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San Juan Archipelago, 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 650, 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.

17 May 2016

❖ A Village Full of Stories ❖ with June Burn in 1946

One Hundred Days in the San Juans. Day 60.

"This freight-piled bus running between Deer Harbor and Doe Bay is a perfectly grand way of getting to Eastsound. It stops at every store to unload. It swings round yellow fields, down into green valleys with the blue water shining through the trees every now and then. 
Launched at Reed's Yard, Decatur Island, 1930
Passenger, freight, mail boat from Bellingham through
the San Juan Islands.

Original photo by Jacobson from the archives of the S.P.H.S.

      Two other passengers, stopping at Madrona Inn in Eastsound, back from a trip on the OSAGE to Friday Harbor, make the trip more interesting.
Early West Sound, Orcas Island, WA.
Undated, original photo with stamp box that
indicates date between 1904-1918. Click to enlarge.
Inscription on back:
"West Sound as it looks coming in by boat.
The little launch in foreground is George's and the one
we were out on for five days last year. The little building
near the point is their boat house and when the tide is full,
the water comes up to the back door."
Can you tell us who is 'George?'

      Orchards and gardens everywhere, the blue gray stems of the fir trees standing along the roadside––we run along a road just out of the bluff on to West Sound. Big Double Island off to the right––two little rose bushes in a field by themselves, blooming away.
      Fields have such a lovely way of hedging themselves about with bushes and little trees where the plow doesn't go. The lines left in a hayfield after the mowing machine are just the most graceful things––the purple brown of a plowed field––a sloping pasture full of Queen Anne's lace that the farmer doesn't like but the passerby does––the way the mowing machine lines curve around the trees in an orchard!
      And here is huge East Sound which Mr. Davis says should be called Buck Bay, so blue, so blue!
View from Romance Rock at Waldheim Resort,
Eastsound, WA. by Ferdinand Brady (1880-1967)
At one time had his photo studio at Anacortes, WA.
Original from the archives of S.P.H.S.©
      At the top of the long sea, the white village of Eastsound is so still in the sunshine, the people seem to move around on tiptoe.
Templin Store, Eastsound, Orcas Island, WA.
Photo by islander Fred Darvill from the archives of the S.P.H.S.©
      Here is the Templin store, first opened in 1896 by the family who still owns it. Here, Jessie Templin started the Orcas Island weaving project years ago and a little shop up on Constitution where hand-woven things were sold, in summer, here in the store in winter. "Everything from tractors to kiddie cars," someone said of the Templin store––and then arrived to find that they couldn't even get marshmallows and bacon in these days!
      There is an attractive hotel here––Outlook Inn––where Ken Crutcher exhibits his delightful water colors, one of them a clean view of the village on a white sunny day.
Eastsound, Orcas Island
by photographer Webber

click to enlarge.
Original from the archives of S.P.H.S.©

Two garages, post office, telephone office, machine shop, electric supply store, a gas and oil supply, depot for boats, two churches, a high school and Darvill's Rare Print Shop make up the village proper.
      The summer resorts are all just outside the village, over some hill or down some point or along some beach.
      Darvill's is another of those astonishing places occasionally to be found in the islands. It is full of a lifetime's collection of really rare old prints, original oils, out-of-print law books. 'I always wanted to retire to a place where I could also carry on my business,' Fred Darvill says. Orcas is the place.
      This town fairly blooms with stories! There are old-timers all over the place. Mr. Luther Kimple himself of a pioneer family, has a wonderful memory for dates and facts. In his recollection, Belle Langell was the first child of both white parents born at Eastsound.
      The year 1820 is the first year Mr. Kimple ever heard any of the old-timers talk about as the time when the first hunters came here for the Hudson's Bay Company. Pioneers Mr. LaPlant and Mr. Verrier said their fathers came that early. But as everywhere over the islands, it wasn't until the 1850s that actual settling began, or that there is record of actual settling.
      Mr. Kimple agrees with Mrs. Freel that Mr. Willis came first in 1852 to hunt here for the H.B.C. Mike Adams, who came in 1860 or 1861, said he killed 2,100 deer one year and could have killed as many more if he could have found anybody to skin them. He used to say you could shoot against the side of the mountain and then go up and pick up the deer you had killed.
      The Peter Bostians came in 1882 with Alfred Hill, Mr. Randall, Michael Donohue. They came to Washington earlier, kept on coming to the islands to find a place where the woods weren't so thick. 'It'd scare a body to death to live in those dark woods of the mainland,' one of the women said. They came until they found Orcas Island, got here in a fierce northeaster. They remember there was a three-masted schooner abuilding at the waterfront of Eastsound. There were two docks here then and much activity all around the islands.
      In those days new arrivals put up at the Frye Hotel on the place owned, now, by Mr. Furrow. Mr. Kimple has a wonderful old picture of bearded pioneers in a row in front of the hotel called East Sound House. Mr. Frye is among them and Mr. Kimple can name each man of the 25 or 30 others.
See you tomorrow, June."
Words first published in a series of 100 articles under contract with the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Seattle, WA. 1946. Later compiled in a book One Days in the San Juans, published by Longhouse Printcrafters, Friday Harbor, WA. 

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