Sunday is All Islander’s Day at Mt Grant

Posted on July 30, 2016 at 5:30 am by

The view toward Friday Harbor from Mount Grant - Tim Dustrude photo

The view toward Friday Harbor from Mount Grant – Tim Dustrude photo

The San Juan Preservation Trust invites you to join them for All Islanders Day at Mt Grant Preserve this Sunday, July 31, noon – 4:00 pm…

Mount Grant Preserve isn’t just for San Juan Island folks—it’s for residents and visitors from ALL the islands! Come experience some of the best 360-degree views in the San Juans and enjoy the Preserve’s many other beautiful features during this special Sunday at the Summit.

Free shuttles will run from the Friday Harbor ferry landing to the Preserve. Then hike or take a ride to the top, where entertainment and refreshments will await. San Juan Islanders are encouraged to park at the Friday Harbor High School parking lot and use the shuttle which will run frequently throughout the day.

If you decide to drive yourself, here are directions to the Preserve: From the Friday Harbor courthouse, take Guard Street out of town. Guard Street becomes Beaverton Valley Rd., which becomes West Valley Rd. About 4.9 miles out of Friday Harbor, look for a “Campaign for Mount Grant Preserve” sign on the left. Turn left and drive ahead to the parking area.

Line Up of Music for the Fair

Posted on July 30, 2016 at 5:30 am by

The Paperboys - Contributed Photo

The Paperboys – Contributed Photo

Ashley King, Program Coordinator for San Juan County Parks and Fair, sent us this news about the headlining acts set to preform at the County Fair… 

This year’s headline entertainment will be one for the books! Sponsored by King’s Market, the Main Stage comes to life this year at the Fair August 17-20. The Fair is excited to have local talent from all the islands, and the Pacific Northwest region as well as a few newcomers! Be sure to “Like” The San Juan County Fair and Fairgrounds on Facebook to be up to date on all things Fair this year and visit the Fair website for details on entering your exhibits, and scheduled events!

Wednesday Night Headliner: LIVE! From Vancouver! It’s The Paperboys! You name it, they play it. Celtic, Zydeco, Bluegrass and Soul, such a wide variety is bound to please all listeners. This is their second visit to the San Juans and first time at the Fair, so if you’re a fan—or if you haven’t had the chance to hear them, they’re not to be missed! Come hear them, come see them, opening night at the Fair!

The Henry James Blues Band - Contributed Photo

The Henry James Blues Band – Contributed Photo

Thursday Night Headliner: Thursday night, Main Stage, San Juan County’s own local talent The Henry James Band featuring James Barkshire, Cecil DeMeerleer, Denny Penrose, and Tom Henry (Doenges) featuring special guest Tami Doenges. Included in this night’s entertainment not to be missed, Rafael Tranquilino and Leah Tussing will be joining The Henry James Band from the Rafael Tranquilino Band! This amazing group was just named the best Blues Act 2016 by The Washington Blues Society! As if that were not enough, the amazing local Harmonica player and vocalist Sweet Danny Ray (Dan O’Bryant) will be joining the crew! Put on your dancin’ shoes!

Down North - Contributed Photo

Down North – Contributed Photo

Friday Night Headliner: Can’t wait ‘til Friday night in Friday Harbor! Down North comes to town from all the way down in Seattle. Whoo-hoo! Friday Harbor hits the big time with this talented group!

“The people that play in this band are excellent at what they do and we’re all here to play music for people who want to move and connect.” –MTV

Rock. Soul. Funk. Get ready to get down with Down North Friday night, August 19 at 8:00 pm Main Stage at the San Juan County Fair.

Petty Fever - Contributed Photo

Petty Fever – Contributed Photo

Saturday Night Headliner: “The Waiting is the Hardest Part” – until Saturday Night at the San Juan County Fair! Come listen to the Tom Petty Tribute Band Petty Fever featuring some of your favorite Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers hits such as “American Girl”, “Free Fallin’”, and “You Wreck Me”. Petty Fever is the two time recipient of the “Tribute Band of The Year” award from the Los Angeles Music Awards in Hollywood, CA for 2013 & 2014—Catch Petty Fever on the Main Stage at the Fairgrounds, Saturday Night August 20 at 8:00 pm!

While the headlining acts are only just a taste of the Fair’s musical line-up, be sure to make it to all 4 days of the Fair to see local musicians and performers, included but not limited to acrobatics and a sword swallower—you’ll just have to come to the Fair to see the rest!

Origins of the Drugstore Mural “For Love of an Island”

Posted on July 29, 2016 at 5:30 am by

A little while ago we posted a photo of the Drugstore Mural asking if anyone had information on it’s origins. Many thanks to Lori Stokes for following up with the answer…

For the Love of an Island - Peggy Sue McRae Photo

For Love of an Island – Peggy Sue McRae Photo

The Story of the Mural on the Side Wall of the Drug Store
by Lori Stokes

As a member of the Friday Harbor Arts Commission, I’ve been working on preparing a catalog of all the public art in town, both that owned by the town itself and that privately-owned but in the public way.

