Topic: History

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

History IS Here Month

Written on May 6, 2020 at 5:56 am, by

Here’s this month’s history column from the San Juan Historical Society and Museum…Remember when we could happily pose this close to each other in a crowd of people, just like the Hemphill family and friends did around 1910 in the photograph above? As everyone knows, we currently live in a time defined by a novel coronavirus,  Continue Reading

Historic Labels From San Juan Canning Co.

Written on March 28, 2020 at 5:30 am, by

We hear from John Miller in response to the Update’s recent history column, From Camas to Oysters (and “Please pass the peas.”) featuring a label from the San Juan Islands Cannery. John shared with us two labels from San Juan Canning Co…

A Particularly Interesting Women’s History Month

Written on March 4, 2020 at 5:48 am, by

Here’s this month’s history column from the San Juan Historical Society and Museum… Our March history columns generally feature one or more of our community’s women, as March 8 is International Women’s Day and the entire month is known as Women’s History Month. This year marks two significant, national level Centennials in our history where  Continue Reading

Island Senior: Celebrating Presidents Day

Written on February 16, 2020 at 10:05 am, by

Island Senior is a regular column on the San Juan Update written by Peggy Sue McRae… There will be no lunch served at the Mullis Center on Monday. Presidents Day is a federal holiday; banks and the post office are also closed. Before the Uniform Federal Holidays act of 1971 we observed Abraham Lincoln’s birthday  Continue Reading

A 1912 Valentine’s Party at the Grange

Written on February 5, 2020 at 5:49 am, by

  Here’s this month’s history column from the San Juan Historical Society and Museum… Since February is a month known for Valentine’s Day decorations in store windows and rows of sweetheart cards for sale, we thought we would see what has been preserved in the San Juan Historical Museum’s archives from festive holidays of yesteryear. The classic  Continue Reading