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San Juan Islands, Washington State, United States
A society formed in 2009 for the purpose of collecting, preserving, celebrating, and disseminating the maritime history of the San Juan Islands and northern Puget Sound area. Check this log for tales from out-of-print publications as well as from members and friends. There are circa 500, often long entries, on a broad range of maritime topics; there are search aids at the bottom of the log. Please ask for permission to use any photo posted on this site. Thank you.

14 July 2014

❖ "A lovely place" Lopez Island ❖ with June Burn.

Washington's Head
Lopez Island, pre 1930.

Photograph by James A. McCormick
"Lopez, what a prosperous, beautiful island it is! New England farms look no mellower, no healthier than these big Lopez farms. I suppose the Eastern farms were reclaimed from the wilderness a few hundred years ago. But ours have been reclaimed in the last seventy-odd years, most of them in the last half century. Yet they look like generations of people, of cattle, of crops that have grown up here.
      Grassy pastures and orchards in blossom on the Strafford farm. Berries and cattle, green fields,  and a tractor plowing on the neat Erb place. Rolling green slopes and dozens of gorgeous apple trees on the Kilpatrick farm.
      Down the road along the backbone of the island, beautiful farms falling away into pleasant valleys on both sides. Sheep in the pastures, chickens cackling from modern henhouses. Loganberries on the Joe Ender's place. The McCloud house low and brown, nestled on a big rock.
      The pale blue and white line of the Olympics off yonder to the south, across the Strait of Juan de Fuca. 
      Pheasants and mountain quail in gardens. The McCauley farm, lush and lovely, on both sides of the road. 
      Down the dim cathedral woods to McKay Harbor. Hemlock, white fir, and cedar. Long curving beach washed by a gentle surf. The pretty white Tralness house above the beach and a lavender-pink mass of starry flowers on the edge of the road. 
      In Barlow's Bay a great flower-covered rock. Lacy yellow blooms. Sedum about to burst into fragrant blossom. Dark blue verbena-like flowers. Crane's Bill. You would not live here so long without knowing all the flowers by their real and common names, would you? Well, I knew them once. And I shall know them again!
      We climb up into the woods and around the outer bluff of the island to find Washington's profile. We find the bluff where the face used to be, but something seems to have happened to the nose.
      But we find dark blue Camas in bloom. And against an old abandoned house a gorgeous lilac heavy with purple flowers. The woods are full of wild flowers. Lady slippers, Oregon grape, star flower. soapalalee will be along presently. From these berries the Indians make a bitter foam which some call Indian ice cream.
      Across the island, John Thompson's big lonely home where the white-headed old mariner lives alone. He promises to take us with him to Smith Island next week.
      The Mud Bay schoolhouse and Eaton's pretty home. On up and around to the Vogt loghouse built a half-century ago of alder logs, mind you. Inside, an old square piano, hooked rugs in original designs, handsome ship models made by the son while tending fishtraps. Outside, flowers and blossoming fruit trees, green meadows and the forest not a hundred yards away. A lovely place."
       Above text by June Burn, Puget Soundings. 1930.


  1. Wonderful post! June Burn was such an eloquent writer - her book Living High is such a beautiful account of homesteading in the islands. Thanks for posting this!

    1. Thanks for reading the Log and taking time to write. We'll keep following June.


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