On This Day in History
Does the name Lyman Cutlar ring a bell? It was 160 years ago today that Lyman Cutlar shot a pig, thus igniting an international dispute that nearly drew the United States and Great Britain into war.
The previous year, gold was struck up on the Fraser River north of here and that drew thousands of prospectors to the area. Lyman Cutlar was one them who eventually ended up homesteading on San Juan Island where the British Hudson Bay Company had already set up its Belle Vue Sheep Farm operation.
On June 15, 1859, Mr. Cutlar found one of the Company’s pigs rooting in his potato patch. As this was not the first time, Cutlar had had enough – he shot the pig but then offered $10.00 in compensation. The owner of the pig refused and instead demanded $100.00 from Cutlar and the rest is Pig War history.
Mike Vouri, former Chief Historian for San Juan Island National Historical Park and author of several books on the Pig War shares more on these events in the NPS video below.