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San Juan Island

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

San Juan
San Juan Island locator map.svg
Location of San Juan Island in the San Juans
San Juan is located in Washington (state)
San Juan
San Juan
LocationPacific Northwest
Coordinates48°32′N 123°05′W / 48.533°N 123.083°W / 48.533; -123.083
ArchipelagoSan Juan Islands
Area55.053 sq mi (142.59 km2)
Highest elevation1,080 ft (329 m)
Highest pointMount Dallas
United States
CountySan Juan County
Largest settlementFriday Harbor (pop. 2,162)
Population6,894 (2010 [1])
Pop. density47.84 /km2 (123.91 /sq mi)

San Juan Island is the second-largest and most populous of the San Juan Islands in northwestern Washington, United States. It has a land area of 142.59 km² (55.053 sq mi) and a population of 6,822 as of the 2000 census.

Washington State Ferries serves Friday Harbor, which is San Juan Island's major population center, the San Juan County seat, and the only incorporated town in the islands.

YouTube Encyclopedic

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  • ✪ SAN JUAN ISLAND, WA: Weekend in FRIDAY HARBOR & Duck Soup Restaurant! | Ep. 23




The name "San Juan" originates from the 1791 expedition of Francisco de Eliza, who named the archipelago Isla y Archiepelago de San Juan to honor his patron sponsor, Juan Vicente de Güemes Padilla Horcasitas y Aguayo, 2nd Count of Revillagigedo. One of the officers under Eliza's command, Gonzalo López de Haro, was the first European to discover San Juan Island. During the Wilkes Expedition, American explorer Charles Wilkes renamed the island Rodgers Island; the Spanish name remained on British nautical charts and over time became the island's official name.[2]

The island saw seasonal use for salmon fishing. The Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) established the first permanent, non-native settlement on the island on December 13, 1853, with the intention of creating a sheep farm. The island was also occupied by Native Americans, many of whom arrived seasonally for fishing. Both the British and Americans asserted control of the island. A small force of American soldiers was sent to the island over concern for this issue and with Native American raids on American settlers. The territorial dispute over this island and the rest of the San Juan Islands heightened when an American settler shot an HBC pig, starting the Pig War in 1859. The dispute was finally resolved in favor of the Americans in 1872.[3]

Island life

San Juan Island has a number of weekly newspapers,[4] and two online daily news sites: the San Juan Islander[5] and the Island Guardian,[6] . The Island is dotted with numerous farms, and is a tourist-driven economy. The island hosts two substantial marinas, one in Friday Harbor, the other in Roche Harbor. One often sees tall ships and large yachts in the marinas.

The Island has a new hospital: the Peace Health Peace Island Medical Center[7] and a supermarket, the Friday Harbor Marketplace[8], and a small supermarket/marine supply that primarily services the marina, and folks who live in town. There is a hardware store in town and a Home Center on the outskirts that primarily services contractors and DIYers.

The island is home to a number of celebrities, one encounters them in the local stores, seldom recognizable, but treated as fellow islanders and not hassled or bothered for autographs.

Transportation to the Island is by boat, Washington State Ferries, seaplane or by conventional aircraft. If traveling by seaplane, Friday Harbor is serviced by Northwest Seaplanes and Kenmore Air, both longtime operators in the area. The Friday Harbor Airport is on the outskirt of town.Outside of Friday Harbor, the only major commercial establishment resort is the village of Roche Harbor, located on the northwest side of the island.

San Juan Island NHP Eng Camp
San Juan Island NHP Eng Camp
San Juan Islands Am Camp
San Juan Islands Am Camp

Other landmarks are the old English and American Camps at opposite ends of the island, which together comprise the San Juan Island National Historical Park, which commemorates the 1859 Pig War. Interpretive centers and reconstructed buildings, formal gardens, etc. recall the history of early European settlement in the area.

Friday Harbor, Washington - ferry landing 02 (20015926384)
Friday Harbor, Washington - ferry landing 02 (20015926384)

The University of Washington runs Friday Harbor Laboratories, a marine research lab and campus[9] outside Friday Harbor. The campus has been extant since 1909 and has dormitories, a food service, and classrooms for holding lectures.

