San Juan Islands

This week we continue our celebration of National Historic Preservation Month with a look at the history of the San Juan Islands, an archipelago located in the Salish Sea between mainland Washington and Vancouver Island. We start with the famous Pig War, which began in 1859 between the United States and Great Britain and lasted for 13 years. In the midst of this international stalemate, San Juan Island welcomed its first major industry, limestone quarrying and lime production, which allowed the community to prosper well into the twentieth century.

The lime industry and also fish canneries attracted workers to the islands, including Chinese and Japanese laborers. Many island residents chose to live near Friday Harbor (named for Peter Friday, an early settler from Hawaii), the county's only incorporated town. The Friday Harbor waterfront is also home to one of the state's earliest and longest-lived investigations into marine biology.

Some of San Juan County's more interesting residents over the years include Lucinda Stewart Boyce, a nurse and midwife who delivered more than 500 babies; Elvin H. Smith, the "Hermit of Matia Island;" the Franciscan nuns who ran Shaw Island's ferry terminal for 27 years; and Roy Franklin, legendary island bush pilot and primary founder of commercial aviation in the San Juan Islands. Also rabbits. Thousands and thousands of rabbits.

Island Life and Landscapes

Orcas Island had an early agricultural economy, but later focused more on camping and tourism. Suffering from "nervous exhaustion," former Seattle mayor Robert Moran moved to the island in 1905 and designed a 54-room mansion to live out what he thought would be a few remaining years, but island life rejuvenated him. Before he died in 1943 at 86, most of his property became Moran State Park, which like most places and people on the island was a subject for prolific Orcas Island photographer James Geoghegan. Moran's mansion is now the privately owned Rosario Resort and Spa. In 1879, George Richardson received a land patent for his property at the south end of Lopez Island. The town of Richardson no longer exists, but was one of the island's earliest economic hubs.

Residents of San Juan County have long worked to conserve the islands' scenic beauty and bucolic landscapes, which island inhabitants have enhanced and cultivated for thousands of years.

News Then, History Now

Guests on the Go: On May 6, 1891, Benjamin Harrison became the first sitting U.S. president to visit Tacoma. On May 11, 1950, President Harry Truman traveled to this Washington to give a speech on racial equality at Gonzaga University, and to receive a Citation of Merit. And on May 9, 1962, Vice President Lyndon Johnson dedicated Ice Harbor Dam in Eastern Washington before traveling to the Seattle World's Fair to greet astronaut John Glenn the next day.

Death Down Below: Roslyn was founded in 1886 after prospectors from the Northern Pacific railroad found rich seams of coal nearby. But mining the coal came with a price. On May 10, 1892, in the worst coalmine disaster in Washington history, 45 men lost their lives in an explosion and fire.

Rising High: A pair of Washington's long-standing and stately buildings celebrates birthdays this week. On May 9, 1893, the New Whatcom City Hall opened in Bellingham; it is now home to the Whatcom Museum of History and Art. And Seattle's King Street Station opened on May 10, 1906, and is currently served by Amtrak trains and Sounder commuter rail.

Water and Sky: On May 8, 1917, the Lake Washington Ship Canal was completed in Seattle, following the lowering of Lake Washington by 8.8 feet during its construction. The next day, William Boeing reached new heights when he renamed the company he co-founded after himself.

Workers' Toll: One of Seattle's longest and bloodiest labor strikes began on May 9, 1934, when thousands of longshoremen and other maritime workers brought port traffic to a halt all along the West Coast. Teamster boss Dave Beck tried to muscle in, but Harry Bridge's longshore brigades prevailed the following October.

Rock and Roll: On May 11, 1969, Led Zeppelin rocked out at Seattle's Green Lake Aqua Theatre. Two months later, the super-group returned to the Pacific Northwest to play at the Seattle Pop Festival in Woodinville.


Quote of the Week

I feel we are all islands -- in a common sea.

