"The past actually happened but history is only what someone wrote down." A. Whitney Brown.

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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.

28 August 2016


brought excursionists to Eastsound, Orcas Island
for summer fun in the sun.
New in the collection, the upper photo is back-dated 1911

1889: Steamer built by John J. Holland, Tacoma, WA.
1889-1902 The STATE was on the Seattle-Bellingham route.
1915: she was converted to a towboat.
1921: she was destroyed in a boiler explosion.
Original photos from the archives of the S.P.H.S.©

Date data from Steamer's Wake by Jim Faber.

Early, much photographed, bird's eye view  
of Eastsound, Orcas Island, in the San Juan group.
The seaside village, with the early Inn (lower image), 
is out of the photo to the left but this highlights 
beautiful Madrona Point where there was another popular 
inn for visitors. Orcas Island has laid out the welcome 
mat for many decades, as seen in newspapers from the late 1800s.
Original photo from the collection of the S.P.H.S.©

First known as East Sound House;
then in 1909 as Mt. Constitution Inn, when it was 
refurnished with a large living room added, for a price of 
ten dollars per week, children half rate.
It is now known as Outlook Inn,
along the waterfront of Eastsound, Orcas Island, WA.
Original photo from the collection of the S.P.H.S.©

"Early on, the San Juan Islands became a favorite of vacationers. But it took a bit of determination––just to get there. At the turn of the century, those heading for Orcas Island went by steamers like the paddle wheeler, State of Washington, to Anacortes. There they boarded a smaller steamer for the island. Service was also provided from Whatcom County, and via the Lydia Thompson direct from Seattle. Favorite hostelries included the East Sound House. An early reviewer outlined other attractions:
    Hammocks and rustic seats
    are found in many a secluded
    spot, silently weaving a web of
    enchantment to entrance (sic)
    the mind and lull the heart to
    happy rest. Out upon the beach,
    salt water bathing can be 
    enjoyed during the languid summer
    afternoons, while at evening 
    clam bakes with bonfires and 
    singing, charm with wild delight.
    San Juan County Album, U of WA Library Collection."

Above text from: Steamer's Wake. Faber, Jim. Seattle; Enetai Press.1985.

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