San Juan Historical Museum Joins Virtual Fair Fundraiser

Jessie Firth born 1863 – Contributed photo

Since 2017, the Historical Museum has added nearly 3,000 historical images to our photographic collection, through gifts, acquisitions and found treasures. The number of digitally scanned, researched and catalogued images illustrating the history of San Juan Island, now tallies 5,500. As a result, we have outgrown our existing capacity to safely and securely store the originals.

For this year’s virtual San Juan County Fair, the Historical Museum is joining the San Juan Island Community Foundation’s matching grant program to raise funds towards the purchase of a disaster proof photographic filing cabinet. We need your assistance in helping us reach our fundraising goal of $4,500, which will enable us to procure needed storage capacity.

During the virtual Fair, the Community Foundation will match contributions up to $1,000. Additional bonus grants totaling $2,500 can be earned during the Fair through featured daily games. Details are provided each day of the fair via the Foundation’s Facebook page.

Donations will be accepted only during the four days of the Fair, August 12-15. To donate to our cause, follow this link:

Link to: Donate site
Or, Mail a check written to the SJI Community Foundation, dated between August 12-15, and write SJ Historical Museum in the memo line then mail to:

SJICF-County Fair Fundraiser
PO Box 1352
Friday Harbor, WA 98250

The wee tot clutching the tether of the family dog is Jessie Firth born in 1863. Robert and Janet (Jessie) Firth and their four children — Robert Jr, Lexie, Jessie and Betsy — moved to the island in 1862 from Victoria, where Robert was a Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) employee. He became Belle View Sheep Farm manager in 1862 and worked the farm under lease to HBC until 1873. After the boundary dispute was settled, Robert and family remained at Belle Vue Sheep Farm. By 1884, the family owned 226 acres, including the old U.S. Army camp.
Posted on August 13, 2020 at 1:40 pm by

Categories: Around Here, History
One comment:

One comment...

  1. As I understand the details, the Hudson Bay Company lost its charter during that period and could no longer claim land. From then until the dispute was settled, Robert Firth leased the buildings at the farm, but not the farm itself.

    Comment by Dan Zaehring on August 13, 2020 at 7:40 pm

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