One of these pieces of art is a mural (or more correctly I should say, a portion of a mural) on the side wall of Friday Harbor Drug, where the old part of the building joins the newer part, to the left of the front entrance. You’ll see it walking down Spring Street towards the water. Some of the mural was covered over when the buildings were joined.

Blue Camas (detail) - Peggy Sue McRae Photo

Blue Camas (detail) – Peggy Sue McRae Photo

In trying to track down who painted this and when, I spoke with a large number of individuals – the current owners of the store, previous owners of the store and their family members, people who used to work at the store, and others to whom I was referred by individuals who said, “I don’t remember the specifics, but I’m sure that xxx will remember.”

After a photo and a story about my search for information appeared on Facebook and in the San Juan Update, I received two phone calls from people who said, “I know who painted that!” But interestingly, each identified a different person! Gary Boothman told me that it was an old friend of his, Tom Brudenell, who was a painter and muralist living on Shaw at the time. Since Gary didn’t know if Tom was still alive, or where he might be living now, I Googled his name and discovered that he is indeed alive, and is living in Canada. An interesting article about him had recently been published, so I emailed the publisher and asked if he knew how I could reach Tom. He did, and shortly thereafter Tom and I spoke on the phone. Tom was amazed that part of the mural is still intact on the wall; he commented that usually when construction of this nature takes place, the entire mural is painted over.

Clam Digger (Detail) - Peggy Sue McRae Photo

Clam Digger (Detail) – Peggy Sue McRae Photo

So here is what Tom told me. In 1972, he was living on Shaw, and spending part of his time going to rural communities throughout the state, helping to create what he calls “people’s murals.” He was asked to facilitate the creation of one of these in Friday Harbor, as part of the town’s celebration of the centennial of the peaceful resolution of our renowned Pig War. So he gathered together some interested residents of a variety of ages and artistic talents, and as a group, they designed and painted the mural. Tom described his role as a “catalyst of creativity,” simply facilitating the planning and execution of the mural rather than painting it himself. His main job, he said, was to serve as the technical advisor, since none of the town residents involved had much experience in painting murals and therefore needed guidance about how to prepare the wall, what kind of paint to use, etc.

Boat (Detail) - Peggy Sue McRae

Boat (Detail) – Peggy Sue McRae Photo

The chair of the Town’s Centennial Committee, Joyce Wampler, named the mural “For Love of an Island.” The mural depicts the past on one side and the present on the other, with the branches of a large Madrona dividing the two. The Discovery, the first English ship to arrive here, appears in the center, and the mural contains numerous images of island wildlife, boats, and people.

An article from the Friday Harbor Journal in June of 1972 identifies the painters as follows: Bill Cox, boats; Ines Robertson, flora and clam diggers; Cass Nielsen and Scott Lowe, birds; and Kay Eichert and Joyce Wampler, animals. Jack Benedict, Ed and Hedda King, and Carl Stoddard provided information about the Salish people, whose images were painted by Bill Cox.

2016 Encampment at English Camp

Posted on July 28, 2016 at 5:30 am by

From the National Parks: Here is the schedule of events for this weekend’s Encampment at English Camp. You are invited to bring the family and join in these fun and informative family activities!

Encampment at English Camp - Anita Barreca Photo

Encampment at English Camp – Anita Barreca Photo

July 29

  • 10:00 am – Camp opens. Flag raising
  • 12:00 Noon – Noon gun
  • 2:00 pm – Folkways living and cooking with Janet Oakly
  • 5:00 pm – Camp closes. Flag retired
  • 7:30 pm – The Life of Miss Abby Williams Hill. Storyteller Karen Haas dramatizes the life of this extraordinary painter and environmentalist from the early 20th century. English Camp barracks.

July 30

Ella at the Ball - Cindy Mullis Photo

Ella at the Ball – Cindy Mullis Photo

  • 9:00 am – Camp opens. Flag raising.
  • 10:00 am – Camp activities: throughout the day; games, school, blacksmithing, and music
  • 12:00 Noon – noon gun
  • 1:30 pm – Mrs. Mouat’s Etiquette Symposium
  • 3:00 pm – The Game of Cricket.
  • 5:00 pm – Camp closes. Flag retired.
  • 8:00 pm – Centennial Ball. English Camp barracks

July 31

  • 9:00 am – Camp opens. Flag raising.
  • 10:00 am – Camp activities: throughout the day; games, school, blacksmithing, and music.
  • 12:00 Noon: Noon gun
  • 1:30 pm – Mrs. Mouat’s Etiquette Symposium
  • 5:00 pm – Camp closes. Flag retiring.
How to Dress - Anita Barreca Photo

