• American Camp parade ground looking west

    San Juan Island

    National Historical Park Washington

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.

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