                             --Anne Morrow Lindbergh


Image of the Week

Chelan incorporated on May 7, 1902.

 
Today in Washington History      RSS Feed

U.S. President Benjamin Harrison visits Tacoma on May 6, 1891.

Helga and Clara Estby begin walking from Mica Creek, Spokane County, to New York City on May 6, 1896.

Washington State carries out its first execution on May 6, 1904.

Women's University Club of Seattle holds its first meeting on May 6, 1914.

Ferry Peralta (rebuilt as Kalakala) burns down on May 6, 1933.

Colonel Burton Andrus assumes command of Nazi-war-crimes interrogation center and holding facility on May 6, 1945.

Fire destroys the Weiser Lumber Company in Marysville on May 6, 1955.

Soviet Cosmonaut Gherman Titov visits Seattle's Century 21 Exposition on May 5 and May 6, 1962.

Black Student Union presents demands to University of Washington on May 6, 1968.

Seattle City Councilman Paul Alexander dies on May 6, 1969.

President Richard M. Nixon signs Executive Order 11593 authorizing protection of nation's cultural and historical sites, as called for by National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), on May 6, 1971.

Avista Utilities, the Sierra Club, and the Center for Environmental Law & Policy work out a dam-relicensing agreement to restore full-time flows to Spokane's Spokane Falls on May 6, 2009.

New Essays This Week       RSS Feed

Vancouver District, encompassing what is now Clark County in southwest Washington, is created on August 20, 1845.

Underdog Washington Huskies become first team in state history to reach NCAA women's basketball Final Four by defeating Stanford in regional final on March 27, 2016.

Billboard magazine highlights Spokane country musician Charlie Ryan and his hit song "Hot Rod Lincoln" on May 30, 1960.

Special Suites
A-Y-P Exposition
Baseball
Bridges
Century 21 Exposition
Civil War in Washington
Dance Marathons
Group Health
Immigrants
King County 1st Citizens
Lewis & Clark
Port of Seattle
Port of Tacoma
Rose Red & Spooks
Sea-Tac Airport
Seattle Children's Hospital
Seattle City Light
Seattle Public Library
Southeast Seattle
Washington Forests
Washington Islands
Washington Public Ports
Washington State Ferries
WTO Protests 1999
   
Topics
Agriculture | Asian & Pacific Islander Americans | Aviation | Biographies | Black Americans | Buildings | Business | Calamities | Celebrities | Cities & Towns | Counties | Crime | Curiosities | Economics | Education | Environment | Exploration | Fairs & Festivals | Film | Firsts | Gays & Lesbians | Government & Politics | Health | Hispanics & Latinos | Industry | Infrastructure | Irish Americans | Italian Americans | Jews in Washington | Labor | Landmarks | Law | Maritime | Media | Most-Least | Music & Musicians | Northwest Indians | Organizations | Pioneers | Recreation | Religion | Roads & Rails | Roots | Scandals | Scandinavians | Science & Technology | Seattle Neighborhoods | Slavic Americans | Society | South-Asian Americans | Sports |Theater & Dance | Vanished | Visual Arts | War & Peace | Washington Rivers | Weather | Women's History | Writers & Poets
   
Major Funding Provided By
4 Culture City of Seattle Office of Arts & Culture Port of Seattle Washington Ports Vulcan Inc. Seattle Public Library Group Health Coop Port of Tacoma Bartell Drugs Tupper Mack Jensen Wells PLCC The Next Fifty KCTS Seattle Channel MOHAI Washington State Historical Society BlackPast.org King County
 
Home About Us Contact Us Education Bookstore Tourism Advanced Search

HistoryLink.org is the first online encyclopedia of local and state history created expressly for the Internet. (SM)
HistoryLink.org is a free public and educational resource produced by History Ink, a 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt corporation.
Contact us by phone at 206.447.8140, by mail at Historylink, 1411 4th Ave. Suite 803, Seattle WA 98101 or email admin@historylink.org