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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.

09 April 2018

❖ POINT ROBERTS COUNTRY ❖ with June Burn 1930

Copyright of Thos. C. Metsker
"Metsker the Map Man."

This map is for convenience not for navigation.
Click image to enlarge for viewing Pt. Roberts.

"The village of Point Roberts is called West Point Roberts. It stands down in the lower lefthand corner of the peninsula. Here are two or three stores, gas stations, a big fish cannery. Behind one of the new stores, there stands a thirty or forty-year-old building with "Bureau Salon" in big letters across its false front. There are several houses, of course, one little hotel called the Green Lantern, another restaurant, a schoolhouse and nameless relics of houses whose uses I do not know.
      Jutting out into Georgia Strait from the beach is the long dock. The daily boat, TULIP, from Bellingham, stands off here to discharge mail and freight. Beyond the beach a mile or so, fishtraps look like centipedes floating on the water. The high derrick affair up northward is one of the boundary monuments set there to let fishermen know when they are on their side of the fence.
      It stands over a mile from shore, I believe; 5,500-ft to be exact. I suppose there is a light atop as there is on the one ashore. The international boundary makes a sharp bend two or three miles out from Pt. Roberts and turns southeasterly down Georgia to Haro Strait when it bends again through Haro to Juan de Fuca and so on out to sea. It really is too bad that it doesn't turn southwesterly from Boundary Bay and so avoid this bit of peninsula altogether. It must be a great bother keeping up customs and boundary patrol for six square miles or less of country. Though it does add interest to our map to see Pt. Roberts away up there at our northwesternmost corner separated from us by both land and sea. It is more than an island, surrounded as it is on three sides by water, and on the fourth by an alien country.
      Summer people, week-ending visitors, are already trickling down to all the long, sandy beaches of the Point. They look very carefree, walking like Pippa on her one holiday of the year. Very jaunty and satisfied they look, as if they had achieved some private victory of their own.
      At the village, I found Mr. Culp just ready to go home. He brought me back to the cottage in the woods, and this evening after supper all of us crowded into the coupe.
      Down to Boundary Bay, we went past Baker's new charming log cabin, past the Russell place, along the narrow graveled road with shrubs pressing in from both sides, past the Ellis Johnson place. Honeysuckle in bloom in the woods. Mrs. Culp told of the effort that their local Grange made to stop the vandalism of wildflowers and shrubs in the summertime. They wrote Olympia about it, learned that tree stealing could be prosecuted, but apparently not other forms of the ruthless gathering of wildflowers.

      Leghorn Heights on our left, and the Solomon ranch. Crystal Waters beach. Is it not a lovely name? Thorstenson Ranch and the Goodman place deep in the woods. Down to White Lily Point, which is a high bluff overlooking the bay. Here, in March, the little white six-petaled Easter lily droops her sweet head under every salal shrub, every frond of Oregon
grape. In bloom now are vetch, wild roses, Indian Paintbrush, honeysuckle, fritillaria or rice-root, and many little things whose names I do not know.
Eight photographs from the archives of the
Saltwater People Historical Society©
      Across Boundary Bay the lights of Blaine, below the bluff fifteen fishtraps with long curved leads. Far down across the Strait, Lummi Island, and Orcas. The big P.A.F. fish cannery at the foot of the high bluff has not run for years. Mr. Arni Myrdal is in charge of fishing operations down there. Wise in Icelandic lore he is, they say. But I did not meet him on this trip. See you tomorrow. June."
Above text by June Burn. Puget Soundings. May 1930.

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