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 »
An Archaeology Walk with Julie Stein
The walk is free and meets at Alaska Packer’s Rock, located at the end of the gravel access road that parallels the beach. Attendees should plan to park in the main beach parking area at the end of Pickett’s Lane and walk to the meeting point. As the walk will cover a portion of the prairie above the beach, walkers should wear sturdy, comfortable shoes.
Dr. Julie Stein is the author of Exploring Coast Salish Prehistory: The Archaeology of the San Juan Islands (University of Washington Press, $17.95), which examines Coast Salish culture through excavations conducted by University of Washington crews at American and English camps going back to the early 1950s.
Her talk will focus on ancient life at South Beach, which included hunting and gathering, camping, several forms of fishing and cultivation of camas and other root foods. She also will discuss middens, or trash mounds, located in several areas along the beach that have remained remarkably in evidence over time.
The middens have revealed a picture of ancient life at American Camp going back as far as 8,000 years, according to Stein.
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.