A Master Plan
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San Juan Island National Historical Park interprets and protects the sites of the American and English camps on the island and commemorates the historic events that occurred from 1853 to 1872 in connection with the final settlement of the Oregon Territory boundary dispute, including the "Pig War" of 1859.


English Camp, 1870s.


Land Acquisition: To acquire all the land in fee needed for interpretation, protection, and development of the area.

Restoration: To develop a program of restoration and stabilization at both American and English Camps to preserve the historic scene of 1859 to 1872.

Interpretation: To develop necessary facilities for the interpretation of the historic story.

Protection: To develop a program to maintain and protect the historic scene and structures.

Recreation: To utilize the recreational opportunities of the park, providing such use does not conflict with the basic purpose.

Preservation: To encourage and preserve through local interest and action the complementary stories and artifacts of the San Juan Islands in order to broaden the scope of material available for park interpretation and historical research.

Museum Collection: To limit the museum collection to those specimens which illustrate, typify, or are associated with the interpretive theme.

Interpretive Theme: To interpret the events leading to the conflict, the "Pig War" of 1859, the peaceful occupation of the island, and the final settlement of the boundary dispute.

Architectural Theme: To design all new structures in a simple, unobtrusive, and consistent style appropriate to the historic character of the park, using muted colors and native wood and stone which blend into the landscape.

Vicinity Map. (click on image for an enlargement in a new window)


Establishment of the San Juan Island National Historical Park commemorates the peaceful settlement of boundary issues between the United States and Great Britain, marking the first time in our history that these two countries had no boundary dispute. The park will consist of two units—English Camp and American Camp—representing sites occupied by the respective military units between 1859 and 1872.

In addition to certain stabilization and limited restoration of the historic scene, development at both units will provide visitor access and parking, interpretation, and lunching and camping (boat and auto) facilities. For management and protection purposes, the National Park Service will require a small maintenance area and residential development at each unit.

Because Friday Harbor is the principal point of arrival for all visitors to the island, whether by ferry, plane, or private boat, it is essential that the Service provide an information contact point there, which would also be the administrative headquarters.

Minimum development should be completed by October 21, 1972. This is an especially appropriate establishment date, since it is also the 100th anniversary of the peaceful settlement of the boundary dispute.

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Last Updated: 07-May-2007