Topic: History

History Column: Elsie Scott, Legendary Public Health Nurse

Written on March 3, 2021 at 5:30 am, by

From the San Juan Historical Society and Museum It’s Women’s History Month and the tradition of this history column is to feature a person or organization in keeping with the topic. This year, in recognition of International Women’s Day on March 8, the United Nations has chosen the theme of “Women in leadership: Achieving an  Continue Reading

New Book On Patos Island Lighthouse History

Written on February 11, 2021 at 4:30 am, by

Patos Lighthouse – Contributed Photo From Arcadia Publishing Since 1893, a light has been shining from Patos Island, the northernmost island in Puget Sound. Built to guide ships through treacherous waters, the lighthouse was also a happy home for many, including Edward Durgan and his family in the early 1900s. Boundary waters smugglers and rumrunners  Continue Reading

History Column: Deborah Kelly and E.H. Nash’s Valentine Wedding

Written on February 3, 2021 at 5:30 am, by

From the San Juan Historical Society and Museum In the month she turned 19, Deborah Julia Kelly and her sweetheart Elijah Hamlin Nash traveled by steamship from San Juan Island to Seattle and took out a marriage license on Valentine’s Day 1896. They were married the following Sunday on Feb. 16 at Plymouth Church in  Continue Reading

History Column: ‘We Can’t Build Up Our Beautiful City By Scrapping All The Time.’

Written on January 6, 2021 at 5:30 am, by

From the San Juan Historical Society and Museum “We can’t build up our beautiful city by scrapping all the time.” These words were written by Launor Benjamin Carter in 1909, as seen in the ad above and published in the Friday Harbor Journal the last week in December that year. The entire ad is worth reading. It reminds us that  Continue Reading

History Column: Three Little Sutterman Girls, Christmas 1954

Written on December 2, 2020 at 5:30 am, by

From the San Juan Historical Society and Museum Not all of the photographs in the San Juan Historical Society and Museum collections are from the island’s pioneer days or the early days of Friday Harbor’s development as a town. The snapshot above caught our eye as a classic Christmas image from the 1950s, tinseled tree  Continue Reading

Learn Local History Online With Russel Barsh

Written on December 1, 2020 at 4:30 am, by

By SJIL The San Juan Island Library will host a virtual Know Your Islanders event titled “Russel Barsh: The Land We Stand On,” at 7 p.m., Monday, Dec. 7. Thousands of Indigenous peoples already lived in the San Juan Islands millennia before the Pig War, building wood villages and sail canoes, clearing fields for camas  Continue Reading

Brian Brown Talks Noel Sign, Lions Club

Written on November 30, 2020 at 5:30 am, by

For more than four decades, the San Juan Lions have displayed a Noel sign in Friday Harbor to ring in the holidays. The sign was lit again this year on Wednesday, Nov. 25. Lion Brian Brown spoke with the Update about the sign’s creation, history and meaning. Q: Tell me a little about the sign.  Continue Reading

Research Your Family’s Military History on Veterans Day

Written on November 10, 2020 at 6:44 pm, by

By SJIL Join the San Juan Island Library at 7 p.m., Veterans Day, Wednesday, Nov. 11 as we honor veterans and explore their local and familial history and legacy. The event will be online. Learn how to research your relatives’ military records with Boyd Pratt, followed by a discussion of the history of the Women’s  Continue Reading

History Column: Thanksgiving Thoughts and Discoveries

Written on November 4, 2020 at 5:30 am, by

By San Juan Historical Society and Museum Sometimes researching local history is about documenting popular stories, and sometimes it’s about correcting what has been recorded in the past about those stories. Each step along the way, we at the San Juan Historical Society and Museum are grateful for so many people and resources which make  Continue Reading

Zylstra Lake: Fall Trail Times 2020

Written on October 29, 2020 at 5:45 am, by

Thanks to the cooperation of the Land Bank and the San Juan Preservation Trust we now have a beautiful new and historic public land to explore. On September 26th, National Public Lands Day, 5 years of negotiations and planning came to fruition when the 285-acre Zylstra Lake Preserve on San Juan Island officially opened part  Continue Reading

