SAN JUAN ISLAND NATIONAL HISTORICAL PARK
Orca whales and bald eagles abound here, as do more than 200 species of birds navigating the Pacific flyway. But the park was created in 1966 based upon an idea: that individuals and nations can solve their problems peacfully without resorting to violence. For it was here in 1859 that the United States and Great Britain nearly went to war over a pig shot by an American farmer. Actually, it was a bit more complicated than that. Pressures had been building between the two nations over possession of the San Juan Island group since 1846 when the Treaty of Oregon left ownership unclear. Thus came the "Pig War" crisis, at the height of which more than 500 U.S. Army soldiers and three British warships were nose to nose on the island's southern shore, not 10 miles from Victoria, BC. Fortunately, officials on both sides quickly restored calm and the nations agreed to a joint military occupation of the island until the boundary could be decided. The American soldiers and British Royal Marines remained for 12 years until Kaiser Wilhelm I of Germany, as arbitrator, awarded the islands to the United States. Today the park is an excellent place to hike, picnic, play on the beach, experience wildlife and enjoy a wealth of programming, including the summer living history events.
July 27, 1859, San Juan Island
I. In compliance with orders and instructions from the general commanding, a military post will be established on this island, on whatever site the commanding officer may select.
II. All the inhabitants of the island are requested to report at once to the commanding officer in case of any incursion of the northern Indians, so that he may take such steps are necessary to prevent any further occurrence of the same.
III. This being United States territory, no laws other than those of the United States, nor courts, except such as they are held by virtue of said laws, will be recognized or allowed on this island.
By order of Capt. Pickett
JAMES W. FORSYTH, Second Lieut. 9th Infantry, Post Adjutant
San Juan Island National Historical Park is located near Anacortes
Are you planning a visit to San Jaun island National Historical Park? Do you want to have fun while learning about the Pig War, plants, animals, rocks, and the seashore? If so, San Juan Island National Historical Park's Junior Ranger Program is for you! It is an exciting way for kids of all ages to explore the park's natural and historical wonders.
What is a junior ranger? : A junior ranger is someone who, after attending ranger programs and completing activities in a workbook, promises to take care of San Juan Island National Historical Park. It is a great way to learn and have fun in the park! When you are a junior ranger, you will be able to teach others about how best to take care of nature. How do you become a junior ranger? : When you arrive on San Juan Island, stop by and pick up a free worksheet at American Camp or English Camp. American Camp is open year round, English Camp from June to September. You may also print out your worksheet ahead of time by clicking on thebadge above. The worksheet is designed for children eight or older, but also works for younger children by omitting a few activities. You will next be ready to start your junior ranger training. Remember that it is always OK to ask an adult for help. Complete the activities in the booklet and, if possible, go on a ranger guided walk, then return your completed worksheet to the American Camp visitor center. A park ranger or volunteer will check your answers, sign your worksheet and give you an official San Juan Island National Historical Park Junior Ranger Badge. Be the first on your block to own one!
Ebey's Landing National Historical Reserve, 34 miles.
Olympic National Park, 90 miles.
North Cascades National Park, 80 miles.
Mount Rainier National Park, 150 miles.
Klondike Gold Rush - Seattle Unit National Historical Park, 81 miles.
Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, 245 miles.
Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area, 205 miles.
Lime Kiln Point State Park, (360)902-8500, 9 miles.
Whale Museum, (360)378-4710, 6 miles.
Plane : To Friday Harbor via Kenmore Air (seaplane to Friday Harbor dock) or Kenmore Air Express (to Friday Harbor Airport).
Car : Washington State Ferries by private vehicle; car rental in Friday Harbor.
Bus : Bellair Seatac Airporter shuttle offers regularly scheduled service from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport to the Washington State Ferries terminal in Anacortes.
Public Transportation : Shuttle buses stop at both camps daily during the summer season with an abbreviated schedule during spring and fall. Contact San Juan Transit (360) 378-8887.