Traveling Red Chair Arrives at Harrison House Suites

The Traveling Red Chair in line for the ferry - Contributed photo

The Traveling Red Chair in line for the ferry – Diana Mancel photo

Story by Diana Mancel

Friday Harbor is known for being a bit eccentric, but even longtime Islanders took a second look on Sunday when a lone wooden red chair took its place in the ferry line.

This Chair is a seasoned traveler: it was involved in a Vermont wedding, hiked up a New Hampshire hill, and hung out with the Coast Guard in Oregon. There is a rumor about a brief affair with a Blue Chair in California. This week, Harrison House Suites in Friday Harbor is the Red Chair’s official home.

Anna Maria de Freitas & Dave Pass, owners of the Tucker House/Harrison House Suites Bed and Breakfast (, have many plans for the Red Chair before it departs on the Friday morning ferry to its next accommodations.


Red Chair visits the Whale Museum – Diana Mancel photo

So far, the Chair has been to the Whale Museum, checked out some Island Roadside Oddities, has signed up for a whale watching tour with Legacy Charters and a Scoot Coupe ride with Susie’s Mopeds. All along the way, there will be photos and diary entries for the Chair’s experiences, and these mementos will become a part of the ongoing blog the Chair began recording in 2011.

The idea of handing off the Red Chair to various bed and breakfast establishments began four years ago with the Innkeeper of Woods Hole Inn in Cape Cod, who posted a photo on Facebook of the same red chair sitting on a frozen pond. A California photographer saw the post and asked to borrow it, then passed it on to a California Innkeeper. Since then, the Chair has been to Santa Fe, has gone geocaching, and had more than one glass of wine along the way. You can follow the Red Chair online at Red Chair Travels.

Why a chair? It is said that the Red Chair is an invitation to explore yourself in a quiet and beautiful place. It is an open seat at the table of relaxation. It is the dialogue between artists and innkeepers, between lost travelers and those that welcome them to sit down by friendly fireplaces.

Red Chair meets Cow and Pig - Contributed photo

Red Chair meets Cow and Pig – Diana Mancel photo

If you would like to propose a unique setting for the Red Chair during its brief visit to San Juan Island, please send an email to am [@] and we will do our best to include your suggestion in the Chair’s travels. In the meantime, look for the Red Chair as it makes its way around Friday Harbor and San Juan Island this week!


Dave Pass gives the Red Chair a great view of the harbor – Diana Mancel photo

Posted on November 16, 2015 at 10:13 am by

Categories: Around Here
One comment:

One comment...

  1. Great story Diana! We all need a red chair in our lives.

    Sheila Harley

    Comment by Sheila Harley on November 17, 2015 at 7:52 am

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