|Decatur Island, San Juan County, WA.|
3.524 square miles
Population c. fifty full-time residents.
Click here to order online:
An Unforeseen Journey, Tales of Pioneering Spirit on Decatur Island
by Mary Stewart Van Valkenburg and Gail Dupar
After the Alaskan Gold Rush, and following the Great Fire of 1889, the islands and waterways of Puget Sound were opening to the curiosity of Seattle residents. Decatur Island, in the San Juan Islands, was regarded by schooner captains as a place so remote, it could only be populated by Indians, squatters or recluses. That is, until land speculators discovered the island's primitive beauty, and began a campaign to draw Seattleites north. Those same early settlers then became pioneers, facing dangers from isolation, storms, and lack of medical care.
Visually spectacular, with many photos and images of historic documents, it is the only book written solely about the settling of this island in the San Juan group. After 110 years, it can be considered the first definitive study, an accurate and riveting history of Decatur and its residents. Colorful characters inhabit detailed stories that will find the reader engrossed, as well as charmed, by the writing style and the people.
Dedicated to those living on Decatur Island, this high-design volume covering the years 1895 to 1935, will also be of interest to other Washington readers.
Author: Mary Stewart Van Valkenburg, adopted at 3 months old, grew up on Decatur Island. She attended school in the one-room school house built by her grandfather in 1908. She has written for The Sea Chest journal, and is a member of the Washington State Historical Society and the Puget Sound Maritime Historical Society.
Artist: Gail Dupar, artist and designer, contributed her artistic skills to the selection and arrangement of vintage photos and the artwork that surrounds them. Gail, Mary's youngest daughter, studied at Cornish School of the Arts in Seattle.
Mother and daughter successfully collaborated on the design and completion of this historical non-fiction book.
Mary Van Valkenburg
P.O. Box 94
Hansville, WA. 98340