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 »
James Alden was born March 31, 1810, in Portland, Maine, a direct descendent of John Alden and Priscilla Mullins of Mayflower fame.
He was well acquainted with the San Juan Islands and much of the Pacific basin, as he served as a passed midshipman under Charles Wilkes on the U.S. Exploring Expedition, 1838-1842.
He has likewise been criticized for not taking the U.S.S. Merrimack out of the Gosport Naval Yard in April 1861 when the yard was about to be overrun by Confederate forces. Engineering crews had miraculously reassembled the ship's engines in a matter of days, but Alden would not take the ship without the permission of the yard commander. The ship had to be scuttled, but the hulk was raised by the Confederates and converted into the ironclad, C.S.S. Virginia, which fought the U.S.S. Monitor to a draw in the world's first battle between ironclad warships.
Did You Know?
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.