• American Camp parade ground looking west

    San Juan Island

    National Historical Park Washington

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  • English Camp Visitor Contact Station on Winter Schedule

    The English Camp visitor contact station in the Royal Marine Barracks is closed for the season, starting September 2. Grounds are open daily from dawn to 11 p.m.

  • American Camp Visitor Center on Winter Schedule

    The American Camp visitor center is open 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily from September 2 to June 6, 2015. Grounds remain open daily from dawn to 11 p.m. Telephone 360-378-2240, ext. 2227 or 2226 for information. More »

History & Culture

alden_san juan village 1859
Griffin Bay and San Juan Village were captured in watercolor in October 1859 by Ensign James Madison Alden of the U.S. Coast Survey. This black and white piece served as a study for a color painting now housed in the National Archives of the United States. This and the finished painting offer the only known views of San Juan Village. HMS Satellite (left) and the U.S. Coast Survey Steamer Active are anchored in the background. Click on the image for a larger view.
National Archives.

The San Juan Boundary Dispute was the end result of more than three centuries of contention by western European powers over the land and resources of the Pacific Northwest. But even before the first sails appeared on the horizon, the Northern Straits region was home to a thriving culture that had been here for thousands of years. All were attracted by the temperate climate, rich soil, abundant timber and the bounty of the sea.

Did You Know?

Capt. Lewis Cass Hunt

Capt. Lewis Cass Hunt, who squabbled with Capt. George E. Pickett over buildings on San Juan Island, was the brother of Henry Hunt, who commanded the Union artillery at the Battle of Gettysburg. Hunt's guns would largely decimate Pickett's division before they reached the Union lines.