Listen To A Podcast Featuring San Juan History

Written on October 15, 2020 at 5:00 am, by

Andrew Veith of Seattle has created a podcast called “Rebel History,” which features the San Juan Islands. Listen to episodes at By Andrew Veith, Rebel History Podcast This podcast will forever change your view of Seattle, the San Juan Islands and their history. International criminal empires, gun battles, double agents, sex, treachery, and so much  Continue Reading

A Home-Grown Feast From Yesteryear

Written on October 7, 2020 at 5:46 am, by

This month’s history column was inspired by a somewhat rare interior photograph, taken at an event by the name of “Home Products Night.” When the photo, as seen above, was donated to the San Juan Historical Society and Museum many years ago, it came with a description which offered the following information, but alas, no  Continue Reading

Trail Times: Old Military Road Trail – An Illustrated Guide

Written on September 4, 2020 at 12:21 pm, by

Robin Donnelly for the Old Military Road Trail Committee… What a great time to be exploring our trails. Covid seems to have made us all more aware of the healing power of nature and our fortunate ability to be part of it. As summer is waning, fall colors are taking over for the vibrancy of  Continue Reading

A Salute to Teachers and the Last Cow in Friday Harbor

Written on September 2, 2020 at 5:30 am, by

SJI Historical Museum is back with their History Column for September… September is traditionally when we devote the history column to something related to “back to school days.” We have featured students, schoolhouses, and teachers of many different eras. Since this is such an unusual year for all our students and teachers, we thought it appropriate  Continue Reading

March Commemorates Passage of the 19th Amendment

Written on August 26, 2020 at 4:31 pm, by

The League of Women Voters of the San Juans and Soroptimist International of Friday Harbor joined together for a short Covid-compliant march to mark 100 years since the certification of the 19th amendment to the Constitution of the United States giving women the right to vote. Meeting at Linde Park, also known as the ball  Continue Reading

San Juan Historical Museum Joins Virtual Fair Fundraiser

Written on August 13, 2020 at 1:40 pm, by

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  Continue Reading

San Juan County Fair 1954

Written on August 9, 2020 at 3:31 pm, by

In those days parking was right there on the Fair Grounds.  The Ferris Wheel was a main attraction in 1954.

The Great Chicken Race Scandal of 1981

Written on July 29, 2020 at 5:30 am, by

SJ Historical Museum with their History Column for August… It was pretty easy to choose a topic for this month’s history column. Last month’s column suggested a theme when we came upon the fun photo from the 1981 Fourth of July Parade and decided to use it, since we didn’t have a parade this year.  Continue Reading

Flashback: 4th of July Parade, 1981

Written on July 1, 2020 at 5:49 am, by

Without a parade this year, we’ve been thinking of festive 4th of July celebrations from years past. Here is a photo from the 1981 parade, shining the spotlight of history on the Islanders Bank float that year. It’s tradition for Islanders Bank to enter a float in the parade, and this one was noteworthy because  Continue Reading

American Camp Visitor Center Upgrades

Written on June 26, 2020 at 10:31 am, by

The National Park Service has been busy making progress on construction of the new visitor center out there. Here’s the latest from their construction blog… Update: Site Observation Update Week of June 16th This week’s work has no discernable theme apart from a great deal of focus outdoors. With superb weather, we began work on  Continue Reading

The Old Military Road

Written on June 25, 2020 at 11:40 am, by

This article was written by Mike Vouri, local author and former NPS Historian… The heat was already stifling at 11 a.m. in late July 2004 when I encountered four Canadian reenactor colleagues taking a breather in the shade at the corner of Little and Douglas roads. Clad in the scarlet and blue wool uniforms of  Continue Reading

We’ve been here before: The 1918 Influenza Pandemic

Written on June 3, 2020 at 5:53 am, by

SJI Historical Museum is back with their History Column for June… Although it’s now been a little over 100 years since the outbreak of the Spanish Flu, many of us grew up hearing a grandparent’s stories of family experiences with the double punch of world war and an influenza pandemic known as the Spanish Flu.  Continue Reading