American Camp Visitor Center Closed Christmas and New Year's Days.
The American Camp Visitor Center will be closed Christmas Day, December 25 and New Year's Day January 1. Grounds at both American and English camps will remain open from dawn to 11 p.m.
Park on Fall Schedule
The American Camp visitor center is open 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.Wednesday-Sunday. The English Camp contact station is closed for the winter. Grounds at both units are open from dawn to 11 p.m. More »
Mike Vouri Photo
Here are just a few examples of Kids' Fun at San Juan island National Historical Park:
Weaving weekend: Cowlitz Nation weaver Judy Bridges, Fort Nisqually interpreter and storyteller Karen Haas along with San Juan island's Roger Ellison and Anita Barreca demonstrate weaving with all-natural fibers, including wild reeds, usually the first weekend in August. Visitors are invited to try their hands at created mattes, toys and art objects.
Tide Pool Walks: Visitors learn about plant and animal life, from algae to invertebrate animals, during tide pool walks with biologist Bob Lemon and naturalist Annie Prevost. Bring your rubber boots and look but don't touch!
Encampment: Park staff, volunteers and re-enactors from throughout the region gather at English Camp to recreate life on San Juan Island at mid-19th century. The annual event commemorates the peaceful joint occupation of San Juan Island by British and American forces from 1859 to 1872, and the final, peaceful settlement of the Northwest Boundary dispute. Throughout the joint occupation the garrisons regularly exchanged visits to celebrate holidays that included Christmas, the Fourth of July and Queen Victoria’s birthday. Typically the men would participate in athletic contests, imbibe in spirits and other refreshments and usually host a dance to which the community was invited.
The modern Encampment (the next scheduled July 26-27, 2014) includes camp life, blacksmithing, cookery, woodworking and drilling. Children participate in soldier games, learn sailors knots, how to plunk a fiddle, saw a log and dance the Grand March. The highlight of the weekend is Saturday’s Candlelight Ball, an evening of dancing and refreshments from 8 to 10 p.m.
Did You Know?
James Alden, commander of the USCS Steamer Active, carried dispatches during the Pig War crisis. During the Battle of Mobile Bay he led the Union fleet into the harbor until stalled by Confederate mines. That's when Admiral David G. Farragut shouted "Damn the torpedoes..."