A Friday Harbor Centennial Flashback

It’s time for this month’s history column from The San Juan Historical Society and Museum
Click on photos for larger image…

Could it already be ten years since islanders, present and past, came together to celebrate Friday Harbor’s 100th birthday? Although Friday Harbor had been a well-established town since named as the County Seat in 1873, its incorporation date of February 9, 1909 is recognized as its official birthday. And so, The Town of Friday Harbor hosted and coordinated community events galore for its months long Centennial celebration in 2009.
Participating organizations included the San Juan Community Theatre, the San Juan Island Grange, San Juan Island Library, San Juan Island Community Foundation, and the San Juan Historical Society and Museum, to name just a few island event hosts. It was a special day when several members of the Lummi Nation paddled over in canoes for a Centennial recognition ceremony overlooking the harbor.
Pictured here are some of our favorite photos taken during the Centennial events. The photo of three women and the one of three men were both taken at an event called “Elders Speak” in which local historians interviewed some of the island’s most senior elders, in a casual conversation on the sunny deck of the Lakedale Resort lodge.

The fifteen women gathered in the last photo were special guests at a luncheon at Vinny’s Ristorante, hosted by Soroptimist International of Friday Harbor. Each of these special guests represented their island pioneer families. In addition to the family names you see with this photo, other family names represented included Boyce, Egeland, Firth, Guard, Kirk, Mullis, and Rosler — among many others (Readers, please add more family names in the comments, if you wish). Guests were delighted to see photographs of their mothers, grandmothers, and other pioneer relatives as featured in the luncheon table centerpieces.

For more on the history of Friday Harbor, read Images of America: Friday Harbor, authored by Mike and Julia Vouri and the San Juan Historical Society and Museum. It was published for the Centennial year and available at the Library, Historical Museum, and local bookstores.

Happy Birthday, Friday Harbor — 110 years young!

Posted on February 6, 2019 at 5:30 am by

Categories: Community, History


  1. My Grandmother, Julia Jane Jensen, was the daughter of John and Mary Frits (John served as County Auditor) and sister of Virgil Frits, editor of The Journal.

    Comment by Jeri Ahrenius on February 6, 2019 at 8:27 am
  2. Thank you Jeri!

    Comment by Peggy Sue McRae on February 6, 2019 at 9:07 am
  3. I remember taking care of both Julia and Virgil at ICC in 1969–Julia so tall and dignified and Virgil with the eternal unlit cigar in his mouth.

    Comment by Judith Carter on February 6, 2019 at 11:32 am
  4. Hello Jeri! I remember you from 6th and 7th grade! Nice to see your name! Carolyn Dupire Farrell

    Comment by Carolyn Dupire Farrell on February 6, 2019 at 11:38 am
  5. Great to see the Boyce’s represented. I loved seeing the photo of Kitty! Thank you for sharing!

    Comment by Michael Boyce on February 6, 2019 at 2:10 pm

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