San Juan Island is considered a "small town" community, in that it is relatively quiet rural living with little distractions or incidents aside from tourism. One notable resident would be Lisa "Ivory" Moretti, a retired female professional wrestler of World Wrestling Entertainment fame.

It has a number of attractions including The Whale Museum; a contemporary Art Museum building completed in 2015; the San Juan Community Theatre; the Sculpture Park (located near Roche Harbor);the San Juan Historical Museum, and Lime Kiln Point State Park where on many days you can sit and watch Orca pods swim by. Lime Kiln Park is so named because it housed a lime kiln, and is home to the Lime Kiln Lighthouse listed on National Historic Register, September 15, 1978 Campgrounds: are San Juan County,Lakedale Resort, San Juan County Fairgrounds (8 RV spots) and Free Horse Farm Camping [10].

Lime Kiln Lighthouse 2
Lime Kiln Lighthouse 2
Friday Harbor 1
Friday Harbor 1


Public schools are operated by the San Juan Island School District #149. It operates four schools: Friday Harbor Elementary School, Friday Harbor Middle School, Friday Harbor High School, Griffin Bay Schools (alternative high school, parent-partner home school program, on-line courses, and virtual school), and Stuart Island School (K-8). There are also two privately operated schools.[11]


The waters surrounding San Juan Island are home to a variety of unique species including red sea urchins[12] and pinto abalone.[13] Though no commercial fishing of abalone has ever been allowed in this area, recreational fishing of abalone was outlawed in 1994.[13] The National Marine Fisheries Service listed pinto abalone as a Species of Concern in 2004.[13]


Westcott Bay Shellfish Co. is one of the few small, family-run aquaculture farms in the San Juan Islands. The soul of Westcott Bay is a philosophy of community and environmental stewardship, and a respect for its unique natural and cultural history. Westcott Bay Shellfish Co. welcomes visitors by boat, vehicle or by hiking in. Visitors can buy osyters, clams and mussels while enjoying a picnic along the waterfront. Visitors can see first hand what an oyster operation looks like and can physically see where their oysters come from. Westcott Bay Shellfish Co. hand-raises Pacific Oysters, Manila clams and Mediterranean mussels on their tidelands in Westcott Bay.[14]


  1. ^ "San Juan Islands Chamber of Commerce".
  2. ^ Phillips, James W. (1971). Washington State Place Names. University of Washington Press. ISBN 0-295-95158-3.
  3. ^ "Letter from Mr. Crosbie to General Cass" (PDF). A report relative to the occupation of the island of San Juan. April 23, 1860. pp. 1–8.
  4. ^ "San Juan Journal". Archived from the original on 2008-06-16. Retrieved 2008-06-17.
  5. ^ "San Juan Islander".
  6. ^ "Island Guardian".
  7. ^ "Peace Health Peace Island Medical Center".
  8. ^ "Friday Harbor Marketplace".
  9. ^ Friday Harbor Labs
  10. ^ "San Juan County Camping".
  11. ^ Schools in Jan Juan Island, retrieved 2012-04-03
  12. ^ Whippo, R; Lowe, A; Britton-Simmons, K (2011). "Effects of the Red Sea Urchin on Benthic Invertebrate Communities: A Link to Spatial Subsidies". In: Pollock NW, ed. Diving for Science 2011. Proceedings of the American Academy of Underwater Sciences 30th Symposium. Dauphin Island, AL: AAUS; 2011. Retrieved 2013-03-18.
  13. ^ a b c Hester, JB; Walker, JM; Dinnel, PA; Schwarck, NT (2011). "Survey of Previously Outplanted Pinto (Northern) Abalone (Haliotis kamtschatkana) in the San Juan Island Archipelago, Washington State". In: Pollock NW, ed. Diving for Science 2011. Proceedings of the American Academy of Underwater Sciences 30th Symposium. Dauphin Island, AL: AAUS; 2011. Retrieved 2013-03-18.
  14. ^ Pacific Northwest. "Home". Westcott Bay Shellfish.

External links

This page was last edited on 12 October 2019, at 17:52
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