How to Get Dressed – Anita Barreca Photo

Local Author and Historian Mike Vouri on HistoryLink

Posted on July 28, 2016 at 5:25 am by

Many of you know Mike Vouri from his work with the Island’s National Historical Parks if not from his books on local history or his dramatic portrayal of Captain George Pickett. Vouri now has an essay about the U.S. Coast Survey Steamer Active up on HistoryLink, a free online Encyclopedia of Washington State History. Says Vouri, “The painting by James McMurtrey is of the Active (the sidewheeler at right) and HMS Satellite on Bellingham Bay, c.1858.”

U.S. Coast Survey Ship Active - James McMurtry Artwork

U.S. Coast Survey Ship Active – James McMurtry Artwork

Pick up a Passport into the History of the San Juan Islands

Posted on July 28, 2016 at 5:15 am by

King House at the Historical Museum - Contributed photo

King House at the Historical Museum – Contributed photo

Whether you are a visitor or longtime islander, be sure to include some island history time travel in your adventures this year!  Each of the historical museums on San Juan Island, Lopez Island and Orcas Island have combined to offer an opportunity for you to do some island hopping and enter for a chance to win a prize package. Prize packages include overnight lodging, gift cards for a meal and an activity for two. The lucky winner will have the choice to redeem the prize package on either Lopez, Orcas or San Juan.

You need to visit all three historical museums to be eligible for the drawing for a prize package on the island of your choice. After your passport has been validated at each museum, you may tear out the raffle ticket in the passport book and leave it at the last museum you visit.

Passports can be picked up and validated at any of the three museums:

San Juan Historical Museum, 405 Price St.

Lopez Island Historical Museum, Lopez Village on Weeks Rd.

Orcas Island Pioneer Museum, 181 North Beach Rd.

Orcas Crow Valley School Museum, Crow Valley Rd.

Drawing will be held December 31, 2016, and the winner will have one year to redeem their prize. Certain restrictions and blackout dates may apply. Inquire at each museum for specific prize packages.

BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet Trio at SJCT Saturday

Posted on July 27, 2016 at 5:37 am by

San Juan Community Theatre presents Cajun Grammy winners…

BeauSoleil Trio - Contributed Photo

BeauSoleil Trio – Contributed Photo

San Juan Island gets to experience the musical magic of a group proclaimed “the best Cajun band in the world” by A Prairie Home Companion’s Garrison Keillor,  THIS Saturday, July 30 at 7:30 pm.

The BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet Trio takes the Whittier stage for one concert only – a show that takes the rich Cajun traditions of Louisiana and artfully blends elements of zydeco, New Orleans jazz, Tex-Mex, country, blues and more into a satisfying musical recipe.

Created and driven by Michael Doucet’s spellbinding fiddle playing and soulful vocals, BeauSoleil became the first Cajun band to win a Grammy with L’amour Ou La Folie (Traditional Folk Album – 1998) and then a second Grammy in 2010, Live at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.

The BeauSoleil Trio recreates the excitement of the early years of the Cajun revival, by focusing on the traditional twin fiddle and fiddle/accordion pairings, backed by acoustic guitar. Joining Michael Doucet in the Trio are two of his long-time BeauSoleil colleagues: fiddler Mitch Reed, a master Cajun musician and instructor who has been performing with some of the greatest names in Cajun music since he was a teenager; and Michael’s brother David Doucet, a soulful singer and an exceptional guitarist who is credited with making the acoustic guitar central to modern Cajun music. Together they have performed all over the globe.

A Wednesday Afternoon Performance with Cap’n Arrr

Posted on July 27, 2016 at 5:36 am by

The San Juan Island Library Presents…

Cap'n Arrr - Contributed Photo

Cap’n Arrr – Contributed Photo

Come see The Misadventures of Cap’n Arrr, held Wednesday, July 27 on the grounds of Friday Harbor Elementary School. Showtime begins at 1:30 PM.

Cap’n Arrr is back with his interactive comedy performance that will have kids (and grown-ups) rolling on the floor! Cap’n Arrr’s program is packed full of audience participation and includes basic instruction in walking like a pirate, talking like a pirate and laughing like a pirate too!

Please bring blankets and chairs for seating and watch for parking signs due to construction at the school. Friday Harbor Elementary School is located at 95

Grover Street. Call the Library at 378-2798 for more information, or visit

Wednesday Afternoon Performances are part of the Library’s Summer Reading Program. All performances are free and open to the public thanks to funding from the Friends of the San Juan Island Library.


Voter’s Pamphlet For August 2 Primary Available Online

Written on July 27, 2016 at 5:19 am, by

A message from County Auditor F. Milene Henley…  This year’s primary is long and confusing, with many candidates for several of the state-wide elections. For that reason, the San Juan County Elections Office has received an unusually large number of calls about the availability of a Voters’ Pamphlet for the election. Election information is available  Continue Reading

Braving It

Braving It: Book Launch Features Father Daughter Adventure

Written on July 27, 2016 at 5:18 am, by

The San Juan Island Library in collaboration with Griffin Bay Bookstore invite you to a book launch and reading August 3rd at 7:00 pm at the library with James and Aiden Campbell… Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge—home to only a handful of people—is a stark and lonely place. So when James Campbell’s cousin Heimo Korth (featured  Continue Reading

Tim Dustrude

Tim Dustrude: Healing And In Good Humor After Surgery

Written on July 26, 2016 at 3:04 pm, by

Just got this report from former Update editor Ian Byington: As most of you know, Tim found out a couple of weeks ago that he needed surgery to fix a blood flow problem he had in his head & brain…yesterday (Monday) he was in surgery and I just got the word (today, Tuesday) from his  Continue Reading

Coho Preserve Cascade Creek - Kurt Thorson Photo

Stream Corridor and Salmon Spawning Habitat Protected

Written on July 26, 2016 at 5:30 am, by

A message from Tanja Williamson at the Land Bank… The San Juan County Land Bank recently acquired 24 acres on the lower reaches of Cascade Creek near Olga on Orcas Island. Washington State Salmon Recovery Funds made the purchase possible, ensuring the preservation of a unique 2,100’ stretch of riparian corridor with adjacent upland forest.  Continue Reading

Budding Photographer - Tim Dustrude photo

San Juan County Fair Photography Department Seeks Volunteers

Written on July 26, 2016 at 5:20 am, by

San Juan County Fair Photography Department Superintendent Miles Crossen sent us a request for volunteers… It’s almost time for the San Juan County Fair. And if anyone out there would like to volunteer to help out with the Photography Department display, your assistance would be greatly appreciated. Beginning on Tuesday, August 16 from 9 a.m. to  Continue Reading


Time to Get Ready for the Mullis Center Parking Lot Sale

Written on July 26, 2016 at 5:10 am, by

  We hear from the Mullis Community Senior Center that its time to start planning for the annual Parking Lot Sale Saturday August 13…


Letters About Primary Election

Written on July 26, 2016 at 4:20 am, by

You can see a list of letters from individuals at the link below. As more letters come in, this list will be updated so be sure to check back. Click here

Lady Washington - Aaron Shepard Photo

The Lady Washington

Written on July 25, 2016 at 5:30 am, by

Many thanks to Aaron Shepard for sending us this photo of The Lady Washington.

Vintage Canning Label

Preserved Foods for the San Juan County Fair

Written on July 25, 2016 at 5:29 am, by

Minnie Knych reminds us that its time to get our preserved food ready for the fair… Only 24 days until the fair! Have you started harvesting and preserving the tastes of summer yet? If you have a back yard garden plan to enter some of your preserved foods in the fair.   The Food Preservation Department  Continue Reading

Domino - Contributed Photo

Pet of the Week: Domino

Written on July 25, 2016 at 5:15 am, by

Domino here, coming to you from the Animal Protection Society of Friday Harbor. They’ve asked me to keep track of how many tickets have been sold for this weekend’s “Wags to Riches” Luau on The Lawn. By my calculations it looks like you’d better hurry up and get yours if you haven’t already. They’re going fast,  Continue Reading

Kevin Roth - Peggy Sue McRae Photo

Artist Profile: Kevin Roth

Written on July 24, 2016 at 5:32 am, by

I stopped by Kevin Roth’s on Friday to check out his latest project and found him hard at work on his magnificent new Fish House. He aims to get it finished in time for the county fair. Surrounded by the materials of his craft Kevin’s workspace resembles a cross between a curiosity shop and a  Continue Reading

Bee with Lavender - John Miller Photo

Bees in Lavender

Written on July 24, 2016 at 5:29 am, by

This photo comes to us from John Miller who says, “It is impossible to visit Lavender farm without being amazed at the number of bees in attendance!”   

Robin Hood: Men in Tights

Sunset Showing of Robin Hood: Men in Tights

Written on July 24, 2016 at 5:19 am, by

Island Rec will be showing fun, family films for free on summer Saturdays in Sunken Park at Sunset…  Island Rec’s Free Movies in the Park series for 2016 begins July 30th. The series begins with Robin Hood: Men in Tights, a comedy about Nobleman Robin of Loxley who escapes from prison and returns home to find that  Continue Reading

Summer!! - Cady Mountain Seiler

Summer Fun!!

Written on July 23, 2016 at 5:31 am, by

Thanks to Cady Mountain Seiler for this great photo of summer fun!

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